M.A. On Campus

Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP)

24 months
31500 GBP/year
14300 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP) MA programme offered by Durham University is a two-year course, which trains graduate students to be conservators of archaeological and museum objects. You will learn to research, analyse, clean, preserve and care for a wide range of artefacts and you will learn how to make decisions to help safeguard this material for the future.


Course Learning and Teaching

The Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP) MA programme offered by Durham University is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes as well as an industrial placement. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among conservators in that area. Practicals provide opportunities to develop and implement skills, based on the knowledge gained through lectures and through independent study outside the course's formal contact hours. Self-development learning packages allow participants to continue their learning in a structured way outside the practical sessions. The industrial placement forms a major part of the contact time in the programme for Professional Practitioners, allowing you to gain direct experience of practical and applied skills in Conservation. Industrial partners have included the Museum of London, the National Museum of Wales and the York Archaeological Trust. 

The balance of activities changes over the course as you develop your knowledge, skills and abilities as independent learners and practitioners. The course’s emphasis on taking learning from the classroom to real-life situations in Museums and conservation laboratories, prepares you well for work or further study once you have completed the course. All teaching is delivered by qualified conservators.

In the first two terms of the course, you will typically attend 4-5 hours a week of lectures, 6 hours of practical work including seminars, 3 hours of structured self-development learning and up to 9 hours of conservation skills working in the conservation laboratory. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake independent study to prepare for classes and broaden your subject knowledge. The Department also has an exciting programme of weekly research seminars and talks by visiting scholars, which you are strongly encouraged to attend.

The balance shifts in the third term, as you develop your hand skills and decision-making through supervised practical conservation work.  This 11-week module leads to the creation of a portfolio of work that includes projects and reflections.

In the final year, you will spend nine months working in a conservation lab. You will gain experience working with a wide range of materials and further develop your practical skills, within a real-life working environment. A focus is placed upon problem-solving and organisational and managerial skills, under the supervision of a professional conservator. 

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Conservation Theory
  • Conservation Skills
  • Artefact Studies
  • Care of Collections
  • Conservation Practice
  • Professional Practice

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months
  • Part-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines


360 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Upper Second Class

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

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Other requirements

General requirements

Subject requirements, level and grade

  • A good second class honours degree (typically 2:1 Honours) or international equivalent in any subject and a pass in Mathematics Grade 4 (or C) or above at GCSE level, or equivalent.
  • Applicants without a degree will be required to demonstrate sufficient academic capability to satisfactorily complete this degree. Chemistry requirements, one of the following: An 'AS' level in Chemistry or its equivalent, A degree that included a significant science component, e.g. Biology or Material Science, An A, B or C grade for Chemistry in a Scottish 'Higher' or similar high grade in the Irish 'Leaving Certificate' may also be acceptable, Completion of university level course units in Inorganic and Organic chemistry - this is particularly appropriate for students from North America, Completion of the 'Chemistry for Conservators' course. 
  • One satisfactory academic reference is required.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    31500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 31500 GBP per year during 24 months.
  • National

    14300 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 14300 GBP per year during 24 months.

Part Time Fees

  • EU students: £7,865 per year
  • Island students students: £17,325 per year

Living costs for Durham

660 - 1140 GBP /month
Living costs

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


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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Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP)
Durham University


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