Taught course

MA Conservation of Wall Paintings

Courtauld Institute of Art

Entry requirements

UK qualifications: Students will normally have achieved a good 2.1 in a humanities or sciences Bachelor’s degree, considered to be an overall average 65% or above.

Overseas qualification: 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).

Interviews: The interview process consists of a personal interview before a board; tests of manual dexterity and colour vision; and a brief written test requiring comment on a variety of wall paintings.

English language requirements: If your first language is not English, we require proof of English language proficiency –please see the English Language Requirements page.

Months of entry

September, October

Course content

The Courtauld is a leading centre for education and research in wall painting conservation. The 3-year practical MA in Conservation of Wall Paintings will prepare you for a professional career in a field that is inclusive, interdisciplinary and international. Applicants usually have a BA or equivalent degree in the humanities or the natural sciences. The course leads to a high degree of employment upon graduation in both private practice and institutions, with many Courtauld alumni going on to make a major impact in the conservation of wall paintings and other aspects of cultural heritage through roles at leading organisations. These include the Getty Conservation Institute; International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS); ICCROM; and English Heritage.

Teaching focuses on evaluating the synergistic relationship between wall paintings, built heritage and the environment. Through a rigorous ethical and scientific framework, you will gain skills in passive, preventive and remedial conservation, and in professional practice. The MA degree offers extensive practical experience on wall painting sites, and on completion you will be able to design, evaluate and carry out conservation treatments. The course teaches the digital and organisational skills required to manage ambitious projects, both independently and in collaboration. It will equip you with critical evaluation and communication skills, so that you will be ready for a career in conservation, further conservation research, and beyond.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand, advise on, and advocate for the significance of wall paintings you are invited to examine and conserve
  • Examine and assess the original and added materials on wall paintings and their support, and evaluate intervention implications
  • Identify mechanisms of deterioration through diagnostic investigations, scientific analysis and environmental monitoring, and recommend and implement appropriate preventive and passive measures
  • Design, test and carry out a holistic wall painting conservation programme with full awareness of ethical and technical considerations, the professional context and values
  • Produce full written reports, and graphic, scientific and photographic documentation
  • Propose and undertake an research project in the field of wall painting conservation

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions