Taught course

Heritage Conservation

University of Lincoln · School of History and Heritage

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Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree in any subject, or equivalent experience, and a suitable job role which allows the development of conservation skills with an employer, and must also be a resident in England prior to applying for this programme.

Selection for the MA Heritage Conservation Degree Apprenticeship will be conducted in partnership with employers. The admissions process will normally comprise an individual interview, involving members of the academic and administrative team from the University. Before an individual starts an apprenticeship, we will assess their prior learning to determine their ‘starting point’ in relation to the skills, knowledge, and behaviours that are in the apprenticeship standard.

Prospective apprentices should demonstrate motivation/interest to study for a career in conservation; provide evidence of their ability to study academic subjects; demonstrate their availability and personal commitment to undertaking the apprenticeship journey; demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills; and be able to study independently and manage their time.

The School of History and Heritage requires apprentices to have already achieved Level 2 English and Maths at GCSE grade C/4 or above, and a degree in any subject or equivalent experience as part of the standard entry requirements.

Employers select candidates in discussion with the University of Lincoln. The University is unable to take applications directly from prospective students who do not already have a host organisation in place.

For more information, please contact Dr Cathy Daly or Dr Lynda Skipper:


Months of entry

September, October

Course content

The MA Heritage Conservation provides an opportunity to combine paid work with hands-on conservation experience and academic teaching.

The programme aims to develop apprentices' professional skills and knowledge within a work-based context, while equipping them with an awareness of the principles of heritage conservation. Apprentices have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to enhance their effectiveness in their field.

Funded by the Government and your employer, this apprenticeship has been designed to provide access to development opportunities for a wide range of individuals, including existing employees, or new recruits who wish to become professional conservators.

The apprenticeship programme has been created by the Institute of Conservation (ICON), employers, and higher education providers and aims to educate future professionals in conservation of cultural heritage materials, supporting specialisation in a range of different areas of conservation.

The Heritage Conservation Degree Apprenticeship is centred on work-based learning, with modules delivered through a flexible blended-learning approach, through a combination of online and face-to-face teaching. The structure and timetable will vary depending on whether the student starts in January or September, and on specific timetabling requirements. Classes take place through a combination of day release and block release.

Apprentices will spend 80 per cent of their working time with their employer, and 20 per cent at the University, or on course related activities.

The programme aims to provide students with:
- Skills, knowledge, and understanding relevant to the professional practice of conservation of a wide range of materials and contexts.
- Ethical awareness and an understanding of the professional codes of ethics in the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage.
- A sound scientific, theoretical, and aesthetic appreciation as it applies to the professional practice of conservation of cultural property.
- Decision-making skills and critical thinking as it applies to conservation practice in differing contexts.
- Training and skills in the management and care of museum and historic collections;
- An ability to appraise and manage employability skills within a Continuous Professional Development framework relevant to the discipline.
- An awareness of the relevance of cultural history in relation to object conservation.
- The ability to undertake independent research.
- A sound foundation for later professional accreditation.

It will typically take 4.5 years for the academic part (MA) of the qualification, and a further 6 months preparing for the apprenticeship end point assessment, administered by the Institute of Conservation (ICON). The apprenticeship creates a route for those with no prior conservation knowledge to enter the profession. Applicants with conservation qualifications or experience may be considered for a shorter pathway.

Regular tripartite progress reviews will take place between the apprentice, their allocated employer mentor/supervisor and University personal tutor. Active participation of all parties in the apprenticeship review process is an important part of the learning process.

Students will have a personal tutor to support them in their academic studies and access to support services within the University, including Learning Support, Wellbeing, and ICT. They will have use of our specialist conservation laboratories and wider university facilities such as the library, sports centre, and Students' Union.

Information for international students

An applicant must be a resident in England prior to applying for this programme.

Fees and funding

Apprentices do not pay university fees. Course fees are paid via employer contributions to the Apprenticeship Levee. Small employers who do not contribute to the levee may be asked to pay a small percentage towards the fees.

Employers are expected to cover the cost of travel to Lincoln when required. If students wish to join an optional field trip, they will be asked to fund this themselves.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    48 - 60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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