MA Conservation

MA Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts is a two year course with over 40 years experience in teaching specialist skills and knowledge, and prepares our students for work in specific fields of the conservation world. The course offers two pathways that our students choose to specialise in; Art on Paper and Books and Archival Materials.


Course Director

Jocelyn Cuming

Course Location

Camberwell College of Arts, Peckham Road

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length2 years (60 weeks)
Home/EU Fee

£12,800 (2016/17 fees).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.


International Fee

£27,730 (2016/17 fees).

Course fees may be paid in instalments.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.


Start DateSeptember 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January - Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April - Friday 22 June 2018
Application DeadlineHome / EU - Monday 31 July 2017.
International - No deadline, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.

Content and structure

Content: what students can expect

  • A course that consists of practical studio work where students are introduced to conservation ideas and techniques through taught classes
  • To learn about the science of materials and how they react under different conditions, providing students with an understanding of conservation treatments and a background to preservation management
  • To learn about visual examination and condition documentation, mechanical surface cleaning, humidification and washing, de-acidification and resizing
  • Our Art on Paper pathway to include specialist classes on fixatives and consolidants, pressure sensitive tape removal, sensitive media, parchment, iron gall inks, and an introduction to photographic conservation
  • Our Books and Archival Materials pathway to cover the broad international and historical spectrum of bookbinding and book structures with an emphasis put on acquiring an understanding of bookbinding history
  • During the second year both pathways focus on detailed conservation techniques, and students finish the course by working on a project with one of the many cultural institutions within London


The first part of the course is a shared introductory unit, which brings together the students from across the two pathways. Each student will then focus on one of the individual pathways.

Art on Paper

This pathway focuses on conservation and preservation management of images executed on paper covering a wide range of materials including prints, drawings and watercolours with an emphasis on both conservation practice and theory.

Books and Archival Materials

This pathway focuses on learning structures of different historical styles of books, covering the broad international and historical spectrum of bookbinding and book structures.

Work Experience and Opportunities

Our MA Conservation students benefit from the College’s strong connections to London’s heritage community, which includes The British Library, Kew Gardens, London Museum, London Metropolitan Archives, The National Maritime Museum, Tate, the V & A Museum, The Wellcome Trust and many more.


Jocelyn Cuming - Course Director

Jocelyn Cuming has extensive experience as a book and preventive conservator. Prior to working at Camberwell, Cuming worked in New Zealand where she set up the National Preservation Office, and as a private book conservator in Rome. More recently, Cuming's worked for the Islamic Museum of Art in Qatar. 


  • Tristram Bainbridge
  • Alan Buchanan
  • Christopher Clarkson
  • Vincent Daniels
  • Eleni Katsiani
  • Joanna Kosek
  • Professor Nicholas Pickwoad - Head of Ligatus
  • Sonja Schwoll
  • Piers Townsend
  • Abigail Uhteg


Our MA Conservation graduates progress into a range of career paths within the heritage industry including museum education, curating, exhibition design, tourism, museum studies as well as taking on roles as Conservation professionals.


  • Rosie-Faye Fletcher - Paper conservator at the Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
  • Carol Peacock - Conservator of Chinese paintings at the British Museum, London

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent academic qualification
  • Professional qualifications recognised as equivalent to a BA (Hons) degree
  • Professional experience or experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to the qualifications required
  • A combination of qualifications and experiential learning, which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to the qualifications required
  • Applicants should ideally have experience of working or volunteering in a conservation setting
  • Although a portfolio is not a requirement for this course, we recommend applicants demonstrate their intricate handcraft skills or work related to conservation at the interview stage
  • IELTS level 6.5 or above if English isn’t their first language, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English Language requirements)


Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

How to apply

Online application for 2017 entry will open in November 2016.

Home / EU deadline is Monday 31 July 2017.

There is no deadline for international applications, but students are advised to apply as early as possible.

You can apply for this course using our online application form. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two referees).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

This should be no more than 500 words, outlining your previous experience and reasons for wanting to study MA Conservation.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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