Skip navigation


Phyllis Zhen Qi Koh

There weren't any Conservation courses available in Singapore and I was lucky to be  working within the Heritage sector as an Assistant Conservator already, where I was able to learn on the job. Taking on the Masters was one step closerr to grasping a firm foundation in Conservation. Northumbria was one of the places that offered the Masters in Conservation Fine Art, which had the right amount of content and course length for me - besides having a good reputation.

What are you doing now?

I'm working as a Paper Conservator at the Heritage Conservation Centre in Singapore, preserving the National Collection.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

It has helped to hone my hands-on skills and a better grasp of the theoretical aspects of Conservation. This includes research and writing skills, which I could apply it back at work and share with my colleagues.

What was the best thing about your course?

The integration of every aspect of the course (programs, lecturers, projects) which came together as one and it worked really well with multicultural and multidisciplinary students.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Definitely my classmates and lectures. As quoted from Paulo Coleho's book, The Alchemist "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too" It was simply because everyone who was in the class strived to become better and it created a great and supportive environment. It was such an inspiring experience.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

Design Thinking & Design Management  I had never heard about Design Thinking beforehand. I was so intrigued and curious about it and along the way I learned it by doing. Until now, I always make mind map when deciding something important, I keep writing my design diary to jot down any ideas and progression in doing any projects. I'm still learning to think like a designer, especially when I setup my own business. like what problem needs to be solved and how it will help/inspire people when they buy my products. I apply this Design Management approach in managing my business, especially when managing the process and delivering products to consumers. I still keep my lecture's handouts and textbook by my side

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The opportunity to study by doing interesting projects and to work with others students from different backgrounds and nationalities.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Be open minded, don't be afraid of change, and just be yourself. Enjoy every bit of your time studying, even when its hard. I think you'll mostly have great times studying here.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Inspiring, challenging, exciting

Latest News and Features

a headshot image of Andy Smith smiling at the camera with an image of the sun in the background
Care leavers covenant
Jacinda Ardern. Photo Credit NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Creative writing lecturer, May Sumbwanyambe, from the department of Humanities at Northumbria.
The Ukrainian flag. Getty Images
More news

Back to top