The MSc in Architectural Conservation is a taught course aimed at professionals and academics world-wide with an interest in architectural heritage including architects, engineers, archaeologists, art historians, geographers and surveyors.
I found it very easy to adapt as the professors and lecturers were very helpful.
A first or 2.1 in architecture or a related discipline (eg, engineering, surveying, planning, geography, archaeology, art history, heritage management). Applicants may be required to attend an interview or to submit a portfolio showing aptitude for the subject and appropriate ability.
Applicants who are unable to attend an interview will be asked to send a portfolio or sample of their written work.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
The MSc is composed of four taught modules (two modules per term full-time, one module per term part-time) and a dissertation on the topic of your own choice.
The programme has a varied curriculum which reflects the multidisciplinary nature of conservation. The autumn term cultivates a critical understanding of historic buildings and provides an introduction to conservation philosophy and policy. The acquisition of a strong theoretical background is the basis for the study of practical techniques for the survey and preservation of architectural heritage.
Case studies and workshops carried out in collaboration with Canterbury Cathedral introduce you to the properties of historic building materials and the techniques employed in the repair of historic buildings. This aspect of the programme benefits from cutting-edge survey equipment and the use of conservation laboratories. A conservation project offers you the opportunity to design an intervention to an existing historic site in the historic centre of Canterbury. The dissertation that concludes the programme invites you to study an aspect of the conservation cycle of your choice, employing a high standard of scholarship.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme.This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
This module explores the structural behaviour of buildings, and examines their response to environmental phenomena. It helps the students to analyse the causes and patterns of damage in a wide range of structures and cultivates a critical understanding of the techniques employed in the repair and strengthening of historic buildings. A combination of lectures and laboratory analysis will help the students to develop an advanced understanding of the properties of building materials and their decay. The module will include lectures on materials such as stone, brick, mortar, timber, iron and concrete. Three of these lectures will be delivered by the conservators of Canterbury cathedral at the Cathedral's conservation workshop. This will constitute an opportunity to observe the methods employed in the conservation of Canterbury cathedral, examining the practical application of a wide range of preservation techniques. The course’s assignment, a structural report on a historic structure in Kent will provide students with an opportunity to test the skills and knowledge gained in the lectures, articulating their findings using the relevant presentation skills.
This module explores the policies and legislation that guide the preservation of historic sites, and the modern administrative framework of conservation. Focusing on the UK heritage protection and planning systems, the module's lectures and seminars will examine various kinds of statutory designation. The aim is to provide a thorough examination of the notions of the listed building, the scheduled archaeological site, the conservation area and the registered landscape. Particular emphasis will be put on the role of conservation in the National Planning Policy Framework and on the mechanisms through which the development of historic sites is authorised. This will involve an investigation of the challenges associated with planning permissions, and listed building consent. The module will offer the opportunity to explore the systems through which conservation is financed and managed. Guest speakers will introduce the students to the available grants that assist building conservation and area regeneration. The module will also familiarise the students with procurement strategies, as well as with conservation contracts, methods of valuation, and cost planning.
This module explores the various methods of promoting beneficial change to historic buildings. A conservation project that will be supervised on a weekly basis offers the opportunity to design an intervention to a historic site. The project will not only focus on one historic building but it will offer the opportunity to investigate the role of conservation in the broader urban environment. In parallel to this project, a series of lectures will investigate various stages in the delivery of conservation projects, examining the methods of survey, appraisal, repair, strengthening, adaption, extension, and monitoring of historic buildings and surrounding urban spaces. One of these lectures will be delivered at Canterbury Cathedral, and will give students the opportunity to observe the ongoing conservation of the monument guided by one of its chief conservators. During the course, special emphasis will be put on issues related with the preservation and management of historic cities. Encouraging the students to experiment with all the phases of a conservation project, this module provides a synthesis of theory and practice, and promotes the development of a holistic approach to architectural conservation.
This module introduces the students to the research in architectural history and to the study of conservation philosophy that underpins past and present attitudes to architectural heritage.
The introductory lectures will provide an opportunity to investigate the development of architectural form from Antiquity to the 20th century, focusing on the European traditions. They will also introduce the students to the various approaches to the research and documentation of historic buildings. Cultivating a multifaceted understanding of architectural heritage while offering access to the relevant research methodologies, the module provides the expertise necessary to evaluate historic buildings and to decide what should and could be conserved and why. As well as an introduction to architectural history, lectures and seminars will investigate the field of conservation philosophy. This part of the module will examine the evolution of the attitudes to architectural heritage from the 19th to the 21st century. Special emphasis will be put on the theoretical problems of maintenance, restoration, and the way in which 20th-century international charters addressed these problems. Examining a wide range of case-studies, the module will also investigate various theoretical approaches to the adaptation of new buildings to the historic environment.
The dissertation will be a conservation project including fieldwork and scholarly research. It will be based on an existing historic building that will be visited during the Summer Term. Students will work in one or more groups, but each one will be asked to specify the nature of her/his contribution to the team's work from the outset. Each student will focus on one or more areas that reflect her/his background and interests. What follows is an indicative list of the areas that may be chosen and the corresponding 'dissertation product' (in parentheses):
- Historical Research and Documentation (Survey)
- Graphic Recording and Structural Survey (Structural Report)
- Analysis and Testing of Building Materials (Structural Report)
- Conservation Theory Issues (Theoretical dissertation)
- Preparation of a Conservation Plan (Theoretical dissertation)
- Repair and Structural Intervention (Conservation Project)
- Reflection on a bid for the funding of a conservation project (Theoretical dissertation)
Assessment is mostly through coursework, with essays, reports, projects and the dissertation.
The programme aims to:
You gain the ability to:
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
You gain the following transferable skills:
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com
As part of the module AR84 - Intervention, students on the course will need to visit the project site at least two times. Travel expenses will be approximately £70.00 per student for two site visits.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
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In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Architecture and Planning was ranked 8th for research intensity and 8th for research output in the UK.
An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 88% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international quality.
KSAP incorporates the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte), which focuses on research in architectural humanities and design, the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE), which promotes research in the field of sustainable architecture, and the new Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), which researches the use of digital technologies in architecture and the built environment.
The Centre provides a focus for research in architecture in the European context. Its emphasis is on the role and contribution of humanities to architecture and urban design in the context of urban and regional regeneration, nationally and internationally.
CREAte provides a platform for evening lectures by contemporary architects and scholars; hosting debates and events that are at the heart of architectural agenda of today.
The Centre builds upon its staff specialisms, interests and skills in the following areas: regional studies, contemporary architectural and urban theory and design, architectural history and theory (ranging from antiquity to contemporary European cities), sustainability, European topographies (landscape, urban, suburban and metropolitan) etc. Staff participate in the activities of AHRA – Architecture Humanities Research Association and are internationally published authors.
The Centre promotes research in the field of sustainable environment regionally, nationally and internationally.
Its research focus encompasses different aspects and scales of the sustainable built environment from the individual building to the urban block, promoting the wider environmental agenda and keeping the School at the forefront of research and development in the field. CASE also pursues research into the historical and cultural dimension of environmental design to foster links between the sciences, arts and humanities. There is a strong interest in understanding the environmental behaviour of historic buildings and the strategies originally deployed to manage the internal environment.
The Centre has already secured funding from various sources. This includes three EPSRC projects on climate change weather data for a sustainable built environment, sustainability of airport terminal buildings and design interventions in the public realm for affecting human behaviour, and two TSB-funded projects on Building Performance Evaluation. CASE is also involved with the recent EPSRC large-scale network on Digital Economy Communities and Culture.
The Centre is the newest research centre at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) in the application of digital technology in architecture. The focus of the Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC) will be the creative use of digital technologies to enhance design and fabrication possibilities for architecture and the built environment.
The centre will have three streams headed by members: 1) Generative design and computational creativity, 2) Digital fabrication and robotics and 3) Digital visualisation and mixed reality.
DARC will promote an innovative interdisciplinary research environment exploring intersections between architecture and digital technologies, to open up and expand the schools research agenda and funding possibilities. The new research centre will promote a fundamental shift in architecture and design thinking to develop design methods for the utilisation of computational technologies in architectural design, fabrication and assembly.
The centre is a new interdisciplinary direction for KSAP, founded on members' expertise and international research profiles to open up new avenues of research activity. The centre draws on university-wide contacts and expertise, and attracts additional expertise, knowledge and research in the field of digital architecture through existing and future collaborations, adding to its high quality research output, and looks to enhance the faculty's Digital Humanities theme, principally in the areas of Digital Creative Arts and Digital Heritage.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Twentieth-century architectural history and theory, in particular in Great Britain and Germany; Heinrich Tessenow; architecture in its wider cultural and philosophical contexts; the place of the ruin in the modern architectural imagination.View Profile
Nineteenth and early-20th century English architecture and, in particular, the work of A W N Pugin.View Profile
Contemporary architectural and urban theory, in particular philosophy and its relation to architecture; perspective and its relation to architecture and the city; representation, conceptual art and the relationship between the arts and architecture; regeneration, public spaces and sustainable urban design; urban landscapes, cities and water.View Profile
Secular architecture, particularly domestic, ranging from Early-Modern European palaces with emphasis on connections between Italy, France and Britain in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, to post-war social housing estates; relations between European Modernism and traditional Japanese architecture; conservation of historic buildings, particularly 17th-century construction techniques in Rome.View Profile
Development of construction technology and the design aspect of city making, with specific focus on the European traditions; urban development in Early Modern Rome and the ways in which specific building projects of the 16th and the 17th centuries conditioned urban renewal.View Profile
Our Master’s programmes have been devised to enhance your prospects in a competitive world. Professionals in the architectural, planning, environmental design and conservation fields who develop higher-level skills, accredited by relevant bodies, will find themselves well-placed to progress in their field. Our students have gone on to work for major public agencies and universities, as well as leading practitioners in the private sector.
The School of Architecture and Planning studios include a dedicated computing suite with a range of environmental construction software, and a digital crit studio. There is a fully equipped architectural model-making workshop for constructing models and large-scale prototypes.
The School has excellent contacts with businesses and culture in the local area, including regional organisations such as Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Kent County Council, European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE). The Sustainable Communities Plan is particularly strong in south-east England, making the region the ideal place in which to debate innovative solutions to architectural issues.
Kent also has excellent links with schools of architecture in Lille, Rome, Istanbul, Tokyo, and, in the USA, Virginia.
Academic study is complemented by a mentoring scheme organised in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and involving students in events with local practices.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Architectural Research Quarterly; The Architectural Review; Building and Environment; The Journal of Architecture; and The World of Interiors.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.