Postgraduate study

Architectural Conservation

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

Programme website: Architectural Conservation

Our highly regarded Architectural Conservation programme is more than 40 years old; it is the longest-established graduate historic preservation programme in the UK.

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

You will benefit from learning on our historic campus (located in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site), and from the wealth of academic and intellectual activities associated with an internationally-renowned university.

You’ll 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 this programme is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

Volunteering opportunities are 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, and report writing. An intensive overseas field trip (optional; normally to Germany) will give you the chance to explore conservation issues in another setting. Following the taught courses, you will research and write a dissertation of around 14,000–15,000 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 2018/19

To complete your studies, you must demonstrate your familiarity with the historical and theoretical foundations and challenges of historic preservation; the techniques of recording and research; and the technologies of building repair. Elective courses can also develop more specific skills in areas such as the influences of planning law, contemporary architecture and building economics on the historic built environment; and the special conservation challenges of Modern Movement architecture and urban planning.

You will also develop more general practical and intellectual skills, in areas such as project organisation, historical research, or 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.

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?

(Revised 16 October 2018 to expand on guidance for personal statements.)

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

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. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX