West Dean College of Arts and Conservation: MA Conservation Studies

InstitutionWest Dean College of Arts and Conservation
Department School of Conservation
Web http://www.westdean.org.uk
Study type Taught


Study at a specialist college with the assurance of a university qualification. Develop your passions and reach your potential in a small, welcoming environment within a community of like-minded people.

Why choose West Dean College of Arts and Conservation?

An international reputation for excellence in conservation and arts education. 94% of students studying at the College felt the programme had enhanced their skills and abilities (2019 student survey) A rich arts environment and a focus on craft skills with vocational application. Be inspired by the unique historic character and beautiful South Downs setting. Located close to Chichester and the South Coast, with easy access to London.

The Course

The one year full time course in MA Conservation Studies equips you with the high level specialist skills sought by the conservation sector. For students of English, History, Archaeology and varied Humanities disciplines Conservation offers an exciting career. The course focuses is on research through practice and students will draw on theoretical, scientific, and analytical study of artefacts and materials, and analyse the context and practice of conservation. Students deliver a major final research project.

This rigorous and highly respected programme draws on an extensive sector network, nationally and internationally, including industry bodies such as Icon. The Masters in Conservation Studies is the global industry standard for conservation, and our alumni work in many of the most prestigious museums, archives, libraries and private practices across the world.

Elements of interdisciplinary work are involved, but you will choose from one of the following specialisms:

Books and Library Materials Ceramics and Related Materials Furniture and Related Objects Horology, Clocks and Related Objects Metalwork

All disciplines are accessible from both humanities and science study backgrounds.

You can expect

To develop excellent practical skills To develop research skills To incorporate scientific analysis into conservation projects To build contacts and gain transferable skills

Learning environment

High tutor: student ratio Workshop access 8.30am-10pm, 7 days a week An interdisciplinary environment Visiting lecturers from public and private institutions Six week work placement The content of this programme has been developed in line with the Institute of Conservation's Professional Standards in Conservation and the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

Exceptional Facilities

You will work in dedicated, well-equipped workshops and studios with access from 8.30am to 10pm, seven days a week, which is exceptional in higher education. In addition to the extensive facilities each specialist studio and workshop has, is the new Science Laboratory (opened late 2019), both the science equipment and laboratory has had a significant upgrade. The facilities have been developed to give students knowledge and a familiarity with their general application to perform analytical techniques commonly used in the heritage sector. Other shared facilities include:

Photography space IT suite Specialist databases Specialist library


On the MA Conservation Studies you will typically have around 19-20 contact hours per week.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and workshops or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations and undertaking and writing up your final research project.

Overall workload

Total scheduled teaching and learning: 600 hours Independent learning: 1200 hours


Not what you are looking for?

Browse other courses in Arts, Museum studies, Book conservation, Restoration studies, Environmental conservation, Environmental protection, Environmental science, Heritage studies or Science, or search our comprehensive database of postgrad programs.

Scholarship Opportunity with Postgrad.com

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

Click here

Register with Postgrad.com

  • Exclusive bursaries
  • Open day alerts
  • Funding advice
  • Application tips
  • Latest PG news
Sign up now