Historic Building Conservation MSc
MSc Historic Building Conservation
Are you fascinated by the heritage of historic buildings and and the stories behind their structures? If that sounds like you, then this course is the perfect way to take your studies to the next level.
On our MSc Historic Building Conservation degree course, you'll explore why it's important to retain our heritage sites, the financial constraints and consequences of doing so, the methods available to restore them and the most effective ways to manage heritage buildings.
You'll learn professional, legal, management and administration skills, and we'll provide the expertise and support so you can develop your professional practice. Once you graduate, you'll have all the tools you need for a career in historic building conservation.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Get involved with some of our regional regeneration projects to test and develop your ideas
- Undertake studio-based design projects and engage with our other collaborative projects with academic institutions both in the UK and overseas in countries like Turkey, Spain and Australia
- Have the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ by working on real-life contracts through our Projects Office
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the world of historic conservation.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Careers and opportunities
On completing this course, you'll have the specialist skills to pursue a career within the architectural and planning professions. What's more, you’ll develop historical and technical knowledge, and understand research methodologies applicable to conservation.
The creative skills, professional competencies and expansive learning environment that we provide has also led our graduates to careers in marketing, advertising, journalism, virtual design and even modelling through to people-centred careers such as project management.
Alternatively, you can choose to continue your studies to PhD level.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- conservation work
- regeneration projects
- heritage management
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
The course is also professionally accredited and follows the education guidelines of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), UNESCO and Council of Europe requirements. It's recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) – the UK's leading body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment experts – and covers its areas of competence.
This course is also accredited by the globally-renowned Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and prepares architects and surveyors to accreditation standards (AABC and RICS Building Conservation Forum), facilitating work on English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund-funded projects.
Students can also apply for full IHBC membership after 2 years of professional experience, as opposed to 5 years.
- A good honours degree in a relevant subject such as Architecture, Civil Engineering, Building and Surveying, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £7,500
- Part-time: £2,500 in year 1 and £5,000 in year 2
- Full-time: £13,900
- Part-time: £4,630 in year 1 and £9,270 in year 2
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the cost of drawing equipment, model making, stationery, reprographic requirements and the production of a portfolio. This may be in the region of £100 - £300 each year. We support digital review of some project assessment work, to reduce costs.
If you choose to complete a project not supported by existing University resources, you may wish to purchase extra materials or software. These costs will depend on the nature of the project.
For optional study trips you will be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips to Europe will cost in the region of £300 - £500.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Conservation and practice
- Conservation: theories
- Research methods and research proposal
Optional units in this year include:
- Foreign exchange trip
- Work based learning
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- studio-based work
- independent study
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
You’ll get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- studio review of design work
- evidence based conservation design decisions and proposals
- research project
Admissions terms and conditionsWhen you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.