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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.
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 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 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
The course is recognised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC).
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.
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.
You will need to study in an investigative manner. Each of the taught modules incorporates:
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.
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.
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.
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 courseworks.
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.
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.
We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.
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.
The course employs a range of approaches to teaching and learning, including lectures, seminars, group critiques, individual tutorials, optional study visits, presentations and workshops.
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.
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.
26% of your time will be spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Type of teaching and learning
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
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
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.
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.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
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:
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.
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.
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:
All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, whatever degree you're studying.
The University has its own on-site galleries, including:
Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.
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:
The course team works with a variety of different organisations, including Historic Royal Palaces, building preservation trusts, Historic England, specialist practitioners, craftsmen and contractors.
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 experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
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 in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from 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, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
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 in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the 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 in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. 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, 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. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered 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 might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.
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.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct 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 by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
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.