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Degree type

MA

Course length

2 years full-time, 3 years part-time

Location

Durham City

Degree type

MA

Course length

2 years full-time, 3 years part-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

F4K707

Program code

F4K707

Ready to Apply?
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Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Course details

This is a 2 year (full-time) or 3 year (part-time) course that is particularly appropriate for those seeking a career in conservation research, preventive conservation or for those with significant practical work or an undergraduate degree in conservation who are interested in exploring a particular facet of the field in greater depth.

Graduates of the course typically go on to work in museums or large heritage organisations. Graduate students are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, but manual dexterity, a knowledge of chemistry and an enthusiasm and desire to work with museum objects are essential.

Example of modules:

  • Conservation Theory
  • Conservation Skills
  • Artefact Studies Care of Collections
  • Conservation Practice Dissertation.
  • F4K707: Conservation of Archaeological

Course details

This is a 2 year (full-time) or 3 year (part-time) course that is particularly appropriate for those seeking a career in conservation research, preventive conservation or for those with significant practical work or an undergraduate degree in conservation who are interested in exploring a particular facet of the field in greater depth.

Graduates of the course typically go on to work in museums or large heritage organisations. Graduate students are drawn from a wide range of disciplines, but manual dexterity, a knowledge of chemistry and an enthusiasm and desire to work with museum objects are essential.

Example of modules:

  • Conservation Theory
  • Conservation Skills
  • Artefact Studies Care of Collections
  • Conservation Practice Dissertation.
  • F4K707: Conservation of Archaeological

Learning

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes as well as a dissertation. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among Conservators in that area. Practicals then provide opportunities for you to implement and develop your skills, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside the programmes formal contact hours. Self-development learning packages allow you to continue your learning in a structured way outside of the practical sessions. The dissertation allows you to develop advanced research skills in an aspect of conservation or artefact studies.

The balance of activities changes throughout the course, as you develop your knowledge, skills and ability as independent learners and practitioners. The course therefore prepares you for work or further study once you have graduated, with an emphasis on taking your learning from the classroom to real life situations in Museums and conservation laboratories. All teaching is delivered by qualified conservators.

In the first two terms of the first year you will typically attend 4-5 hours a week of lectures, 6 hours of practical work including seminars, 3 hours of structured self-development learning and up to 9 hours of conservation skills working in the conservation laboratory. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one-hour research seminars which you are strongly encouraged to attend.

The balance shifts in the third term, as you develop your abilities as independent learners through supervised practical conservation work for 4 days a week over 10 weeks and create a portfolio of your work and reflections.

The emphasis on using the independent study and research skills developed in the first year of the course is continued through the dissertation, which marks out the researcher route. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom you will typically have ten one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research.

Entry requirements

A good second class honours degree (typically 2:1 Honours) or international equivalent in any subject and a pass in mathematics at Grade 4 (or C) or above at GCSE level, or equivalent. Applicants without a degree will be required to demonstrate sufficient academic capability to satisfactorily complete this degree.

Chemistry requirements:

One of the following: An 'AS' level in Chemistry or its equivalent A degree which included a significant science component, e.g. Biology or Material Science, An A, B or C grade for Chemistry in a Scottish 'Higher' or similar high grade in the Irish 'Leaving Certificate' may also be acceptable, Completed university level course units in Inorganic and Organic chemistry - this is particularly appropriate for students from North America, Completion of the 'Chemistry for Conservators' course. This is a correspondence course, which lasts approximately 6 months. Details of the course are available here.

You will need to be able to accurately distinguish between colours and safely handle objects, scalpels, and other conservation tools. You may be required to undertake tests to ascertain the levels of some of these skills if they are invited to visit. Evidence of engagement with and interest in archaeological and museum objects, while not formally required, is highly recommended. This may be in the form of employment, internship or volunteer work in a museum, historic house, or a collecting institute, such as an archaeological repository, or through participation in an archaeological excavation.

Reference requirements

One satisfactory reference is required.

Application deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applications although applications for any given academic year must be received before the start of that academic year.

Tuition fee deposit

All self-financing overseas students are required to pay a £1000 tuition fee deposit if an offer from the Department of Archaeology is accepted. The tuition fee deposit is paid before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number, which is required in order to apply for a visa.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £13,725 per year
EU students £30,150 per year
Island students £13,725 per year
International students £30,150 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £7,600 per year
EU students £16,600 per year
Island students £7,600 per year
International students £16,600 per year

Year 1 full-time fees

EU Student £30,150.00 per year
Home Student £13,725.00 per year
Island Student £13,725.00 per year
International non-EU Student £30,150.00 per year

Year 2 full-time fees

EU Student £10,050.00 per year
Home Student £4,575.00 per year
Island Student £4,575.00 per year
International non-EU Student £10,050.00 per year

Due to the nature of this course, part-time enrollment is considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the course director if you would like to discuss the option of studying part-time.

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Archaeology

Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.

Department information

Archaeology

Our internationally respected research expertise will provide you with some of the best resources available for archaeological research. Here at Durham, we have one of only three commercial archaeology units in the UK based in a university department. You will be able to work with experts and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and specialised facilities in the Department of Archaeology.

For more information see our department pages.

Rankings

  • 4th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2021.
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see our Archaeology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).

Facilities

We are one of the most comprehensively equipped archaeology departments in the UK. Our facilities include project rooms with state-of-the-art interactive technology, teaching laboratories, a computer suite, a photographic studio, internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology, soil and bone chemistry, and collections that support research in biometrics, informatics, and Anglo Saxon stone sculpture.

More information on our facilities and equipment.

Learning

The course is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical classes as well as a dissertation. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate among Conservators in that area. Practicals then provide opportunities for you to implement and develop your skills, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and through independent study outside the programmes formal contact hours. Self-development learning packages allow you to continue your learning in a structured way outside of the practical sessions. The dissertation allows you to develop advanced research skills in an aspect of conservation or artefact studies.

The balance of activities changes throughout the course, as you develop your knowledge, skills and ability as independent learners and practitioners. The course therefore prepares you for work or further study once you have graduated, with an emphasis on taking your learning from the classroom to real life situations in Museums and conservation laboratories. All teaching is delivered by qualified conservators.

In the first two terms of the first year you will typically attend 4-5 hours a week of lectures, 6 hours of practical work including seminars, 3 hours of structured self-development learning and up to 9 hours of conservation skills working in the conservation laboratory. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. The department also has an exciting programme of weekly one-hour research seminars which you are strongly encouraged to attend.

The balance shifts in the third term, as you develop your abilities as independent learners through supervised practical conservation work for 4 days a week over 10 weeks and create a portfolio of your work and reflections.

The emphasis on using the independent study and research skills developed in the first year of the course is continued through the dissertation, which marks out the researcher route. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom you will typically have ten one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research.

Entry requirements

A good second class honours degree (typically 2:1 Honours) or international equivalent in any subject and a pass in mathematics at Grade 4 (or C) or above at GCSE level, or equivalent. Applicants without a degree will be required to demonstrate sufficient academic capability to satisfactorily complete this degree.

Chemistry requirements:

One of the following: An 'AS' level in Chemistry or its equivalent A degree which included a significant science component, e.g. Biology or Material Science, An A, B or C grade for Chemistry in a Scottish 'Higher' or similar high grade in the Irish 'Leaving Certificate' may also be acceptable, Completed university level course units in Inorganic and Organic chemistry - this is particularly appropriate for students from North America, Completion of the 'Chemistry for Conservators' course. This is a correspondence course, which lasts approximately 6 months. Details of the course are available here.

You will need to be able to accurately distinguish between colours and safely handle objects, scalpels, and other conservation tools. You may be required to undertake tests to ascertain the levels of some of these skills if they are invited to visit. Evidence of engagement with and interest in archaeological and museum objects, while not formally required, is highly recommended. This may be in the form of employment, internship or volunteer work in a museum, historic house, or a collecting institute, such as an archaeological repository, or through participation in an archaeological excavation.

Reference requirements

One satisfactory reference is required.

Application deadlines

There is no specific deadline for applications although applications for any given academic year must be received before the start of that academic year.

Tuition fee deposit

All self-financing overseas students are required to pay a £1000 tuition fee deposit if an offer from the Department of Archaeology is accepted. The tuition fee deposit is paid before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number, which is required in order to apply for a visa.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £14,300 per year
EU students £31,500 per year
Island students £14,300 per year
International students £31,500 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £7,865 per year
EU students £17,325 per year
Island students £7,865 per year
International students £17,325 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Archaeology

Many of our postgraduates move into an academic career, either teaching or by taking up post-doctoral research positions in universities. Others join museums or national and regional heritage organisations. Some work in professional archaeology, in national or local planning departments, while others elect to use their analytical and presentation skills to gain positions in industry, commerce and government.

Department information

Archaeology

Our internationally respected research expertise will provide you with some of the best resources available for archaeological research. Here at Durham, we have one of only three commercial archaeology units in the UK based in a university department. You will be able to work with experts and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and specialised facilities in the Department of Archaeology.

For more information see our department pages.

Rankings

  • 4th in the QS World University Subject Rankings for Archaeology 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2021.
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see our Archaeology pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).

Facilities

We are one of the most comprehensively equipped archaeology departments in the UK. Our facilities include project rooms with state-of-the-art interactive technology, teaching laboratories, a computer suite, a photographic studio, internationally renowned scientific research laboratories in DNA, conservation, isotopes, environmental archaeology, luminescence dating, palaeopathology, soil and bone chemistry, and collections that support research in biometrics, informatics, and Anglo Saxon stone sculpture.

More information on our facilities and equipment.

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 24/11/2021
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Register for open day
Discover Durham Tours
  • Date: 16/08/2021
  • Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Register for open day