• Application Deadline
  • 18 months
Cultural heritage is a valuable resource for sustainable development of the environment we live in. The Master of Conservation of Monuments and Sites is an advanced international and interdisciplinary study programme in the conservation and restoration of historic monuments and sites. A ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’ for built heritage preservation students.


The master of Conservation of Monuments and sites offers an intensive international and interdisciplinary collaboration, run by the RLICC (Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation). The RLICC has more than 40 years of experience in training, research and consulting in the field of the preservation of constructed heritage.

Programme outline

The Master in Conservation of Monuments and Sites is a three-semester research-based academic degree. You will acquire sufficient knowledge in all basic fields of conservation and restoration and specialised knowledge in conservation and restoration subjects. You will gain the necessary common language needed for interdisciplinary communication in a restoration or heritage management project. You will obtain this knowledge through a variety of lectures, site visits and project works.

  • During the first and second semester you are trained in a common theoretical and methodological framework. The theoretical knowledge is put into practice during various workshops and integrated projects dealing with the different aspects of conservation. You are taught in small groups in close contact with professors, renowned experts and foreign guest lecturers each covering a broad range of expertise.
  • The third semester consists mainly of the master’s thesis, i.e. individual research work in the field of conservation, supported by an ad hoc study programme. This semester concentrates on research training with seminars, including a thematic week (open to first and second year’s students), supporting the writing of the master’s thesis. It is completed with a professional internship, which aims to introduce students to the world of heritage practice.


  • You study in an international and interdisciplinary environment and have a global perspective led by international professors and professionals systematically participating in lecture series, studio juries and workshops.
  • You will master the necessary common language, critical perspective, research methodologies and practices used in conservation of monuments and sites as reflected in international guidelines, charters and literature. This will allow you to proceed towards a research career (PhD) or high level professional career in official organisations or as self-employed specialist.
  • You will have the opportunity to study at the KU Leuven, the most innovative university in Europe. Discover the unique historical city of Leuven that includes two World Heritage Sites within the city centre.
  • You will gain vital working experience across the globe thanks to our close relations with UNESCO, ICOMOS, EUROPA NOSTRA and other national and international organisations as well as through our vast alumni network. 


The master after master programme offered by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation aims at educating young professionals in the conservation and restoration of immovable heritage (buildings, structures and sites), both into the tradition of the discipline and into the new scientific methods.

  • Graduates of the MCMS have acquired and developed skills that allow for the necessary interdisciplinary research, communication and collaboration between the various disciplines involved in the restoration of architectural heritage as for example : archaeology, history, urbanism, architecture, engineering, human sciences, conservation and restoration sciences, .... 
  • They have learned to use relevant source material, to approach a problem in a scientific way, to understand the approaches and possibilities of other disciplines than their own, and they have developed the necessary common terminology, methodology and skills to carry out research and to prepare jointly restoration studies, projects, and long-term programs. 
  • They have learned to reflect critically about ongoing concepts and debates on heritage preservation. 
  • Based on the above they have acquired the necessary common language and they master with a critical attitude the research methodologies and practices used in conservation of monuments and sites, as reflected in international guidelines, charters and literature. 
  • They have obtained knowledge and experience (through project works) that strengthens them to be part of interdisciplinary research and to communicate in a restoration team.

Career perspectives

Graduates master the necessary common language, critical perspective, research methodologies and practices as are to be used in the conservation of monuments and sites by the international guidelines, charters and literature.  Employment options for graduates from the RLICC are numerous and widespread.

Alumni are currently working in cultural heritage institutes and organisations as well as independent professionals. They display highly appreciated professional experience in private architecture and restoration offices as well as in leadership and policymaking positions in regional, national and international conservation institutions such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and the Council of Europe. All levels of the heritage administration, be they regional, national or international, count RLICC alumni among their ranks.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

Theoretical and Methodological Frame

  • Conservation of Architectural Heritage: History, Theory and Practice
  • Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Development
  • Building Materials and Conservation Techniques
  • Conservation Policies
  • + Elective Courses

Project-based Education

  • Building Archaeology
  • Conservation of Urban Sites and Landscapes: History, Theory and Practice
  • Analysis, Registration and Documentation Techniques
  • Workshop
  • Integrated Project Work
  • Professional Internship

Research Training

  • Research Seminars
  • Master's Thesis


Applicants should be able to demonstrate real commitment to the conservation of cultural heritage in general. They should be willing to work in a team and to let ideas from their own backgrounds, training and cultural contexts be confronted with those of other students. 

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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General Requirements

Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file.


  • an initial master’s degree in a field related to built heritage or cultural resource management, such as architecture, design, (construction) engineering, archaeology, (art) history, urban planning or cultural studies
  • a five-year bachelor’s degree qualifying for a professional career as an architect or engineer
  • (a Master of Science degree in another relevant discipline)

Each application is judged individually by its merits being academic and/or based on professional experience. The Programme limits its yearly intake (1st year) to a maximum of 30 students.

For more information, please visit the homepage of the programme.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    6000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6000 EUR per year and a duration of 18 months.
  • EU/EEA

    6000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6000 EUR per year and a duration of 18 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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