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There are a variety of pathways into a conservation career

For many conservators, the first step is an academic qualification. It can also be useful to begin or supplement your learning through internships and work-based placements as a way to build experience, skills and contacts. 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)  


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

  • 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. 

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