The practice of Preventive Conservation demands a thorough understanding of the care that is essential to maintaining the condition of an item or collection of movable cultural heritage in both the immediate and long term whether in storage, on display or in transit. The programme leading to an MA in Preventive Conservation is vocational/professional in character and designed to prepare students for practice as preventive conservators, environmental managers or managers of collections of movable cultural heritage in line with the highest standards consistent with the guidelines set out by the professional body in the United Kingdom in UKIC Guidance for Conservation Practice. Although all students follow one pathway through the programme there are many opportunities for students to reflect their interest in a specific type of material or collection. Graduates from the Preventive Conservation MA will have a sound foundation in support of professional accreditation with the new Institute of Conservation which was formed through the convergence of UKIC, IPC, the Photographic Materials Group, SSCR and agreed with the NCCR (now disbanded).
The programme places great emphasis on the development of a sound understanding of the criteria that underpin appropriate decision making within the working context of Preventive Conservation. It is delivered in a series of modules in which the majority of theoretical teaching takes place during the 1st semester, which is made up of modules in Preventive Conservation, Physics and Chemistry. The student's knowledge and skills are further developed and contextualised during a period of work based learning in the 2nd semester and drawn together in a final dissertation at MA level.
The Preventive Conservation MA has been designed to offer maximum flexibility to the student in terms of when, where and how they engage with the programme. It is offered in the following formats:
# One Year FT Campus
# One Year Full Time Distance Learning
# Two years Part Time Distance Learning
Preventive Conservation 1
During the first semester students will begin to develop the knowledge and skills needed to identify, develop and implement Preventive Conservation measures for items/collections of movable cultural heritage. This will include an understanding of the following:
# The technical history of a range of materials used in the creation of items/collections of movable cultural heritage including their appearance, structure, deterioration and stabilisation
# Examination techniques appropriate to the identification of both the materials and techniques used and also the underlying causes of deterioration
# Written and photographic documentation techniques appropriate to condition reporting
# Approaches to collections care including handling, packing, transportation, storage and display
# Environmental Management including condition surveys, monitoring and control systems for storage, display and transit as well as integrated pest control systems and emergency preparedness.
# Professional organisations and legislation that support and/or govern professional practice
# The influence of different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds on the creation of collections, possible changes in function and the potential impact on care.
# The often conflicting demands between care and security, interpretation and access
# The range of written and spoken communication skills required to communicate with colleagues in associated professions such as conservation scientists, curators and conservators.
The module is designed to introduce students to the physical principles which are relevant to the practice of preventive conservation, and to enhance the students' understanding and develop the skills associated with some of the instruments and techniques employed in preventive conservation.
Year 1 Modules
CV0700 Preventive Conservation (CORE, 30 Credits)
CV0701 Environmental Management (CORE, 10 Credits)
CV0702 Work Placed Learning 1 (CORE, 30 Credits)
CV0703 Work Placed Learning 2 (CORE, 30 Credits)
CV0704 Preventive Conservation Dissertation (CORE, 60 Credits)
EN0368 Physics for Fine Art Conservation (CORE, 10 Credits)
HC0279 An Introduction to The Chemistry of Artists Material (CORE, 10 Credits)
COURSEWORK AND ASSESSMENT
Module assessment will consist of continuous assessment, coursework assignments, tests, seminar presentations and a final dissertation. Assignments will include documentation reports, a collections care file, a materials & techniques research file, an environmental monitoring project. Formative and summative assessments are designed to evaluate developing knowledge and skills and support the students learning and progression.
Successful students will be expected to be able to fill the position of preventive conservation officer, environmental manager or collections manager in a museum, gallery, historic property or area museums service. The skills and knowledge developed during the programme would contribute towards the Professional Accreditation of successful graduates of the programme