MSc Conservation and Management of Historic Buildings

Location

RAU Swindon

Duration

1 year (full time) or 2+ years (part time)

Academic Year

25 September 2023 to 24 May 2024

Buildings are a direct link to the past – to the people who built them, to the people that lived in them, and to economies and societies that produced them.

Course overview

Even the simplest structure encapsulates a huge body of evidence about the past. To protect and steward a building’s heritage requires an understanding of its nature, structure, historic context and significance, the ways in which the building can be legally protected and the conservation tools which are available for its repair and upkeep. It also requires an understanding of how a given structure can be managed for a sustainable future. This includes everything from schemes of interpretation and display, to how visitors can be managed to control potential damage through to how historic buildings can be retrofitted to make them environmentally friendly.

This blending of conservation and management skills lies at the heart of this course and reflects the integrative direction of travel of many historic building professions. 

This programme was developed in consultation with heritage building organisations and professionals. You will learn from a range of tutors who have considerable experience of working with historic buildings in both academia and the heritage sector. You will benefit from opportunities to work with heritage organisations and projects, and also gain practical conservation skills through optional short courses with our practical training associates.

Course content

We are currently finalising the information for courses offered for 2023 entry. Full details and programme specifications will be available in early 2023. The course has two main strands: The first focuses on the investigation and understanding of historic buildings: How they relate to the wider environment and historical context, understanding their structure, construction & history and how they might be recorded. There is a focus on understanding the value and significance of historic assets. The second looks at the conservation of buildings: The ethical issues surrounding building conservation, practical methods of building conservation and restoration, and how the built heritage can contribute to regeneration and the enhancement of public value.

The programme is delivered in Swindon where you will have access to the Historic England Archive and Library, the National Collections Centre and the Swindon Museums. Teaching is based around intensive day-long blocks supported by distance and self-directed learning; you can take the course full-time over one-year or part-time over two to six years, giving you flexibility around your working life.

You will complete four taught modules with varied assessments which take a pragmatic approach to building conservation and are designed with employment in mind. You will also produce either a dissertation focusing on a particular topic of interest to you or a professional product of comparable standard such as a detailed building study or building conservation management plan. For those in employment the professional product can be built around a negotiated work output.

Industry experience

This programme is designed to provide a broad based introduction to the rapidly changing discipline of historic building conservation. You will benefit from opportunities to work with heritage organisations and projects and also gain practical conservation skills through optional short courses with our practical training associates.

The modules available for this course are shown below. They may change for your year of study as we regularly review our module offerings to ensure they’re informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Modules

  • Conservation Planning
  • Understanding Historic Buildings and Landscapes
  • Practical Conservation, Regeneration and Place Shaping
  • Managing and Sustaining the Historical Environment
  • Dissertation

* Optional additions to the course will incur additional charges

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

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Careers and graduate destinations

Career prospects include:
  • Historic building surveyor (investigation, recording and analysis)
  • Local authority / heritage agency conservation officer
  • Historic building manager
  • Advisor on the interpretation and display of historic buildings
  • Project manager for the development, adaptive reuse and regeneration of historic buildings

"This course really highlighted the practical applications of the knowledge I already had, and linked me with some of the professional opportunities in the heritage sector."

Catherine Knowles, Student

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Entry requirements

An Undergraduate Honours Degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or overseas equivalent, or a professional qualification and/or experience considered to be equivalent to the above. For information on international qualifications, please, see our country specific pages. For countries not listed please contact admissions@rau.ac.uk.

First degree subject areas: Archaeology, Heritage, History, Land Management, Planning or Geography.

We welcome applications from applicants with non-standard qualifications who are able to demonstrate knowledge, experience and skills developed in the workplace or elsewhere and which are relevant to the programme of study. Applicants will need to use their personal statement to provide further details supported by a CV. All non-standard applications will be considered by the Programme Manager on a case-by-case basis and applicants can expect that an interview may be required as part of the admissions process.

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our English language requirements for the level of study. For postgraduate taught programmes this is IELTS Academic min. overall 6.5 with no element below 5.5 (or equivalent). English language tests usually have a validity of two years from the date the test is taken.

Offers will typically be made in line with the academic requirements set out above. Offers can be conditional or unconditional. An unconditional offer will be made to applicants who have already met the conditions and provided evidence that conditions have been met. Where academic or language requirements have not yet been fulfilled, applicants will receive a conditional offer stating the requirements that must be met. 

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Fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing module fees, or dissertation extensions).

2023-24 Applicants

For the academic year 2023-24 the tuition fees for this course are:  

  UK Overseas/EU
Full-time £9,950 per year £16,400 per year
Part-time Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage

Please note: International students can study on a part-time basis only if they are in the UK with a different type of visa (other than Student Visa/Tier 4 General) that allows them to undertake part-time study and their visa does not expire prior to the end date of the proposed course of study.

There are no additional fees for any activity conducted during the teaching days. Expenses (travel and admission) incurred during self-directed visits will however fall to the student – all activities are structured so they can be undertaken at any heritage location near to the student and either free or at minimum cost.

Please contact admissions@rau.ac.uk before you apply to confirm your eligibility.

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.

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Ready to take the plunge? Apply now for the FULL TIME course

Applications to study for postgraduate degrees need to be made directly through the University using the online application form via the website.

Alternatively, if you are unable access the online form you can call Admissions on 01285 889912, or email admissions@rau.ac.uk.

We recommend applicants keep a copy of the completed form for their records.

Application deadline:

EU and overseas applicants must submit their application the latest by 17 July
UK applicants should aim to submit their applications the latest by 24 August

Results deadline:

EU and overseas applicants will need to meet their conditions by 1 August.
UK applicants will need to meet their conditions by 31 August
If you are applying for a 2023 Chevening Scholarship you can submit your scholarship application prior to receiving a course offer. Further details can be found on the application timeline and eligibility criteria sections on the Chevening website.

Applicants will be notified via email once a decision has been made and decision letters will be emailed to you. If there is a deadline by which applicants must accept an offer of admission or pay a deposit, this will be stated in the offer letter.

Requests to defer the year of entry will be considered only when an applicant holds an Unconditional offer and need to be submitted in writing to the admissions team. We cannot guarantee that requests will be granted. Decisions on deferral requests are considered at the end of August. If the deferral request is granted applicants will receive a new offer letter with tuition fees which are applicable to their year of entry, at the opening of the next admissions cycle.

Apply now for the PART TIME course

Applications to study for postgraduate degrees need to be made directly through the University using the online application form via the website.

Alternatively, if you are unable access the online form you can call Admissions on 01285 889912, or email admissions@rau.ac.uk.

We recommend applicants keep a copy of the completed form for their records.

Application deadline:

EU and overseas applicants must submit their application the latest by 17 July
UK applicants should aim to submit their applications the latest by 24 August

Results deadline:

EU and overseas applicants will need to meet their conditions by 1 August.
UK applicants will need to meet their conditions by 31 August
If you are applying for a 2023 Chevening Scholarship you can submit your scholarship application prior to receiving a course offer. Further details can be found on the application timeline and eligibility criteria sections on the Chevening website.

Applicants will be notified via email once a decision has been made and decision letters will be emailed to you. If there is a deadline by which applicants must accept an offer of admission or pay a deposit, this will be stated in the offer letter.

Requests to defer the year of entry will be considered only when an applicant holds an Unconditional offer and need to be submitted in writing to the admissions team. We cannot guarantee that requests will be granted. Decisions on deferral requests are considered at the end of August. If the deferral request is granted applicants will receive a new offer letter with tuition fees which are applicable to their year of entry, at the opening of the next admissions cycle.