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Statement on Camberwell College of Arts MA course recruitment suspension

The two year MA in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London is suspending recruitment for the next intake of students for the year 2018.   Current second year students will graduate in 2018 and current first year students will graduate in 2019.

The University’s reason for the suspension is that the course is running at a high cost per student in comparison with the average degree course within the arts college.  This comes with a number of other budget reviews across the University.

Conservation courses have been offered and supported by the University since the late sixties.  The highly specialised Paper Conservation Course, first of its type in the UK and one of the first internationally, was developed to meet a highly specialist need in collections, museums and archives the world over and has become part of the wider programme of global cultural preservation.  Students have been drawn from all over the world and graduates today are correspondingly employed in countless important cultural heritage institutions globally.  It goes without saying that the need for expertly trained conservators will never diminish.

In the last five years the course has taken the format of a two-year extended MA in Conservation (Books and Archival Material; Works of Art on Paper).  The direct success of this course - in terms of graduates employed - is in large part attributable to the overwhelming support that the course has received from individual conservators and institutions, throughout London, the UK and abroad.

The University is now committed to reviewing the conservation course in order to find solutions that will make the MA course in Conservation viable and sustainable in the long-term future.  They will consult with the conservation industry and mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that this happens. This presents an opportunity to work together in exploring new ideas and possibilities for the postgraduate degree course ensuring it remains viable within shifting economic times.

Further information will be communicated to Icon members as soon as it becomes available.

Alison Richmond ACR
Chief Executive

Icon, the Institute of Conservation


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Christopher Weeks - Nov 2017, Monday 11:21am

The long-term viability of conservation courses in the UK is always in question under the current structures. If we value these courses perhaps we should help universities pay for them?


The views expressed in these comments are the views of the individual and do not reflect the views of The Institute of Conservation. Any comments containing inappropriate language or copyright material will be removed.

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