Conservation of Wall Paintings at Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London - UCAS

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Course summary

Course overview The Courtauld is a leading centre in the world for education and research in wall painting conservation. The 3-year practical MA in Wall Painting Conservation will prepare you for a professional career. Wall painting conservation is an inclusive, interdisciplinary and global profession. Applicants usually have a BA or equivalent degree in the humanities or the natural sciences. The student body is international, with a yearly intake limited to 4, which makes the teacher-student ratio exceptionally high. The course leads to an exceptionally high degree of employment upon graduation. You will learn to evaluate the synergistic relationship between wall paintings, built heritage and the environment. Teaching at the Courtauld focuses on wall painting conservation through a rigorous ethical and scientific framework for the assessment of risk, and the impact of passive, preventive and remedial conservation. You will be able to scientifically analyse wall paintings, asses their condition, and test performance of interventions with reference to material science. The MA degree will prove you with extensive practical experience in various aspects of wall paintings conservation, and on completion of the MA degree you will be able to design, evaluate and carry out conservation treatments on wall paintings. Upon completion of the course you will have gained the digital and organisational skills to manage ambitious projects, both independently and in collaboration. The course will provide you with critical, and communication skills for diverse careers in conservation and beyond. By the end of the course of study you will be able to:

  • Design and implement a holistic programme of conservation of wall paintings with full awareness of ethical considerations, the professional context and values
  • Recommend preventive and passive measures that address the activation mechanisms of deterioration identified through environmental monitoring and scientific analysis
  • Examine and assess the original and added materials on wall paintings and their support and evaluate intervention implications
  • Carry out monitoring and maintenance programmes related to the assessment of wall paintings
  • Produce full written, graphic, scientific and photographic documentation

Assessment method

Both formal and informal mechanisms of assessment are used. Formal assessment comprises written examinations and practical oral examinations administered by a Board of Examiners. Informal, continuous assessment is carried out by the staff, and is based on didactic exercises—essays, seminars, revision questions, etc.—and supervision of practical work. Students must demonstrate competence in each of the subject areas in order to be advanced in the programme. At the end of the first and second years, students sit written examinations and viva voce examinations on all aspects of their performance. Final assessment at the end of the third year is based on the examination of the dissertation and the oral examination on all aspects of the student’s performance. For the final assessment of the MA, students receive a distinction, pass, or fail.

Entry requirements

UK qualifications: Students will normally have achieved a good 2.1 in a humanities or sciences Bachelor’s degree, considered to be an overall average 65% or above. Overseas qualification: Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above). Previous conservation experience is not required, though some understanding of the nature of wall painting conservation is desirable. Students must have normal colour vision.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

Information about loans, grants, and bursaries to support you during your studies at The Courtauld can be found here:

Conservation of Wall Paintings at Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London - UCAS