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The full time, distance learning MA Preventive Conservation course will immerse you in the world of preventive conservation and collections care by engaging you with the complexities and challenges of professional practice.

On completion of this one-year course you will possess the specialist knowledge and skills required to provide appropriate strategies for the care, storage, display, transit and environmental management of heritage collections.

During the course you will learn about the physical and chemical characteristics of materials commonly found in collections, preventive conservation policies and procedures, conservation-cleaning processes, environmental management strategies as well as the fundamental chemistry and physics underpinning professional practice. You will also undertake a placement that will allow you to contextualise the theory that you have learnt within professional practice. Personal research is encouraged throughout the course and you are provided with the opportunity to shape assignments in support of its development, which often leads to the focus of the final dissertation.

Northumbria University is the market lead in this fast growing area of conservation practice and provides teaching that is at the forefront of this exciting discipline.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full-time by distance learning
1 other options available

Department
Arts

Location
Burt Hall, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

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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 in a relevant subject such as art history, archaeology, fine art, chemistry, physics, engineering or computing, or substantial work experience in collections care.

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

Fees and Funding 2021/22 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,350

Full EU Fee: £7,350

Full International Fee: £7,350



Scholarships and Discounts

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


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you'd like to receive news and information from us in the future about the course or finance then please complete the below form

* 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

VA7017 -

Collections Care (Core,30 Credits)

The module will introduce you to the knowledge and skills required for the care and preventive conservation of collections of moveable cultural heritage. It is a bit like primary health care but for collections rather than people. You will learn about the materials used in the creation of items/collections of movable cultural heritage and their physical and chemical characteristics. You will learn how they deteriorate and what you can do to minimise that happening in storage, display and transit. You will learn about processes, such as paper making, and procedures, such as un-framing and re-framing a work of art. You will learn about conservation strategies such as examination and documentation, storage, display and transit and policies such as surveys, benchmarking and emergency preparedness. You will learn about the demands and responsibilities of professional practice and how these issues are affected/influenced by ethical and legislative policies of Government and non-government agencies. You will develop the critical judgment, reflective practice and communication skills appropriate to plan, develop, implement and manage strategies in professional working practice. This module introduces you to research methods that you will draw upon in the development of your assignments and personal research. You will also start the development of your personal research in this module. Your knowledge and understanding will be further developed in subsequent modules. You will also learn to conduct research at post graduate level and the skills to become a strong independent learner

More information

VA7018 -

Conservation Science (Core,30 Credits)

As a Preventive Conservator you will be responsible for minimising the deterioration of artefacts in your care. In order to do so with confidence and competence you need to understand the physical and chemical characteristics of the materials from which the artefacts have been made as well as the factors that can impact on their condition.
You will be introduced to the changes that can occur over time in different materials found in museum collections. These will include paper, paintings, metals, wood, leather, ceramics, natural history specimens, wood and textiles. You will be shown images of the material in good condition followed by images of the characteristic types of degradation that can occur. A description of the physical changes that have taken place will be provided alongside the factors that have contributed to the change. The science will be used to explain the chemical changes that have taken place resulting in the degradation characteristics.
The factors that contribute to changes in materials will be considered including: those inherent to the materials, the impact of ancillary materials, relative humidity and temperature, the quality and quantity of light, insects, atmospheric pollutants, climate change, seismic activity and fire. In addition, you will be introduced to approaches to environmental management, mitigation and monitoring that can reduce the impact of environmental factors on materials including: risk assessment, museum design, display, storage, transit, integrated pest management and emergency preparedness, response and recovery as well as approaches to data collection and interpretation,
What you will learn during this module will be challenging, exciting and fundamental to your future professional practice.

More information

VA7019 -

Conservation Cleaning (Core,30 Credits)

On this module you will learn the appropriate approaches to cleaning the types of materials commonly found in museums and galleries. You will learn to consider the characteristics of the materials, their condition as well as their vulnerability when selecting cleaning materials and techniques appropriate for conservation cleaning. You will learn about historic approaches to cleaning as well as modern cleaning products and their potential contribution to the cleaning process. In this module we consider what constitutes dirt as well as the other products that are found as surface deposits. In some instances it is a corrosion product, which is sometimes valued and retained, as with bronze and at other times not valued and removed, as with silver tarnish. You will learn about what you are removing and whether it should be removed or retained. Decisions regarding what to remove and what to retain can be linked to the function and value of the piece in the collection as well as an aesthetic sense of beauty, such as the patina of a wood or the gleam of pewter. Cleaning is a challenging subject not least because many people feel that they already know how to do it. Consequently in order to develop an appropriate approach we often need to un-learn as well as learn. This module presents cleaning in a very new light that requires you to re-consider what you think you know about cleaning and guides you to understand how it should be carried out in museum collections.

More information

VA7020 -

Work Placed Learning (Core,30 Credits)

During this module you will have an invaluable work placed learning experience in professional practice in which you can apply and further develop the theory that you have learnt in previous modules with regard to the care and preventive conservation of collections of moveable cultural heritage. The placement is for four days a week over a six week period during which you undertake the roles and responsibilities of a member of staff. As a result you will learn about the day-to-day operation of the institution, its administration and management, the respective roles and responsibilities of staff members and the scope and pace of the work involved. You will be involved with whatever is happening during that period whether it is installing or de-installing an exhibition, condition reporting and packing for transit, housekeeping, conservation cleaning, documentation, surveys, risk assessment, integrated pest management, writing reports, developing an emergency preparedness plan or attending staff training sessions or meetings. The learning materials from the previous modules will be available throughout the placement should you wish to consult them. It is your responsibility to secure the placement in advance of semester two and negotiate the placement assignment topic with the institution of your choice, both of which need to be approved by the programme leader to ensure that we are able to support your learning appropriately. Past students have often chosen an institution and placement topic that can contribute to the development of their personal research from which the dissertation may develop.

More information

VA7021 -

Preventive Conservation Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

The Preventive Conservation Dissertation allows you to demonstrate original research with the potential to contribute to professional practice, prepare for publication and enhance employability. You will learn how to define your broad research area, which should be engaging and meaningful to you since it will be your strong, personal engagements through research projects that will drive your professional practice forward and help you to deliver dynamic and relevant outcomes. You will learn how to conduct and manage a literature search in order to identify what is already in the public domain in your area of interest. This will help develop the critical focus for your research and identify research questions. You will learn how to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in order to generate the primary date that will make your research unique. You will learn about ethical standards within professional practice and across the University. Where appropriate you will learn how to draw upon your experience of professional practice alongside academic citations. You will learn to frame and present your research in a powerful and persuasive dialogue that underpins your findings and outcomes. You will present your work within a 15,000 word dissertation in a clear, logical manner with appropriate referencing that also enables you to demonstrate project and time management skills in terms of completing a major project to deadline. The Dissertation will further refine your skills as a critical thinker, reflective practitioner and independent learner and provide you with a framework for continuing personal and professional development.

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

VA7017 -

Collections Care (Core,30 Credits)

The module will introduce you to the knowledge and skills required for the care and preventive conservation of collections of moveable cultural heritage. It is a bit like primary health care but for collections rather than people. You will learn about the materials used in the creation of items/collections of movable cultural heritage and their physical and chemical characteristics. You will learn how they deteriorate and what you can do to minimise that happening in storage, display and transit. You will learn about processes, such as paper making, and procedures, such as un-framing and re-framing a work of art. You will learn about conservation strategies such as examination and documentation, storage, display and transit and policies such as surveys, benchmarking and emergency preparedness. You will learn about the demands and responsibilities of professional practice and how these issues are affected/influenced by ethical and legislative policies of Government and non-government agencies. You will develop the critical judgment, reflective practice and communication skills appropriate to plan, develop, implement and manage strategies in professional working practice. This module introduces you to research methods that you will draw upon in the development of your assignments and personal research. You will also start the development of your personal research in this module. Your knowledge and understanding will be further developed in subsequent modules. You will also learn to conduct research at post graduate level and the skills to become a strong independent learner

More information

VA7018 -

Conservation Science (Core,30 Credits)

As a Preventive Conservator you will be responsible for minimising the deterioration of artefacts in your care. In order to do so with confidence and competence you need to understand the physical and chemical characteristics of the materials from which the artefacts have been made as well as the factors that can impact on their condition.
You will be introduced to the changes that can occur over time in different materials found in museum collections. These will include paper, paintings, metals, wood, leather, ceramics, natural history specimens, wood and textiles. You will be shown images of the material in good condition followed by images of the characteristic types of degradation that can occur. A description of the physical changes that have taken place will be provided alongside the factors that have contributed to the change. The science will be used to explain the chemical changes that have taken place resulting in the degradation characteristics.
The factors that contribute to changes in materials will be considered including: those inherent to the materials, the impact of ancillary materials, relative humidity and temperature, the quality and quantity of light, insects, atmospheric pollutants, climate change, seismic activity and fire. In addition, you will be introduced to approaches to environmental management, mitigation and monitoring that can reduce the impact of environmental factors on materials including: risk assessment, museum design, display, storage, transit, integrated pest management and emergency preparedness, response and recovery as well as approaches to data collection and interpretation,
What you will learn during this module will be challenging, exciting and fundamental to your future professional practice.

More information

VA7019 -

Conservation Cleaning (Core,30 Credits)

On this module you will learn the appropriate approaches to cleaning the types of materials commonly found in museums and galleries. You will learn to consider the characteristics of the materials, their condition as well as their vulnerability when selecting cleaning materials and techniques appropriate for conservation cleaning. You will learn about historic approaches to cleaning as well as modern cleaning products and their potential contribution to the cleaning process. In this module we consider what constitutes dirt as well as the other products that are found as surface deposits. In some instances it is a corrosion product, which is sometimes valued and retained, as with bronze and at other times not valued and removed, as with silver tarnish. You will learn about what you are removing and whether it should be removed or retained. Decisions regarding what to remove and what to retain can be linked to the function and value of the piece in the collection as well as an aesthetic sense of beauty, such as the patina of a wood or the gleam of pewter. Cleaning is a challenging subject not least because many people feel that they already know how to do it. Consequently in order to develop an appropriate approach we often need to un-learn as well as learn. This module presents cleaning in a very new light that requires you to re-consider what you think you know about cleaning and guides you to understand how it should be carried out in museum collections.

More information

VA7020 -

Work Placed Learning (Core,30 Credits)

During this module you will have an invaluable work placed learning experience in professional practice in which you can apply and further develop the theory that you have learnt in previous modules with regard to the care and preventive conservation of collections of moveable cultural heritage. The placement is for four days a week over a six week period during which you undertake the roles and responsibilities of a member of staff. As a result you will learn about the day-to-day operation of the institution, its administration and management, the respective roles and responsibilities of staff members and the scope and pace of the work involved. You will be involved with whatever is happening during that period whether it is installing or de-installing an exhibition, condition reporting and packing for transit, housekeeping, conservation cleaning, documentation, surveys, risk assessment, integrated pest management, writing reports, developing an emergency preparedness plan or attending staff training sessions or meetings. The learning materials from the previous modules will be available throughout the placement should you wish to consult them. It is your responsibility to secure the placement in advance of semester two and negotiate the placement assignment topic with the institution of your choice, both of which need to be approved by the programme leader to ensure that we are able to support your learning appropriately. Past students have often chosen an institution and placement topic that can contribute to the development of their personal research from which the dissertation may develop.

More information

VA7021 -

Preventive Conservation Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

The Preventive Conservation Dissertation allows you to demonstrate original research with the potential to contribute to professional practice, prepare for publication and enhance employability. You will learn how to define your broad research area, which should be engaging and meaningful to you since it will be your strong, personal engagements through research projects that will drive your professional practice forward and help you to deliver dynamic and relevant outcomes. You will learn how to conduct and manage a literature search in order to identify what is already in the public domain in your area of interest. This will help develop the critical focus for your research and identify research questions. You will learn how to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in order to generate the primary date that will make your research unique. You will learn about ethical standards within professional practice and across the University. Where appropriate you will learn how to draw upon your experience of professional practice alongside academic citations. You will learn to frame and present your research in a powerful and persuasive dialogue that underpins your findings and outcomes. You will present your work within a 15,000 word dissertation in a clear, logical manner with appropriate referencing that also enables you to demonstrate project and time management skills in terms of completing a major project to deadline. The Dissertation will further refine your skills as a critical thinker, reflective practitioner and independent learner and provide you with a framework for continuing personal and professional development.

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

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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