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.
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.