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Conservation is a truly diverse and rewarding profession, the route you take will depend on your own learning style, and the area of conservation that you're looking to get in to. 

There are a variety of pathways in to a career in conservation, and the route you take will completely depend on you, your learning style and the area of conservation you're looking to get in to. For many, the first step is an academic qualification followed up by a structured internships and work-based placements as a way to build experience, skills and contacts. For others there is of course the opportunity to take a more vocational route, and this will be enhanced immeasurably through the development of the Trailblazer Apprenticeships. 

For qualified conservators, Icon’s Professional Accreditation of Conservator-Restorers (PACR) is an internationally valued professional standard recognising experience and expertise, and an essential part of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Photo: Mel Houston/NT Scotland

Higher Education

Work-based Study

Higher Education


There are currently more than 30 undergraduate, postgraduate or diploma courses in conservation taught in the UK

Icon does not endorse any particular conservation course. However, we do advise which academic courses teach our Professional Standards in Conservation. Our Professional Standards are grounded on National Occupational Standards and are designed to ensure professional conservators abide by the Code of Conduct and are suitably qualified, skilled and competent for the tasks they undertake.

For more advice, please contact Training & Development Manager Patrick Whife on email or on 02031426788.


Higher Education Course Directory

Please find below the Higher Education Course Directory

Cardiff University

BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology (link)

MSc Care of Collections (link)

MSc Conservation Practice (link)

MSc Professional Conservation (link)


City & Guilds of London Art School

BA Conservation Studies (link

MA Conservation Studies (link


Durham University

MA Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (Diss) (link

MA Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects (PP) (link


Hamilton Kerr Institute

PGDip Conservation and Restoration of Easel Paintings (link)


Northumbria University

MA Conservation of Fine Art (link, contact)

MA Preventive Conservation Distance learning (link, contact)  

University College London

MA Principles of Conservation (link)
MSc Conservation for Archaeology and Museums (link)  


MRes Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (link)

University of Glasgow

MPhil Textile Conservation (link)


University of Lincoln

BA Conservation of Cultural Heritage (link, contact)  

GDip Conservation Studies (link, contact)   

MA Conservation of Historic Objects (link, contact)  

MA Culture and Heritage Management (link, contact)   

Mphil/PhD Conservation of Cultural Heritage (link, contact)  

University of the Arts London Camberwell

MA Conservation (link, contact) 

University of York

MA Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management (link)


West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

FdA Historic Craft Practices: Clocks (link, contact

FdA Historic Craft Practices: Furniture (link, contact)  

FdA Historic Craft Practices: Metalwork (link, contact

GDip Conservation of Books and Library Materials (link, contact

GDip Conservation of Ceramics  (link, contact)  

GDip Conservation of Clocks  (link, contact)  

GDip Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects (link, contact)  

GDip Conservation of Metalwork  (link, contact)  

MA Collections Care and Conservation Management  (link, contact)    

MA Conservation Studies  (link, contact)  

PGDip Conservation of Books and Library Materials (link, contact)  

PGDip Conservation of Ceramics and Related Materials (link, contact)    

PGDip Conservation of Clocks and Related Objects (link, contact)    

PGDip Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects (link, contact)   

PGDip Conservation of Metalwork (link, contact)   

Work-based Study

Conservation Technician Qualification

The Conservation Technician Qualification was an entry level conservation run by Icon, it stopped taking on new starts in 2014.


Conservation & Collections Care Technicians Diploma

The new Conservation & Collections Care Technicians Diploma has been established through the merging of Icon’s Conservation Technician Qualification (CTQ) and the V&A’s Technician Diploma, both of which remain valued across the sector. The aim of the new qualification is to offer a greater breadth of units to allow candidates to tailor the qualification to their specific work setting. 

For further information on this new qualification please visit the V&A Website. 


Apprenticeships are currently in development. Click here to see the latest.