Come and find out what makes West Dean College of Arts and Conservation such a unique place to study with an international reputation.Find out more
Collections Care and Conservation Management
Bursaries are available from £500. Read more about funding opportunities
This MA provides the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for a lead role in collections care and management within a historic house context. It is aimed at conservators and curators with significant collections care responsibilities, as well as graduates from conservation or other museum related disciplines intending to develop their careers in this area.
This two year course offers a flexible study path to achieve your MA. The curriculum is delivered over eight five-day study blocks in themed units, spread out over the two year programme.
Programme units cover a comprehensive programme of theory, coupled with practical conservation exercises and visits that focus on key aspects of contemporary collections care and management practice. Taught blocks are supported by off-site professional practice assignments and a dissertation.
Areas of study include:
West Dean College has a large and diverse collection comprising objects from all disciplines. The house
and collection are used by students to apply their knowledge to real-life problems. Collaboration with other conservation specialisms makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment.
Shared facilities include:
The on-site Art and Conservation Library puts thousands of specialist books and journals within your reach and you can access specialist databases in the IT suite.Find out more about the facilities
On the MA Collections Care and Conservation Management you will have around 30-35 contact hours per study block, typically consisting of:
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and preparing coursework assignments and presentations.
40% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching
and learning and work-based learning activity.
Scheduled teaching and learning: 280 hours
Work-based learning: 504 hours
Independent learning: 1016 hours
|Year 1 / Semester 1 (18 weeks)|
Collections Care and Conservation Management 1
|Year 1 / Semester 2 (18 weeks)|
Collections Care and Conservation Management 2
|Year 2 / Semester 1 (18 weeks)|
Collections Care and Conservation Management 3
|Year 2 / Semester 2 (18 weeks)|
Collections Care and Conservation Management 4
You will need to have an upper second class or above UK honours degree in a relevant subject, or a non-UK equivalent.
Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be
considered for those who have been out of formal education for some
years and are over 21; and mature students who do not meet the
general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate
their capacity for degree-level work in
other ways. International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS.
Course fees are the same for UK and international students
Included is mandatory study trip cost of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study. Lunch, accommodation and other living expenses are additional. Find out more
If you are a UK student and plan to take a postgraduate Master's course you may be able to get a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 to help with course fees and living costs. See www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan
Student scholarships and bursaries
Bursaries are available from £500.
In 2019 I have started a new position as Conservator on the historic ships team for the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
This role includes dealing with conservation issues relating to large historic vessels, such as HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, a number of other vessels and submarines.
Studying the CCCM course has prepared me to deal with a variety of issues and make well-informed decisions. Properties which I need on a daily basis when working with challenging objects such as HMS Victory.
Alumnus, MA Collections Care and Conservation Management
Commendations from the University of Sussex include:
"The discussions undertaken with employers, such as the National Trust, in developing the curriculum to ensure the course is complementing industry training."
"The introduction of lecture capture in support of students’ learning."
Shayne Rivers is an acknowledged world expert in the conservation of furniture and Asian lacquer. She has lectured on conservation in the USA, Australia, Japan, Europe and the UK, and has been involved in the education of the next generation of conservators throughout her professional career.
David Howell is an Institute of Conservation accredited conservator with over 30 years in the conservation profession. David has extensive experience of teaching and student supervision, having been on the first group of teachers on the RCA/V&A MA in Conservation, a frequent lecturer on conservation summer schools, internal and external PhD supervisor, and a PhD assessor at a number of Universities.
If you are interested in applying for this course or would like further information please contact admissions either by enquiring online or calling the number below. To make your application you will need to download and fill out our application form.