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Entry requirements

Applicants should usually possess a degree in a relevant subject area at 2:2 level or higher. If you have no formal qualifications it may also be possible to join the programme based on extensive relevant work experience corresponding in level to a relevant undergraduate honours degree. In all cases entry is subject to an interview either in person or via Skype/Zoom or similar platforms.

Months of entry


Course content

Course overview

Even the simplest structure encapsulates a huge body of evidence about the past. To protect and steward a building’s heritage requires an understanding of its nature, structure, historic context and significance, the ways in which the building can be legally protected and the conservation tools which are available for its repair and upkeep. It also requires an understanding of how a given structure can be managed for a sustainable future. This includes everything from schemes of interpretation and display, to how visitors can be managed to control potential damage through to how historic buildings can be retrofitted to make them environmentally friendly.

This blending of conservation and management skills lies at the heart of this course and reflects the integrative direction of travel of many historic building professions.
The course has three main strands: the first focuses on the investigation and understanding of historic buildings, the second looks at the conservation and preservation of buildings, and the third strand focuses on how historic buildings are managed.
The programme is delivered in Swindon where you will have access to the Historic England Archive and Library, the National Collections Centre and the Swindon Museums. Teaching is based around intensive day-long blocks supported by distance and self-directed learning; you can take the course full-time over one-year or part-time over two to six years, giving you flexibility around your working life.
You will complete eight taught modules with varied assessments which take a pragmatic approach to building conservation and are designed with employment in mind. You will also produce either a dissertation focusing on a particular topic of interest to you or a professional product of comparable standard such as a detailed building study or building conservation management plan. For those in employment the professional product can be built around a negotiated work output.
Industry experience
This programme is designed to provide a broad based introduction to the rapidly changing discipline of historic building conservation. You will benefit from opportunities to work with heritage organisations and projects and also gain practical conservation skills through optional short courses with our practical training associates.
  • 4703 Cultural Heritage Research: Design, Methodology and Management
  • 4704 Survey, Recording and Analysis of Historic Buildings
  • 4710 The Challenge of Change: Context, Significance, Planning Policy and Law
  • 4714 Buildings in the Landscape
  • 4715 Historic Building Conservation in Practice
  • 4716 Conservation of Historic Building Interiors: Fixtures, Fittings, Collections
  • 4717 Management of Historic Buildings and Heritage Sites
  • 4718 Heritage, Regeneration & Place Shaping
  • 4700 Dissertation

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Geraint Coles