MSc Conservation of Buildings defines and explores the concepts and practicalities of conservation, restoration and preservation including the suitability of repairing, maintaining, servicing, adaptation and strategic management of heritage buildings. It also considers historic construction and repair techniques and the decisions we need to make today to ensure the appropriate longevity of our built heritage. Conservation philosophy, legislative framework, scientific understanding, and awareness of the importance of regional vernacular styles and materials are all at the heart of this course.

The course is small and highly specialised. All students are taught together to enable new students to take advantage of the experience of more advanced students. We have strong links with conservationists in local authorities (including Essex County Council), conservation trusts and English Heritage, together with several EU universities. Career paths include specialist heritage or building conservation consultancy, local authority conservation officer and specialist statutory (building) control posts, historic building and heritage asset management careers. Fully recognised by the IHBC and with RICS and RTPI recognition under application.

The aims of this course are to:

  • Develop your vision and understanding of what is required when undertaking the conservation of buildings.
  • Equip you with specialist conservation knowledge.
  • Provide study that will foster, inspire and enhance your technical, personal and inter-personal skills.
  • Develop your leadership skills, ability to evaluate challenging situations and produce solutions to problems.

Additional course information

You will absorb the academic, philosophical and technical aspects of building conservation, together with the underlying legislative and economic background, designed to produce competent consultants, advisors and practitioners.
Staff will have enhanced knowledge and skills of up-to-date building conservation practice, heritage management, academic awareness, and strength in networking.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15
Tuition fee

Fees will be linked, pro rata, to the full-time fee rate, based on the number of credits studied per year.

Not specified
Start date , December 2016
Duration full-time 36 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time

Course Content

Core modules

  • Conservation and Legislation of Heritage Buildings (30 credits)
  • The Science and Economics of Historic Buildings (30 credits)
  • Facilities Management of Heritage Buildings (15 credits)
  • Research Design and Methodology (15 credits)
  • Surveying the Historic Building (30 credits)
  • Major Project / Dissertation (60 credits)

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand how conservation is affected by historical, political, social, economic, legal and technical processes.
  • Be able to contribute to the formulation of conservation policies and their implementation, with an awareness of intended and unintended results of such policies and procedures.
  • Contribute to the effective running of an organisation concerned with conservation.
  • Apply local and general principles to the practical requirements of particular communities, their historical heritage and environment.
  • Compare conservation policies of various European countries with that of your own.
  • Forge links with conservation schemes at United Kingdom and overseas based Institutions.

English Language Requirements

TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


The ideal route is for built environment graduates with the preferred degree classification being a 2:1. Non-cognate graduates or experiential applicants can be considered if they can demonstrate practical experience or professional interest in conservation. Applicants may be invited for interview.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

More Information

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