Taught course

Conservation Studies - Ceramics and Related Materials

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Entry requirements

Progression from the Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies to Masters requires successful completion of the graduate programme with a good pass.

Applicants with conservation experience and scientific knowledge equivalent to the Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies may enter directly on to the Masters programme, in which case an upper 2nd class or above UK Honours degree in an appropriate subject or a non-UK equivalent is required. Alternatively, 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, who do not meet the general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate practical skills or evidence of practical interests and research and writing abilities commensurate with BA level.

Months of entry


Course content

Develop the skills and competences to work towards becoming a professional ceramics conservator on one of our conservation courses focussing on ceramics. Conservation is a complex and exciting discipline and the College has a reputation for equipping students with the practical craft skills, science and theoretical knowledge required by employers in the sector.

Perhaps you have previously studied archaeology, history of art or classics but would like to pursue a course with a more applied approach such as in museum studies courses. Our courses offer the chance to gain practical experience on live conservation and restoration projects.

There are two levels of study on our ceramics conservation courses.

Level 6: Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies

This full time conservation course allows you to further your interest in ceramics and porcelain repair and progress to the MA Conservation Studies.

Level 7: MA Conservation Studies

The global industry standard for conservation.

Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies which is for you if you are interested in studying our MA Conservation Studies but your undergraduate degree was not in a related field. The MA Conservation Studies is the global industry standard for studies in conservation. Our 46 week MA programme with seven day access to the studios and workshops gives you the opportunity to develop the high level specialist skills in ceramics sought by the sector.

Challenges and strategies in object and collections care are introduced, including considerations of usage, exhibitions, environmental monitoring, and protective systems. Reflective practice is continuously developed to integrate practical, theoretical, conceptual and professional skills.

Icon accredited (PACR) teaching staff ensure all work is consistent with Professional Standards, thereby ensuring you start your career on a trajectory consistent with your own career goals.

You are provided with ceramic objects from museums and private collections to work on (from archaeological finds to decorative arts objects), to acquire and practise both established and developing techniques. Students have also been involved with preparing items from our own unique Collection for exhibition loans, including performing condition reports on The Lobster Phone by Salvador Dalí.

Students work with different ceramic body types to develop and apply appropriate conservation treatments for objects, such as preventive care through to reconstruction and visual integration. You will use appropriate methods to document objects and assess their condition, discuss treatment strategies, and take part in decision-making. Outcomes are recorded, discussed and communicated as part of learning through practice. The work will increase in complexity and throughout your time you will work with increasing autonomy.

See specific examples of ceramics conservation projects and porcelain repair in our student blogs.

Information for international students

International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.

Fees and funding

UK students
£17,040 per year (MA)
International students
£17,040 per year (MA)

Scholarships and bursaries are available from £500 to £10,000. Find out more about funding opportunities.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Registry Office
+44(0) 1243 811301