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Please note applications for September 2021 are now closed. 

The MA Conservation of Fine Art programme will provide you with advanced knowledge and skills necessary for a career as an art conservator specialising in the conservation of either easel paintings or works of art on paper. 

This postgraduate programme aims to provide you with advanced knowledge and skills in practice-based and research-led fine art conservation of easel paintings and works of art on paper. 

Our Conservation of Fine Art MA aims to develop a critical awareness of hands-on skills, ethics, art history, environmental and scientific considerations, as well as conservation theory, practice and techniques. Students are also given the opportunity to immerse themselves in research, supervised by a team of research active staff.  

It is the combination of manual skill, a sound knowledge of science, and passion for the arts that makes this unique MA perfect for those from both a science and arts background.

Integrating a mix of practical, historical  and scientific study and analytical techniques, you will cover a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, preventive conservation, and research training skills.

With excellent manual dexterity, science and analytical skills, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, art history, science, technical examination, preventive conservation and research training skills

This Conservation of Fine Art MA is employment-specific and provides you with the highly specialised knowledge and techniques essential to a career in art conservation.

In order to broaden your cultural perspective and enhance your practical learning experience, you will also have the opportunity to carry out a placement in the UK or internationally.. In recent years students have taken up local, national, and international placements with high profile institutions including the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia, the Rijksmuseum, the Tate, as well as with private conservation studios throughout the world.

You will be among a unique cohort of students choosing to study for Northumbria University’s Conservation of Fine Art MA, as the only Master of Arts programme in the UK that specialises in both the conservation of Easel Painting and Works of Art on Paper.

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of academic scientific and artistic backgrounds. Potential students come from a range of backgrounds including Fine Art, Art History and the Sciences. If you’d like to browse what other postgraduate programmes we offer or have any queries, please get in touch.

Please note applications for September 2021 are now closed. 

The MA Conservation of Fine Art programme will provide you with advanced knowledge and skills necessary for a career as an art conservator specialising in the conservation of either easel paintings or works of art on paper. 

This postgraduate programme aims to provide you with advanced knowledge and skills in practice-based and research-led fine art conservation of easel paintings and works of art on paper. 

Our Conservation of Fine Art MA aims to develop a critical awareness of hands-on skills, ethics, art history, environmental and scientific considerations, as well as conservation theory, practice and techniques. Students are also given the opportunity to immerse themselves in research, supervised by a team of research active staff.  

It is the combination of manual skill, a sound knowledge of science, and passion for the arts that makes this unique MA perfect for those from both a science and arts background.

Integrating a mix of practical, historical  and scientific study and analytical techniques, you will cover a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, preventive conservation, and research training skills.

With excellent manual dexterity, science and analytical skills, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, art history, science, technical examination, preventive conservation and research training skills

This Conservation of Fine Art MA is employment-specific and provides you with the highly specialised knowledge and techniques essential to a career in art conservation.

In order to broaden your cultural perspective and enhance your practical learning experience, you will also have the opportunity to carry out a placement in the UK or internationally.. In recent years students have taken up local, national, and international placements with high profile institutions including the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia, the Rijksmuseum, the Tate, as well as with private conservation studios throughout the world.

You will be among a unique cohort of students choosing to study for Northumbria University’s Conservation of Fine Art MA, as the only Master of Arts programme in the UK that specialises in both the conservation of Easel Painting and Works of Art on Paper.

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of academic scientific and artistic backgrounds. Potential students come from a range of backgrounds including Fine Art, Art History and the Sciences. If you’d like to browse what other postgraduate programmes we offer or have any queries, please get in touch.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
2 years full-time

Department
Arts

Location
Burt Hall, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

Discover more / Explore Northumbria University

Take a look at what Northumbria has to offer and discover what studying with us can do for you.

Entry Requirements 2021/22

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, usually in chemistry, physics, art history or fine art, although applicants from other related fields will also be considered.

Applicants with science backgrounds must have interest in learning about practical art, and arts graduates should have minimum grade B GCSE in Science or may choose to complete a specialist science course (such as Chemistry for Conservators run by IAP in London). This will strengthen their application.

Applicants are required to have sound colour vision, manual dexterity, logical thought and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to changing practical situations. Applicants should also appreciate the integrity of works of art and have a sensitivity of approach, along with a calm temperament and infinite patience.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

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Entry Requirements 2022/23

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, usually in chemistry, physics, art history or fine art, although applicants from other related fields will also be considered.

Applicants with science backgrounds must have interest in learning about practical art, and arts graduates should have minimum grade B GCSE in Science or may choose to complete a specialist science course (such as Chemistry for Conservators run by IAP in London). This will strengthen their application.

Applicants are required to have sound colour vision, manual dexterity, logical thought and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to changing practical situations. Applicants should also appreciate the integrity of works of art and have a sensitivity of approach, along with a calm temperament and infinite patience.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

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Fees and Funding 2021/22 Entry

Full UK Fee: £14,700

Full EU Fee: £25,400

Full International Fee: £25,400



Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK, EU and International Scholarships scholarship, fees, and funding information.


ADDITIONAL COSTS

"MATERIALS This is a studio-based programme and we expect students to cover the acquisition of personal tools and learning materials over the course of the two years. We estimate these costs to be in the region of £250 to £300. PRINTING Students are likely to be producing printed work and as such, will incur additional printing costs. Again, this very much depends on an individual basis based on the type of project chosen by the student, but we approximate the additional printing cost to be £50."

Fees and Funding 2022/23 Entry

Full UK Fee: £15,900

Full EU Fee: £26,400

Full International Fee: £26,400

ADDITIONAL COSTS

"MATERIALS This is a studio-based programme and we expect students to cover the acquisition of personal tools and learning materials over the course of the two years. We estimate these costs to be in the region of £250 to £300. PRINTING Students are likely to be producing printed work and as such, will incur additional printing costs. Again, this very much depends on an individual basis based on the type of project chosen by the student, but we approximate the additional printing cost to be £50."

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* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7032 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 1 (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn via lectures, demonstrations and activity workshops, set readings and critical discussion groups. This 30-credit module provides a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, preventive, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. You will also develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice.

Using real artworks and authentically constructed artefacts, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that parallels actual practice. This framework also continues throughout the Programme albeit with a new set of interrelated topics.

In support of conservation practice you will have access to a number of science and preventive sessions. Preventive conservation and collection care sessions include important issues relating to storage, display, works of art in transit and environmental management.

More information

VA7033 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 2 (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn via lectures, demonstrations and activity workshops, set readings and critical discussion groups. This 30-credit module provides a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, preventive, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. You will also develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice.

Using real artworks and authentically constructed artefacts, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that parallels actual practice. This framework also continues throughout the Programme albeit with a new set of interrelated topics.

In support of conservation practice you will have access to a number of science and preventive sessions. Preventive conservation and collection care sessions include important issues relating to storage, display, works of art in transit and environmental management.

More information

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7016 -

Conservation Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities as reflective practitioners and critical scholars by examining and engaging with a topic broadly of relevance to the field. The module is designed to allow you flexibility of approach and outcome, reflecting the multi-disciplinary context of conservation and diversity of subject backgrounds with which each of you enters the programme. You will have access to a series of presentations on research skills which will enrich your methodological training for the undertaking of this module (see ‘How will I learn on this module’ for further details).

You will select the form of dissertation that best suits your own individual research and practice interests, choosing from:
1. A literature based research dissertation, requiring a synthesis, critical review, exploration and further development of an academic issue or professional topic - using existing academic and scholarly literature and, if relevant, the interpretation of primary or historic sources.
2. An applied research dissertation, requiring a technical or practice-led exploration of a problem centred enquiry, combined with scholarly review of relevant knowledge. The applied dissertation normally involves you in developing an evidence base and interpreting primary data, you may undertake practical experimentation or scientific analysis, or may use secondary analysis of existing data.

The dissertation enables you to show originality in researching a question which has to date been little explored. It also enables you to demonstrate project and time management skills in terms of completing a major project to deadline.

More information

VA7034 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 3 (Core,30 Credits)

This immersive and challenging 30-credit module continues to provide a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, historic, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. With increasing complexity you will further develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice. Science, an integral part in understanding the deterioration and behaviour of artist and conservation materials is supported throughout this module through labs and workshops, seminars or group tutorials. Students will have an opportunity to explore materials using a range of analytical methods commonly used in the assessment of historic artefacts.
A greater emphasis is also placed in this module on independent research, professional advocacy, project management skills and situating conservation in relation to current and emerging international/global practices and debates. Following on from the framework adopted in Year 1, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that mirrors actual practice.

More information

VA7035 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 4 (Core,30 Credits)

This immersive and challenging 30-credit module continues to provide a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, historic, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. With increasing complexity you will further develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice. Science, an integral part in understanding the deterioration and behaviour of artist and conservation materials is supported throughout this module through labs and workshops, seminars or group tutorials. Students will have an opportunity to explore materials using a range of analytical methods commonly used in the assessment of historic artefacts.
A greater emphasis is also placed in this module on independent research, professional advocacy, project management skills and situating conservation in relation to current and emerging international/global practices and debates. Following on from the framework adopted in Year 1 and in Semester 1 Year 2, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that mirrors actual practice.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7032 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 1 (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn via lectures, demonstrations and activity workshops, set readings and critical discussion groups. This 30-credit module provides a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, preventive, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. You will also develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice.

Using real artworks and authentically constructed artefacts, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that parallels actual practice. This framework also continues throughout the Programme albeit with a new set of interrelated topics.

In support of conservation practice you will have access to a number of science and preventive sessions. Preventive conservation and collection care sessions include important issues relating to storage, display, works of art in transit and environmental management.

More information

VA7033 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 2 (Core,30 Credits)

You will learn via lectures, demonstrations and activity workshops, set readings and critical discussion groups. This 30-credit module provides a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, preventive, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. You will also develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice.

Using real artworks and authentically constructed artefacts, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that parallels actual practice. This framework also continues throughout the Programme albeit with a new set of interrelated topics.

In support of conservation practice you will have access to a number of science and preventive sessions. Preventive conservation and collection care sessions include important issues relating to storage, display, works of art in transit and environmental management.

More information

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7016 -

Conservation Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities as reflective practitioners and critical scholars by examining and engaging with a topic broadly of relevance to the field. The module is designed to allow you flexibility of approach and outcome, reflecting the multi-disciplinary context of conservation and diversity of subject backgrounds with which each of you enters the programme. You will have access to a series of presentations on research skills which will enrich your methodological training for the undertaking of this module (see ‘How will I learn on this module’ for further details).

You will select the form of dissertation that best suits your own individual research and practice interests, choosing from:
1. A literature based research dissertation, requiring a synthesis, critical review, exploration and further development of an academic issue or professional topic - using existing academic and scholarly literature and, if relevant, the interpretation of primary or historic sources.
2. An applied research dissertation, requiring a technical or practice-led exploration of a problem centred enquiry, combined with scholarly review of relevant knowledge. The applied dissertation normally involves you in developing an evidence base and interpreting primary data, you may undertake practical experimentation or scientific analysis, or may use secondary analysis of existing data.

The dissertation enables you to show originality in researching a question which has to date been little explored. It also enables you to demonstrate project and time management skills in terms of completing a major project to deadline.

More information

VA7034 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 3 (Core,30 Credits)

This immersive and challenging 30-credit module continues to provide a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, historic, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. With increasing complexity you will further develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice. Science, an integral part in understanding the deterioration and behaviour of artist and conservation materials is supported throughout this module through labs and workshops, seminars or group tutorials. Students will have an opportunity to explore materials using a range of analytical methods commonly used in the assessment of historic artefacts.
A greater emphasis is also placed in this module on independent research, professional advocacy, project management skills and situating conservation in relation to current and emerging international/global practices and debates. Following on from the framework adopted in Year 1, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that mirrors actual practice.

More information

VA7035 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 4 (Core,30 Credits)

This immersive and challenging 30-credit module continues to provide a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, historic, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. With increasing complexity you will further develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice. Science, an integral part in understanding the deterioration and behaviour of artist and conservation materials is supported throughout this module through labs and workshops, seminars or group tutorials. Students will have an opportunity to explore materials using a range of analytical methods commonly used in the assessment of historic artefacts.
A greater emphasis is also placed in this module on independent research, professional advocacy, project management skills and situating conservation in relation to current and emerging international/global practices and debates. Following on from the framework adopted in Year 1 and in Semester 1 Year 2, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that mirrors actual practice.

More information

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints




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