University of Glasgow: Art History: Modern Material Artefacts MSc

InstitutionUniversity of Glasgow View institution profile
Department School of Culture and Creative Arts
Study type Taught


This programme engages with historical and scientific concepts and practices for the interpretation, investigation and preservation of museum and archive collections. It is designed to enable you to become proficient in object-based techniques from art history, material science and conservation for the interdisciplinary study of commercial synthetic materials in applied arts and social history collections. A key strength of this programme is its focus on modern materials as common artefacts that includes fibres and colourants as well as plastics.

**Academic contact: Dr Anita Quye:**

**Admissions enquiries:**

**September start**

**MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time**

**PgDip: 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time**


This is a unique programme in the UK and the first worldwide to focus on ‘everyday’ and commercially-designed modern materials in decorative arts, fashion, design and social history collections.

Museums and archives need qualified heritage professionals who understand the significance, degradation and ethical care of modern materials, which are increasing in number and range across collections.

We offer a fertile and dynamic academic environment of world-class expertise and facilities in sciences, arts and heritage practice with an extensive international network of professional specialists and research collaborators.

You'll have access to the collections of the University’s Hunterian Museum and Glasgow’s civic museums through the prestigious new Kelvin Hall cultural hub, as well as the Scottish Business Archive which is on campus.

This innovative programme is based in the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, which is internationally-respected for excellence in object-based teaching and research for cultural heritage.

We welcome applicants from across the arts and sciences, current professionals or career changers, from the UK or abroad.

The programme aims to help you develop or enhance your career in the cultural heritage sector.


**You will take:**
- five core courses

- one optional course (or independent study)

You’ll also produce an independent research project.

**Semester One: September to December**

- Making Modern Artefacts: Historical Materials and Methods

- Shaping Modern Artefacts: Material Form and Function

- Research Methods in Practice

**Semester Two: January to March**

- Changing Modern Artefacts: Material Ageing and Degradation

- Ethics for Artefacts: Modern Materials

- Optional course (or independent study)

**Summer: April to September**

Independent research project

**Find out more about core and optional courses**

**Programme alteration or discontinuation**
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

The programme is aimed at curators, scientists, conservators and collection managers already working in, or entering, the cultural heritage sector who want to develop specialist knowledge and understanding of historical modern materials. It is designed to enhance career prospects or for progression to doctoral studies in the UK and internationally.

Master of Science - MSc (PG)

PgDip (Initial Qualification)

University of Glasgow


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The University of Glasgow is one of the UK’s most prestigious seats of learning, and the fourth oldest university in the English speaking world. Established in 1451 and recognised for its world-changing research and teaching, the University has inspired thinkers from eminent scientist Lord Kelvin and the father of economics Adam Smith, to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 


  • ranked joint 69th in the world and was the first UK university to be rated as 5 Stars Plus overall (QS World University Rankings 2019)
  • ranked joint 93rd in the ...

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