Taught course

Collections Care and Conservation Management

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Entry requirements

You will need to have an upper second class or above UK honours degree in a relevant subject, or a non-UK equivalent.

Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be considered for those who have been out of formal education for some years and are over 21; and mature students who do not meet the general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate their capacity for degree-level work in other ways.

Months of entry


Course content

This MA provides the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for a lead role in collections care and management within a historic house context. It is aimed at conservators and curators with significant collections care responsibilities, as well as graduates from conservation courses, museum studies, galleries care or other museum related disciplines intending to develop their careers in this area.

This two year course offers a flexible study path to achieve your MA. The curriculum is delivered over eight five-day study blocks in themed units, spread out over the two year programme.

Programme units cover a comprehensive programme of theory, coupled with practical conservation exercises and visits that focus on key aspects of contemporary collections care and management practice. Taught blocks are supported by off-site professional practice assignments and a dissertation.

Areas of study include:

  • Understanding, monitoring and managing agents of deterioration
  • Emergency/salvage planning
  • Collections surveys, risk assessment and management
  • Managing staff and budgets
  • Collections care and the fabric of the building
  • Security
  • Introduction to grant-writing
  • Loans, handling and packing
  • Housekeeping and care of typical object types

You can expect:

  • Teaching by high profile experts in their field
  • To work with a large and diverse Collection comprising objects from all disciplines, allowing students to apply knowledge to real-life problems
  • To develop a broad range of transferrable skills in communication, data analysis, critical thinking, and research
  • To build industry contacts and networks - The College’s extensive links with museums, conservators and professional bodies in the heritage sector in the UK, EU and internationally, opens up an impressive range of opportunities for the six week work placements that MA Collections Care students typically undertake.

Information for international students

International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,890 per year
International students
£4,890 per year

Visit the funding page for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Registry Office
+44 (0) 1243 811 301