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Programme: MSocSci Tangible Heritage Conservation (Coursework)

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
01253115 Faculty of Humanities Minimum duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 180

Programme information

This programme is directed at a general education in preventive conservation/preservation and general collections-based management of tangible cultural heritage (TCH) resources, with a view to specialise in the management of TCH, preservation of TCH or conservation of TCH.

Admission requirements

A limited number of places are available. Selection for the programme is on an individual basis and requires an interview preceded by the completion of a standardised bench test for technical ability and dexterity. For admission, students who have completed the honours programme in Heritage  and Museum Studies with an average of at least 70% in the approved major will be selected preferentially. For applicants who did not complete the honours programme in Heritage and Museum Studies, the foundation museum skills module MKD 712 may be required as a prerequisite for final admission into the programme.

 

A 3-6 week documented and supervised pre-programme internship in a museum, gallery or formal collection is mandatory prior to enrolment and demonstrates mastery over basic preventive conservation theory and practice.

 

If the student’s honours degree did not cover subjects in heritage management and preservation/ museum studies, they may be admitted conditionally, upon completion of the pre-programme internship and enrolment in the foundation skills module MKD 712 and the submission of a research proposal where the intended mini-dissertation topic is theoretical, or builds on acquired knowledge in a particular field (e.g. architecture or chemistry) and is not aimed at remedial conservation.

 

There is provision for the recognition of prior learning (RPL) and for this students are requested to submit a recent CV and a portfolio of documented conservation work experience to be presented at an interview prior to admission.

Other programme-specific information

The programme is offered over two years of which the first year is presented on the Hatfield Campus. All modules must be passed to progress to the second year of the programme on the Hatfield Campus or carried out under supervision in a partner institution or under supervision in private practice.
Students are required to attend relevant departmental seminars as well as local conferences to present aspects of their research project. A poster presentation of their research report is strongly recommended.
Students must conduct 5-6 months of conservation or collections-based research by the end of the master’s programme and demonstrate mastery over basic conservation techniques.
The MSocSci (Tangible Heritage Conservation) by coursework can be completed in segments as part of continuing professional development.

Examinations and pass requirements

A student must pass all the modules at the end of the first year of study. Students who do not successfully complete the first year of the programme will not be admitted to the second year.
In addition to the successful completion for all modules, all the students – irrespective of specialisation – are required to perform the following as part of their continuous assessment:
• Perform on outreach activities
• Participate in the departmental seminar series when in residence
• Submit an article to an accredited publication at the end of their study
• Demonstrate mastery over basic and intermediate preservation and conservation interventions
• Complete a 5 to 6 month full-time (or 9–10 month part-time) supervised and documented internship
• Submitting a mini-dissertation of 20 000–30 000 words on an approved conservation topic.

Minimum credits: 90

Choose ONE elective - 30 credits

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This introductory module reviews the significance, value and use of cultural heritage, as well as the roles and responsibilities of its custodians within relevant professional, ethical and legislative frameworks. This module has both theoretical and practical components where preservation and collections care principles and strategies will be examined, practised, reviewed, and discussed for appropriate decision-making. In addition, the module will consider the shifts, conflicts and tensions in the museum and will critically examine the frictions between the global and the local in an attempt to reimagine the institution in the contemporary moment.

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  • Module content:

    An introductory chemistry module specifically tailored at enabling students with no previous science background to gain a greater insight into the chemical processes present in the practices and techniques used in conservation. Module content focusses on major conservation issues including material types, environment, cleaning and deterioration.

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  • Module content:

    This module focusses on the research involved in conservation, aspects of collections-based research including documentation of artefacts, photography, the preparation of research projects, writing project proposals and academic writing for publication. This module has both theoretical and practical components where students will examine, document and carry out analyses on a variety of museum objects.

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  • Module content:

    This module explores the physical, mechanical and chemical properties of organic, inorganic and synthetic base materials. It explores the technology and manufacturing processes involved in creating or assembling a variety of heritage objects. Each material type is explored in dedicated block sessions where individual objects are discussed according to material types and properties, potential risks and weaknesses identified, and appropriate storage, exhibition and handling guidelines examined. This module has both theoretical and practical components where students will learn to differentiate between material types, isolating different component parts of composite objects and learning about examination, documentation and record keeping in conservation.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Students, guided by the programme coordinator are to choose an area of specialisation from those available at the University of Pretoria. The introductory principles of remedial conservation will be explored within the chosen area of specialisation, from treatment options and evaluation with final decision-making processes for appropriate treatment options for cleaning, stabilisation and conservation of artefacts.

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  • Module content:

    Students, guided by the programme coordinator are to choose an area of specialisation from those available at the University of Pretoria. The introductory principles of remedial conservation will be explored within the chosen area of specialisation, from treatment options and evaluation with final decision-making processes for appropriate treatment options for cleaning, stabilisation and conservation of artefacts.

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Minimum credits: 90

Core modules

  • Module content:

    A mini-dissertation of 20 000– 30 000 word on an approved conservation-based topic.

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  • Module content:

    Practice forms an integral part of interventive conservation to apply theoretical knowledge on treatment evaluation and development, decision-making and to hone bench skills. This is a compulsory module for training in interventive/remedial conservation in the field of specialisation of the students choosing, dependant on the availability of the particular field of specialisation available at the University. Training is carried out under supervision within a museum collection or in private practice with an approved conservator-restorer and contains the practical component of the mini-dissertation.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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