Taught course

Conservation of Fine Art

Northumbria University · Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold an honours degree, usually in chemistry, physics, art history or fine art, although students have also come from backgrounds in engineering and other related fields. Science graduates must also have competence in practical art and Arts graduates should note that an A Level in Chemistry or the completion of a specialist science course (such as Chemistry for Conservators run by IAP in London) will strengthen their application. The course requires students to have sound colour vision, manual dexterity, logical thought and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to changing practical situations. It is also necessary to appreciate the integrity of works of art and have a sensitivity of approach coupled with a calm temperament and infinite patience.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Conservation of Fine Art commences with modules that provide an understanding of conservation theory and practice, the chemistry of degradation of artists materials and scientific principles involved in environmental monitoring and management. These modules build critical awareness contextual skills for conservation.The MA programme is a multidisciplinary programme which combines studies in the sciences and art history with the development of practical skills relating to the conservation of fine art. As part of the programme, students visit conservation departments in the UK. Students are also encouraged to complete work experience placements. Students choose between two specialist options.

A series of innovative practical workshops culminate in the creation of your own Professional Portfolio which effectively showcases a number of key skills appropriate to the changing needs of the profession. Workshops are problem-orientated and use a wide range of methods and materials including demonstrations, facsimiles, project paintings, cases studies and unique artefacts from the Burt Hall archive.

Extensive practical activities are supported by a series of technical seminars, tutorials and on-line lectures whose aim is explore the links between theoretical study and activities of the practitioner. Students also develop their skills and understanding in examining and documenting artworks, health and safety procedures and are taught the importance of strategic planning and time management skills.

Significant emphasis is also placed on ethics and developing research, critical and diagnostic skills and fostering awareness of the wider professional context particularly in matters of sustainability.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of 5.5. Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

Fees and funding

Information about fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 227 4444