Historic Building Conservation MSc

Why choose this course?

Do you want to become a professional within the specialist field of historic building conservation? On this course, you'll visit many of London's fascinating historic buildings to illustrate and inform your learning. Past and ongoing works at the Historic Royal Palaces, together with several national and local heritage organisations and practitioners, are used to support your project work.

The course is interdisciplinary and international. Current and former students include archaeologists, architects, architectural technologists, chartered surveyors, craftsmen, engineers, and project and construction managers.

You will have opportunities to work alongside other postgraduates in the Faculty and the wider university, including those studying architecture and landscape architecture.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year At least two full days per week for contact teaching September 2020
Part time 2 years One day per week September 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • London's historic buildings are used to illustrate and inform elements of the course.
  • This course enables you to become a professional within the specialist field of historic building conservation.
  • Through a week-long field trip to a European city you will have the chance to put your knowledge into practice (additional costs may apply).

Accreditation

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

The course is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC).

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

This course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). On successful completion, graduates who are in suitable employment may proceed to the RICS final assessment programme.

What you will 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 current practice and/or gain knowledge and expertise in new areas. You will work with a range of professionals and specialists to broaden your understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. An optional 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'll be required to complete five modules worth 180 credits in total.

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.

Modules

You will need to study in an investigative manner. Each of the taught modules incorporates:

  • an extensive lecture programme; and
  • significant amounts of individual and small group work, culminating in oral and written presentations.

Seminars and tutorials support the project module. The week-long field trip is a highlight of the programme, in which you will have the opportunity to put some of your theory into practice.

Introductory lectures and seminars also support the research element of the course, introducing you to social science research methods and practice.

Core modules

Analysing and Condition of Historic Buildings

30 credits

The module covers 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 also considers the development of different building materials and the causes of failure associated with those materials. Appropriate methods of testing and of determining suitable repairs will also be considered. The module incorporates a European field trip, an essential part of which is to consider the historic environment in a wider context and to illustrate a range of approaches to building conservation.

Defects and Pathology, Repair and Renewal

30 credits

The module aims to enable you to develop a deep understanding of building defects and pathology and to develop your ability to recognise the causes of obsolescence and dilapidations in buildings.  You will consider the different types of decay which affect building materials and look at approaches to building management and options for effective maintenance.  The module will also consider different approaches to building re-use and renewal and to carbon reduction technologies which can be incorporated into a variety of building types. 

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

Legislation and Economics for Historic Buildings

30 credits

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.

Regeneration and Conservation of Historic Environments

30 credits

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 courseworks.

Research Project / Dissertation

60 credits

This final module provides you with the opportunity to design and execute an original research project related to your specific interests within the field of historic building conservation. You will develop a theoretically informed body of work that integrates both theory and practice. It may take the form of a dissertation, practice project, or experiment-based project. Within the module you will develop a sound grounding in research principles and methodologies. Through a series of lectures and seminars, supported by tutorials, you will be encouraged and enabled to develop your critical reasoning powers in the design of relevant research strategies. 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

Applicants should normally have a 2:2 degree. This can be in any discipline, although a related subject is an advantage.

Some experience of working in the industry would also be useful.

Interviews

We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each element. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

The course employs a range of approaches to teaching and learning, including lectures, seminars, group critiques, individual tutorials, optional study visits, presentations and workshops.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

26% of your time will be spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 462 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1,338 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 462 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1338 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises essays, reports, seminars, workshops, group field trip, project work, presentations, and dissertation. The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 98%
  • Practical: 2%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 10–15 students and lecture sizes are normally 10–20. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,820
  • MSc part time £5,400

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £15,700
  • MSc part time £8,635

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting a course at Kingston, you will be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to study for a postgraduate masters degree.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge is closely matched to the course content. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in delivering the course. Please note: this may be subject to change within the academic year.

Facilities

Knights Park campus is situated on the Hogsmill River, with a restaurant and bar opening on to the waterside. The relatively small campus has a friendly, creative feel and includes a reception area with a gallery, art shop and the light and airy open-plan library.

Workshops and studios

The workshops and studios are open for creative exploration and offer you plenty of opportunities to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether you are studying or researching. Building on this open approach, there are many adaptable architecture studio and workshop spaces, designed by Stirling Prize-winning Haworth Tompkins, alongside active breakout spaces.

At the heart of the building are state-of-the-art workshop facilities, which include:

  • 3D workshops, with ceramics, concrete, resin-casting, plastics, metalwork, woodwork and a bronze-casting foundry, as well as a Big Build space for architecture, set design and large scale model making
  • animation and post production studios
  • digital media workshop
  • knitting and sewing workshops with digital and analogue facilities, plus a working dress archive which includes pieces from 1750 to the present day
  • HackSpace (for collaborative, creative, solutions-focused projects)
  • letterpress and printmaking workshop, with digital and analogue facilities, to experiment creatively
  • moving image workshop, with studios, editing suite, and industry-standard equipment
  • photography workshop, including studios, colour and black-and-white darkrooms, processing facilities

All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, whatever degree you're studying.

The University's museum and galleries

The University has its own on-site galleries, including:

  • Dorich House – the former studio home of the sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. Now Grade II listed, the building was completed in 1936, to Gordine's design, and is an exceptional example of a modern studio house created by and for a female artist.
  • Stanley Picker Gallery – one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Its public activities are dedicated to the research, commissioning and presentation of innovative new practice across the fields of art, design and architecture for general, academic and specialist audiences.
  • project spaces at Knights Park campus, which you can book for the exhibition of large-scale work.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.

After you graduate

Students come from a wide range of professions and disciplines. Advice is offered throughout, to encourage you to develop your career and build on your existing knowledge and skills.

The Historic Building Conservation MSc helps prepare you for roles such as:

  • working in advisory or regulatory bodies, supporting the wider remit of historic building conservation
  • positions within private and voluntary organisations working on historic fabric
  • specialist roles within your current profession, supporting your application to specialist registers
  • independent consultancy
  • community support and liaison for local heritage projects
  • academic research

Links with business and industry

Working with the industry

The course team works with a variety of different organisations, including Historic Royal Palaces, building preservation trusts, Historic England, specialist practitioners, craftsmen and contractors. 

Study opportunities

You will be encouraged to engage closely with the diverse businesses that make London one of the most important centres for the creative industries. Our industry connections mean we provide unique study opportunities, such as:

  • the chance to have your work seen by eminent members of your profession
  • 'live' projects, site visits and placements in prestigious companies or institutions
  • project work and workshops with visiting lecturers and industry specialists

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

On campus classes, class sizes will be smaller, in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via videoconferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

The optional one week European Field Trip usually scheduled for March, is currently suspended but will be kept under review. Visits to local heritage sites, including those open to the public, may be subject to additional restrictions and 3rd party availability. Access to ongoing conservation projects will be subject to availability due to enhanced Health & Safety protocols and insurance limitations.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.