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Collections Care and Conservation Management
Bursaries are available, see 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 courses, museum studies, galleries care 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:
You can expect:
Hear Shayne Rivers talk about what makes this course unique, the different elements of the course and how students benefit from the historic house environment.
Our students benefit from a unique opportunity to study in a working historic house and estate environment. 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
Coronavirus update: International study trips have been suspended in line with current guidelines. We aim to recommence UK field trips and visits in the second semester.
|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
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.
Entry requirements are a 2:1 or above honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as Art History, Archaeology, Art & Design or Cultural Heritage. Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be considered for students who have been out of formal education for some years. In these cases, applicants would need to demonstrate their capacity for degree-level work through a portfolio of work, prior learning and an interest or experience in conservation and cultural heritage.
This course involves a series of eight five-day blocks in themed units, spread out over the two year programme. You are expected to come into the College for the blocks and then go back to your workplace setting, returning for further study at the College.
The e-portfolio could express anything that you refer to in your personal statement, your piece of academic writing or it could represent activity undertaken at your workplace. It could include photos, videos, sketches or writing. The purpose is to demonstrate your interest, ability and experience in the area.
Students have previously worked on:
Emily Kelmendi - Alumnus, MA Collections Care and Conservation Management
"In 2019 I 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."
Alex Foster - Alumnus, MA Collections Care and Conservation Management
"My main motivation for choosing the CCCM was to help myself gain a more structured paid role in collections care or preventive conservation within a museum or historic house. I was pleased that the course had such a practical focus, and that it was flexible enough to fit in around my current roles. One of my best memories of the course was the ‘Team CCCM spirit’ which helped us carry each other through and support one another. It reinforced the importance of offering help and being open to receiving it. Although intense, I’d say the study blocks were the best parts of the course, as our hard work paid off in the form of a study trip to a museum/heritage organisation to supplement our learning. The practical aspects of modules and the way we were pushed out of our comfort zone has shaped much of my confidence working in the field since graduating."
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.