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MA Conservation (Full-Time & Part-Time)

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  • Academic Title
    MA Conservation (Full-Time & Part-Time)
  • Course description

    Conservators help to preserve the world’s memory by caring for a wide range of works of art, artefacts and structures which have significance for the local, national and global community. Conservators are skilled professionals who undertake a wide range of activities including developing preservation strategies, undertaking interventive conservation (such as repair or chemical treatments) liaising with other museum professionals and being advocates for conservation to the wider community.

    Course Highlights

    This course has a successful track record of producing award winning students, such as Erica Kotze recently won the prestigious Pilgrim Trust Student Conservator of the Year Award for her MA Conservation project completed at Camberwell - The Conservation of a Thai Samut Khao Bhuddist Medical Manuscript.

    MA Conservation Staff

    The course is run by Subject Leader Mark Sandy, who is currently collaborating with the Horniman Museum on a research programme investigating the properties, deterioration, and conservation of Raphia palm leaf used in the fabrication of African artefacts. His team includes Corinne Hillman, whose major research area is the conservation of photographs and Eve Graves whose research interests include European medieval culture and imagery, museology and the history of museums and collecting. Visiting tutors include Leonard Hanson, who is Conservator at the Hulton-Getty Picture Library, Dr. Sandra Grantham, a conservator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, David Collins, A Member of the Society of Archivists who has worked in Sinai, Greece and Finland, and Eleni Katsiani, the Head of Conservation at the Royal College of Arms.

    The critic and curator Paul Tebbs, whose writing regularly appears in Sourse, Afterimage and Art Review leads the Postgraduate Professional Development unit.

    In 2003, the quality of postgraduate learning at Camberwell was officially recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency, the higher education standards authority. The spirit of challenge engendered by the college's postgraduate community and its capacity to incorporate both traditional and new technologies won special praise. The QAA found our teaching to be current, responsive to students' needs and informed by staff research and professional practice.


    The MA offers you the opportunity to focus on a self-managed programme of work, encompassing conservation practice, scientific research, museological investigation and art historical / bibliographical investigation. These subject areas are supported by specialist classes in studio and laboratory techniques. You are expected to be highly motivated and able to pursue a largely selfmanaged programme of study. You should be well grounded in relevant aspects of conservation and be able to define and debate your study proposals. Individual programmes are negotiated and supervised throughout the course in tutorials with specialist academic staff. Studies are complemented by lectures, seminars and workshops designed to help you develop wider contextual understanding, research skills and awareness of professional issues. MA Conservation is part of the postgraduate community at Camberwell and there are a number of ways in which the MA courses interact, most notably through research skills and career development. There is also a shared lecture programme, which draws upon the richness of research within the College and the University.

    Postgraduate Professional Development Programme

    Your MA at Camberwell includes the chance to improve your research and career development skills. You’ll have access to workshops in IT skills, individual and group tutorials for discussions on professional issues, and tutor-led seminars.

    Career Prospects

    Students from this course are widely recognised as being well-trained and prepared for employment. Recent graduates are now working at the British Library, the Wellcome Trust, the National Maritime Museum and Benaki Museum in Athens. Other graduates have attended internships with the Joint Archive Service in London, the Library of Congress in Washington and the New York Botanic Gardens and some are pursuing doctoral research with University of the Arts London.

    Entry Requirements

    Conservation/PG Dip in Conservation (which must include a substantial paper conservation component) 
    An understanding of basic chemistry
    Portfolio and/or slides of conservation work
    Project proposal
    International students must show proof of IELTS level 6.5 or above in English on enrolment
    Project Proposal
    Application for MA courses is by proposal. You’ll need to include with your application form a short proposal outlining your project, the research question it will address, its context, your methodology and the resources you would like to draw upon.Your project will need to be sustained to completion by a combination of independent study and tutorial advice. Studies are complemented by lectures, seminars and workshops designed to help you develop wider contextual understanding, research skills and awareness of professional issues.

    The Project Proposal should outline:
    Research Question - What are you proposing to discover or explore?
    Context - What work, both theoretical and practical, relates to your project?
    Methodology - What methods will you employ to research your project?
    Resources - What equipment, facilities and expertise will you require to carry out your research?

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