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Would you like to apply your arts or applied sciences background to the conservation of fine art?

Northumbria University’s MA Conservation of Fine Art course is the only Master of Arts course in the UK that specialises in the conservation of easel painting and works of art on paper.

Integrating a mix of fine art, science and forensic techniques, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, -preventive conservation and research training skills.

In addition to the core modules studied, you will have the option to undertake a work  placement during years one and two in the UK or abroad. 

Would you like to apply your arts or applied sciences background to the conservation of fine art?

Northumbria University’s MA Conservation of Fine Art course is the only Master of Arts course in the UK that specialises in the conservation of easel painting and works of art on paper.

Integrating a mix of fine art, science and forensic techniques, you will study a range of subjects including studio and work-based practice, conservation theory, science, technical examination, -preventive conservation and research training skills.

In addition to the core modules studied, you will have the option to undertake a work  placement during years one and two in the UK or abroad. 

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
2 years full-time

Department
Arts

Location
Burt Hall, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Offering the opportunity for you to specialise in either works of art on paper or easel paintings conservation, this course consists of modules that will explore a range of key areas including conservation theory and practice, conservation science, art history and preventive conservation.

You will leave with the technical skills required to undertake examinations, cleaning, structural repairs and stabilisation of works of art, in addition to an in-depth understanding of the historic significance artistic practice and materials play-in understanding artworks.

Significant emphasis is also placed on ethics and developing your skills in research development.

This course is primarily delivered through practical workshops where you will develop a wide range of skills using especially prepared materials and case studies selected from our unique archive collection. These activities inform and run parallel with work conducted on project paintings and other challenging artefacts.

Assessment methods focus on you applying your practical skills, academic concepts and theories to your project documentation and the authentically constructed materials that mirror real life scenarios. You will also undertake a dissertation to further demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of this subject.

Module Pathways

This course offers two distinct pathways: Works of Art on Paper and Easel Painting. The remainder of your programme is designed to reflect your choice of specialism.

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

This course is taught by a team of specialist academics who have extensive experience in the field of conservation, science and the Fine Art sectors.

Applying their specialist knowledge to their day-to-day teaching, the members of our staff are actively involved in research and consultancy - activities which are helping to define this exciting  and complex profession.

We also engage with the wider conservation sector to ensure that the content of this course is in-line with professional standards and employer expectations.

Throughout the duration of this course you will receive ongoing support from our teaching staff to ensure you leave equipped with - the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully pursue a career within conservation or a related discipline.

Teaching Staff

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

When studying the MA Conservation of Fine Art course you will be housed in a Grade II listed building in the heart of Newcastle city centre. You will be able to utilise techniques such as x-ray, infra-red reflectography, and ultraviolet florescence and false colour infrared photography  to examine materials and artworks spanning centuries, in addition to gaining access to intriguing archives and cutting edge technology.

You may also have access to other advanced technologies such as UV fluorescence microscopy, polarised light microscopy (PLM), UV/VIS spectrophotometry, fourier transform infrared (FTIR), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX).

You will also receive ongoing support through our innovative e-learning platform, Blackboard, which will allow you to access learning materials such as module handbooks, assessment information, online lectures, reading lists and virtual gallery tours.

Facilities / Burt Hall

Book an Open Day / Discover Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Research-rich learning is embedded throughout all aspects of this course and our staff are continuously involved and informed by fast-moving emerging developments in conservation research and ethical debates.

All of our staff possess individual specialisms, in areas such as the development and evaluation of conservation treatments for paintings, characterisation of artists’ materials and techniques, studies in material deterioration and comprehensive documentation of works of art.

Our team also collaborate with national and international research organisations.

When studying this master’s degree, you are encouraged to develop your own individual research skills to ensure you graduate with confidence in your own practical and academic experience. These skills are further enhanced when you undertake your dissertation under the guidance of your assigned tutor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

This course has been developed to reflect national guidelines and ensure that you graduate with the necessary skills and knowledge to kick-start your career within this profession. There are also many additional opportunities available to further enhance your career edge whilst you study.

Throughout the duration of this course you will create a professional portfolio, which will include examples of practical work and displays of your intellectual achievement to provide a demonstration of your skills and enhance your performance at interviews.

In addition to completing a placement to further enhance your development you will also have the opportunity to present research papers at an organised symposium.

We actively encourage you to engage with professional bodies and attend key conferences to allow you to network with professionals who are already working within the profession, and you may also have the opportunity to advantage of our partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, whose collection supports a number of activities.   Our long standing links with the National Trust, Tate Britain and the estate of Francis Bacon have created exciting projects for our MA and PhD students.

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

This course will equip you with a deep understanding of both the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in fine art conservation laboratories or conservation jobs across the world.

You may choose to work in galleries or museums, or progress your research to PhD level.

Recent  illustrious alumni list, include  Virginia Lladó-Buisán Head of Conservation & Collection Care Bodleian Libraries, Britta New, Paintings Conservator at the National Gallery in London and Eleanor Hasler, Head of Paper Conservation at Kew Gardens.

As your professional development is in-line with the current postgraduate professional standards for the Conservation of Fine Art, your access to postgraduate professional jobs within the conservation sector is likely to be enhanced.

Book an Open Day / Experience Conservation of Fine Art

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Course in brief

Your course in brief

Year 1

Year one You will explore many skills, practices and theoretical concepts. Research methodologies and planning towards your final dissertation is an integral part of the latter stages of the year and is often supported by a work placement during the summer recess period.

Year 2

Year two You will develop a more complex and wider range of practical skills and knowledge relating to your chosen specialism. Greater emphasis will also be placed on technical examination, diagnostic and analytical skills, professional judgement and ethical awareness.

Who would this Course suit?

Do you have an interest in the conservation of fine art and how technology, science and preventive measures can be used to restore and conserve  artefacts? This course could be for you. 

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree, usually in chemistry, physics, art history or fine art, although applicants from other related fields will also be considered.

Applicants with science backgrounds must have interest in learning about practical art, and arts graduates should have minimum grade B GCSE in Science or may choose to complete a specialist science course (such as Chemistry for Conservators run by IAP in London). This will strengthen their application.

Applicants are required to have sound colour vision, manual dexterity, logical thought and the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to changing practical situations. Applicants should also appreciate the integrity of works of art and have a sensitivity of approach, along with a calm temperament and infinite patience.

International qualifications
 
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry
 
English Language requirements
 
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
 
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £13,995

Full EU Fee: £13,995

Full International Fee: £24,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Throughout the duration of your course you may incur costs for materials, these include; basic tools such as sable brushes, spatulas, scissors, tweezers, bone folder, scalpel handles, water colour sets, ceramic cop stick rest and small porcelain bowls. You will also require an A4 portfolio. To help you budget accordingly an approximate cost would be £200. There will also be an additional expense of approximately £50 to purchase a small framed and damaged artwork which will be used to support a number of scheduled workshops across the programme.

FUNDING INFORMATION

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.

 

 

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Modules Overview

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7014 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 1 (Core, 60 Credits)

You will learn via lectures, demonstrations and activity workshops, set readings and critical discussion groups. This 60-credit module provides a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, preventive, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. You will also develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice.

Using real artworks and authentically constructed artefacts, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that parallels actual practice. For example, Week 1, Semester 1, begins with un-framing followed by technical examination, documentation and interpretation which then progresses onto the preparation of adhesives, consolidation or fixing, the removal of surface soils, localised structural repair techniques and lining. This framework also continues throughout Year 2 albeit with a new set of interrelated topics.

In support of conservation practice you will attend a number of science and preventive sessions. The topics covered in former include, an introduction to polymers, binding media, solutions and concentrations, and the chemical reactions of paper and textiles. Preventive conservation and collection care sessions include important issues relating to storage, display, works of art in transit and environmental management.

More information

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional, 0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

VA7015 -

Conservation Theory and Practice 2 (Core, 60 Credits)

This immersive and challenging 60-credit module continues to provide a professional approach to core practical skills relevant to your chosen conservation specialism (Works of Art on Paper or Easel Paintings) and the related historic, scientific, historic, technical and tacit knowledge of materials encountered within professional practice. With increasing complexity you will further develop ethical and critical awareness and a broad range of additional skills relevant to conservation practice including analytical, problem solving, evaluative, oral and written communication skills alongside Health & Safety best practice. Science, an integral part in understanding the deterioration and behaviour of artist and conservation materials is supported throughout this module through labs and workshops, seminars or group tutorials. Students will have an opportunity to explore materials using a range of analytical methods commonly used in the assessment of historic artefacts.
A greater emphasis is also placed in this module on independent research, professional advocacy, project management skills and situating conservation in relation to current and emerging international/global practices and debates. Following on from the framework adopted in Year 1, the conservation practical workshops are logically arranged in a sequence that mirrors actual practice.
Topics may include:
Works of Art on Paper specialism:
• Consolidation of friable painted surfaces
• Pressure sensitive tape removal
• Washing and the alkalisation of coloured and friable material
• Non aqueous facing and advanced aqueous lining techniques
• Pulp and non-aqueous repair techniques
• Retouching and toning
• European and Japanese inlaying techniques
• Mounting and assemblage and reframing

Easel Paintings specialism:
• Advanced structural treatments
• Aqueous cleaning methods
• Solvent cleaning and varnish removal
• Infilling
• Retouching
• Coatings and re-varnishing
• Reframing/ conservation framing techniques

Conservation Science:
• Temperature, humidity & light
• Resins and adhesives
• Paint media and varnishes
• Reaction kinetics and ageing
• Pigment deterioration and identification
• Cross sections and fibre analysis

More information

VA7016 -

Conservation Dissertation (Core, 60 Credits)

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities as reflective practitioners and critical scholars by examining and engaging with a topic broadly of relevance to the field. The module is designed to allow you flexibility of approach and outcome, reflecting the multi-disciplinary context of conservation and diversity of subject backgrounds with which each of you enters the programme. You will have access to a series of presentations on research skills which will enrich your methodological training for the undertaking of this module (see ‘How will I learn on this module’ for further details).

You will select the form of dissertation that best suits your own individual research and practice interests, choosing from:
1. A literature based research dissertation, requiring a synthesis, critical review, exploration and further development of an academic issue or professional topic - using existing academic and scholarly literature and, if relevant, the interpretation of primary or historic sources.
2. An applied research dissertation, requiring a technical or practice-led exploration of a problem centred enquiry, combined with scholarly review of relevant knowledge. The applied dissertation normally involves you in developing an evidence base and interpreting primary data, you may undertake practical experimentation or scientific analysis, or may use secondary analysis of existing data.

The dissertation enables you to show originality in researching a question which has to date been little explored. It also enables you to demonstrate project and time management skills in terms of completing a major project to deadline.

More information

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Applicants Contact Details:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

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