Taught course

MA Conservation of Easel Paintings

Courtauld Institute of Art

Entry requirements

UK qualifications: Successful applicants will normally hold a Bachelor’s degree in either Fine Art, History of Art, or in the Natural Sciences, and have achieved a good 2.1, considered to be an overall average 65% or above.

Overseas qualifications: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above).

Further information: In your application, you will be asked questions relating to your knowledge and experience of those fields that are not your main area of study (fine art, history of art or science). Though we do not expect candidates to have deep knowledge of all three fields, a level of interest in them is essential, and evidence of aptitude in them at GCSE level can be beneficial. Equally, previous conservation experience is not required, though some understanding of the nature of paintings conservation is desirable.

Interviews: Around 20 applicants are selected for interview for six available places, plus a short waiting list. Interviews take a whole day and include a practical test to assess manual dexterity and colour matching, a short slide test to assess observational skills, a tour of the department and chance to meet current students, as well as the interview itself. Interviewees are asked to bring a small portfolio with a sample of original artwork by them. Students must have normal colour vision and a colour-blindness test is carried out. Interviews will be held online in the w/c 21 February this year.

English language requirements: If your first language is not English, we require proof of English language proficiency. If you are invited to the interview, it is recommended to submit your test results before the interview. If you are unable to do so, you will be asked to submit your test results no later than the acceptance deadline. Please see the English Language Requirements page.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in the Conservation of Easel Paintings is a 3-year full-time course which will prepare you for a professional career. Its interdisciplinary nature brings together art history, fine arts and the natural sciences. Applicants usually have a BA or equivalent degree in any of these subjects. The student body is international, with a yearly intake limited to six students, which makes the teacher-student ratio exceptionally high. The course leads to an exceptionally high degree of employment upon graduation, in both the most reputable institutions and private conservation studios in the world, such as the National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Getty, the National Trust, and the Royal Collection. The strong practical and intellectual focus of the degree is reflected in courses designed to build on knowledge and to develop both practical and decision making skills underpinned by ethical and scientific principles.

After graduating you will have gained practical experience in a range of real easel paintings conservation and will be able to design, carry out and evaluate conservation treatments proficiently and independently. You will be able to interpret results from technical study and relate them to practice, and will be able to plan and develop original research relating to easel painting conservation. You will gain critical and communication skills that will equip you for diverse careers in conservation and beyond.

Find out more about the department’s research.

Information for international students

Explore our international students pages for more information.

Fees and funding

Postgraduate Master’s Loan: Please visit the Student Finance England website for further information and to apply online.

Courtauld Institute of Art Scholarships: Every year the Courtauld provides over half a million pounds in MA scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of academic merit combined with financial need. The average postgraduate scholarship is £6,000. Applications are welcomed from Home, EU and Overseas applicants and students. Find out more about our scholarships. Find out more about our scholarships.

Alumni Loyalty Scheme: This scheme is open to any graduate of The Courtauld Institute of Art admitted to a taught postgraduate programme of study. Recipients will receive a 10% loyalty discount off their tuition fee for the duration of the course.

Further information about loans, grants, and bursaries to support you during your studies at The Courtauld can be found here.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions