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Historic Building Conservation MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year At least two full days per week for contact teaching September 2015
Part time 2 years To be confirmed September 2015

Choose Kingston's Historic Building Conservation MSc

This course enables you to become a surveying professional within the specialist field of historic building conservation. London is rich in its collection of historic buildings, and the course team places great emphasis on using these to illustrate the various elements of the course. In particular, past and ongoing works at the Historic Royal Palaces are used as the basis for project work.

The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Find out more.

What will you study?

The course is designed to balance strategic analysis with a good working knowledge of core techniques. You will acquire the skills and knowledge to extend your practice base to include the specialist field of historic building conservation. A week-long field trip to a European city will provide the opportunity to further develop your technical knowledge and embed it within a practice scenario. You will take part in our masters student conference, in which all completing students present their dissertation findings in a formal, London-based conference attended by colleagues and practitioners.


Essays, reports, seminars, laboratory exercises, group field trip, project, presentations, dissertation, conference paper.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.


  • This module covers the different types and uses of surveying equipment used on building surveys and enables students to record the nature and condition of historic buildings. It also includes the analysis of building materials and soil investigation and structural failure in historic buildings at both sub and superstructure level. The module will also investigate the causes of building materials' failure and appropriate methods of conservation.

  • The study of building defects and pathology aims to develop in students the ability to recognise causes of obsolescence and dilapidations in buildings and to prepare schedules of condition and dilapidations. It also develops in students an understanding of the need for building management and maintenance together with the skills and knowledge to prepare effective plans.

  • The module aims to provide students with a deep and critical knowledge of the law, policy and regulation frameworks that apply to listed and heritage buildings, both within the UK and in a European context.  In particular the module covers law relating to the protection and alteration of buildings, including the design of contiguous new builds and to conservation and heritage areas. 

    The module also introduces students to economic principles insofar as they apply to the historic environment and considers the case for protection and conservation and the economic instruments used in the private and public sector to make decisions relating to conservation of the built environment.  Assessment is through coursework.

  • This module introduces students to the ways in which historic building design relates to the historic environment within which it is set, and how these environments have evolved over time and continue evolving to this day.  In addition to examining the architectural context, the module will also examine the social, economic and environmental issues which have resulted in today's urban, suburban and rural landscapes, and how government policy can effect change to these landscapes for urban and economic renewal.

    The module is taught by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials and students will be expected to take an active part in class and site activities, applying their knowledge to worked examples within the tutorial format. Assessment will comprise two individual and one group piece of coursework.

  • This module aims to provide you with a sound grounding in research principles and methodologies that are commonly applied within the built environment. Throughout a series of lectures and seminars, supported by tutorials and exercises you are encouraged and enabled to develop your critical reasoning powers and to gain practice in researching ideas and knowledge and in the design of relevant research instruments. By the end of the module you should be confident to and capable of designing and self-initiating a significant individual piece of research relevant to your programme of study. Assessment of the module is through the execution of a literature review, a short research collection and analysis activity and the design of a research project.

  • This module provides the opportunity for you to undertake a piece of original work related to your own area of study, which acts as the 'capstone' project for their studies. Through investigation of an area related to your studies they will develop a theoretically informed body of work that integrates both theory and practice. It may take the form of a dissertation, a practice project, design or experiment-based project depending on the appropriateness related to the programme studied. The module is supported by a series of lectures and individual tutorials. Following the major submission students present and defend their findings in open forum at a Masters Students Conference, thereby providing them to practice skills that they will require in their subsequent professional work. Assessment is by the main submission and the oral presentation and defence.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

For further information:

Postgraduate admissions administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4646
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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park

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