Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Architectural Conservation MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Architectural Conservation

Our highly regarded Architectural Conservation programme is more than 50 years old. It is the longest-established graduate historic preservation programme in Scotland or its neighbouring nations.

Whether you are approaching the field from an architectural, historical, social or other viewpoint, this programme will guide you through the foundations and challenges of this important means of nurturing cultural identity.

You will benefit from learning in a programme based in the heart of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site - and from the wealth of academic and intellectual activities associated with an internationally-renowned university.

You will be part of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), a specialist teaching and research unit that provides the depth of expertise and resources that ensures the Institute of Historic Building Conservation recognises this programme.

Volunteering opportunities are normally also available through our partnerships with relevant organisations, allowing you to flex your skills in a practical setting.

The programme is assessed through:

  • individual written papers
  • group projects
  • presentations
  • report writing

In recent years, the programme has been significantly enhanced: our longstanding in-person teaching has been augmented by additional online lectures and copious electronic literature resources.

Field trips within Scotland, England and (normally) overseas will give you the chance to explore conservation issues in other settings.

Following the taught courses, you will research and write a dissertation of around 14,000 to 15,000 words on an aspect of architectural conservation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScArchitectural Conservation1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

To complete your studies, you must demonstrate your familiarity with the:

  • historical and theoretical foundations and challenges of historic preservation
  • techniques of recording and research
  • technologies of building repair

You will also develop more general practical and intellectual skills, in areas such as:

  • project organisation
  • historical research
  • graphic and oral communication

This programme aims to provide students with the broad base of knowledge and skills necessary to embark on a career in one of the many professional sub-disciplines of historic preservation, ranging from heritage management to conservation architecture.

Crucially, your qualification will be extremely well-regarded thanks to its recognition by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the UK’s official organisation of architectural preservation professionals.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant professional experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Please ensure your personal statement addresses the following points:

  1. Architectural conservation: why and how are you interested in it? Please explain your specific interests within this broad field.

  2. How do you envisage that the programme will support your future ambitions in career and life?

  3. Which aspect of the advertised MSc Architectural Conservation programme description, or which other considerations, made you decide to apply for the programme?

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional costs

Additional costs for the programme are limited and are largely confined to short-distance travel within Central Scotland.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScArchitectural Conservation1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

(Revised 01 November to remove staged admissions deadlines table)

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU