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Historic Building Conservation FdSc and BSc(Hons) top-up

Qualification Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
FdSc 2 years full time K250 2018
BSc(Hons) top-up 1 year full time KF50 2018
BSc(Hons) top-up 2 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

The UK's historic built environment is rich and diverse, contributing to national identity, our quality of life and the country's economy and education. This course offers a unique blend of vocational and academic learning that will greatly enhance your employability within this challenging and rewarding field. The course content is specifically designed to address skill shortages within the conservation industry.

Professional recognition

The foundation degree and the top-up are recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), the principal professional body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment specialists. The Historic Building Conservation BSc(Hons) top-up is also accredited by the RICS.

What you will study

This programme is an integrated two-year foundation degree and a one-year BSc(Hons) top-up degree for those who have successfully completed the foundation degree and wish to supplement their studies.

The first two years of the course are taken at the Building Crafts College at Stratford in East London. The college provides a range of craft programmes, and opportunities exist for supplementary study on their evening programmes. Sited close to a major transport hub, it provides excellent access to all parts of the UK and Europe.

The foundation degree combines academic elements and project work. It is particularly suited to those already working at a craft level within historic building conservation. Applicants from a non-craft-based level background are also welcome, and will develop conservation skills through the course. The final Elective Project offers the opportunity to undertake a practical project using craft skills.

The BSc(Hons) top-up year is taught at Kingston University in the Department of Architecture and Landscape at Knights Park Campus. You will be part of its exciting and vibrant atmosphere, and be supported by excellent library and workshop resources. The top-up can be taken part time over two years or full time in one year, and includes academic and project-based modules. You will develop important interdisciplinary skills and extend your knowledge of the historic built environment. Study visits are key to this programme. You will learn to make presentations, work in teams, write reports, debate current topics, and apply IT. You will also learn how to initiate and execute simple research projects. The course culminates in an independent research project.

Module listing

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.

Year 1

  • The module introduces students to the history and development of the conservation movement within the built environment and considers the various bodies, both national and international, which promote historic building conservation.

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  • This module considers the history of architecture and the influences, national and international, which have shaped architecture over time. Students will also be introduced to a range of hand drawn and digital media providing opportunities for the acquisition of skills under guidance, in order develop confidence and acquire proficiency in their use. An overseas field trip is also a significant element of this particular module.

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  • The module will consider how the conservation and construction industry is controlled and regulated and how such controls and regulations are implemented. The module will introduce students to health and safety legislation insofar as it impacts on conservation projects undertaken in the built environment. Students will also be introduced to the planning process, building regulations and building control procedures.

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  • This module is intended to begin developing the skills for use in the field by students on the foundation degree in historic building conservation. An introduction to the use of survey equipment and undertaking of measured surveys are important elements of this module. Students will also be encouraged to develop the range of skills introduced in the other modules in the first year of the programme, in particular, but not restricted to, their drawing and sketching abilities.

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Year 2

  • This module provides students with an understanding of how measurement and analysis can be applied to practical conservation work. The module covers the study of the different survey techniques applicable to traditional buildings and places this knowledge in the context of the decay processes. Knowledge gained in the study of survey techniques and decay processes will be applied to the planning and implementation of conservation projects. The module is taught through lectures, seminars, workshop discussions and visits and is assessed through coursework.

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  • This module covers the range of skills associated with methods of management on conservation projects in the built environment. The module will consider how projects are procured in the conservation industry and how these various procurement methods work in practice. Project management techniques, including the use of project management packages will be covered, as will the practicalities of resourcing a project in historic building conservation.

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  • This module provides students with an understanding of traditional building construction and appropriate repair techniques. The module covers the study of the different building techniques and materials used in the construction of buildings. It provides students with a practical understanding of the various craft techniques and the use of traditional materials. Students also study areas of construction that will be vulnerable to decay in order that they can advise on appropriate repairs. The module covers inspection of historic buildings, appraisal and identification of decay.

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  • This module provides students with the opportunity to design and execute a small scale research project under supervision. Students will study in-depth a relevant topic which they find particularly stimulating and which will be used as the basis to develop further and practice their research skills. A series of lectures on research methods will be followed by one-to-one tutorial sessions during which the student will be offered support and guidance in developing their particular area of research.

    Importantly, the Elective Project is an opportunity for the student to draw together their learning from the other modules on the programme and to demonstrate this learning by way of a part practical, part desk-based research project.

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Year 3 (BSc top-up year)

  • This module provides the opportunity for students to consider and find solutions for the beneficial use or adaptive re-use of an element or elements of the historic built environment devised as a typical practice-based scenario. Students will evaluate options, develop detailed proposals, investigate possible funding streams and propose strategies for working with existing and new fabric. The module is delivered by keynote lectures workshops and studio sessions. Assessment is by completion of a major project.

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  • This module allows students to develop their practical skills in order to critically inform and enable practical conservation work. The module builds on the prior learning of the programme and provides the opportunity for the advanced practical application of historic building conservation surveying knowledge and skills in relation to the consideration and examination of a specific project. The module is delivered by keynote lectures and workshops which may be site-based and a short residential study trip. Assessment is by portfolio and individual reflective essay.

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  • This module provides students with a critical understanding of heritage in the built environment. Students will study the legislative and regulatory protection of heritage assets and explore the current debates surrounding such buildings including the potential and actual conflicts between competing interests. Students deepen their understanding of historic building materials in order that they can advise on appropriate conservation and repair, together with options for adaptation to new uses. The module is taught through lectures, seminars, workshop discussions and visits to heritage buildings and is assessed through case studies and coursework.

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  • The Research Project provides an opportunity for each student in their final year of study of the Historic Building Conservation undergraduate programme to initiate, design and execute a small scale research project under supervision. Students will have the opportunity to study in-depth a relevant topic which they find particularly stimulating and to further develop and practice their research skills which they have acquired at earlier levels of their programme of study.

    In undertaking the work they will demonstrate knowledge and competence in reviewing literature and in using one or more of a range of research methods to collect and analyse data and draw well-founded conclusions. To support students, seminars on research methods and individual one-to-one tutorials, ensure that students are supported in the process. Assessment is by submission of an initial research proposal and the completed project. Students who are studying part time may undertake a project that relates to their workplace if deemed appropriate. The project will provide an opportunity for students to synthesise their learning, offering the opportunity to demonstrate key skills and expertise relevant to their future employability.

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Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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