Faculty of Engineering & Design

Overview

Duration: 1 year full time; 2 years part time; 4 years extended part time.

Application deadline: 30 June (international) / 31 August  (home/EU).

Entry requirements: A first or strong second class UK honours degree or internationally recognised equivalent, or equivalent professional qualification or relevant experience.

Language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each of the four components).

MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings

You will be trained in the fundamental principles of structural and architectural conservation, delivered in an academic framework of architectural history and theory, including the philosophy of conservation.

You will learn from leading architects, structural engineers and related professionals in our Department of Architecture & civil Engineering. Our course is based on the Department's well established tradition of interdisciplinary education and training.

It will not only help prepare you for an exciting career in the industry, but it will also help prepare you to continue your studies with a research degree.

Many distinction-level graduates from this programme stay on for a PhD, often funded in part by the University of Bath.

Key programme features

  • Provides technical training within an academic framework
  • Taught by leading architects, structural engineers and related professionals
  • Based on interdisciplinary co-operation between architects and engineers
  • International leader in its field
  • Proven track record of employability
  • Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • Fully recognised by the Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC)
  • Suited to engineers, architects, surveyors, planners, geographers, archaeologists, historians and managers, but we also accept (and encourage) students who have either taken a non-vocational degree (usually history or history of art, but also geographers, archaeologists, etc.) or have a degree in a different field that they want to change from.

The programme draws profoundly on its unique location, the World Heritage City of Bath, an ideal study material and environment.

Further details

Course structure

Download our course diagram (PDF) or view our programme catalogue for more detail on individual units.

Programme

Taught units

Dissertation period

Full-time study (1 year)

Year 1: 8 units

2 days per week
Semester 1 & 2
Wednesday and Friday

Year 1 summer

Part-time study (2 years)

Year 1: 4 units
Year 2: 4 units

1 day per week
Semester 1 & 2
Wednesday or Friday

Year 2 summer

Extended part-time study (4 years)

Year 1: 2 units
Year 2: 2 units
Year 3: 2 units
Year 4: 2 units

1 day per week
Semester 1 or 2
Wednesday or Friday

Year 4 summer

PG Diploma
60 credits

MSc
90 credits

Timetable of taught units Wednesdays and Fridays

Timing

Units studied

Unit titles

Semester 1

2 (1 day per week)

Structural conservation
Case study 1

2 (1 day per week)

History and theory
Case study 3

Semester 2

2 (1 day per week)

The legislative framework
Case study 4

2 (1 day per week)

Material construction and skills
Case study 2

Teaching for taught units takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays, with one day given to each set of two units. The sequence in which units are taught is reversed each year so that part-time students attend on the same day over the period of their study.

  • Full-time study: 12 months, with students attending two days a week (Wednesday and Friday)
  • Part-time study: 24 months, with students attending one day a week (Wednesday or Friday)
  • Extended part-time study: 48 months, with students attending one day/one semester per year.

Where students do not wish to write the dissertation, or are ineligible to progress, a PG Diploma is awarded after successful completion of the taught course only.

Dissertation

During the final three months of the degree you will produce a dissertation. This is your opportunity to explore a particular topic that has been covered during the programme in far greater depth.

Transfer

A student may request a transfer from part-time to extended part-time study. If approved, the transfer will take into account units completed already and will be applied on a pro rata basis. For example, if a part-time student completes four units in year one and then transfers to the extended part-time programme, they will be given two more years to complete.

Conservation techniques

  • Structural conservation techniques: principles, faults and their causes, diagnoses and remedies, and surveying and analytical techniques
  • Materials conservation techniques: technology and conservation of building elements from structure to finishes
  • Information and awareness about related fields (including furniture and fabric conservation), and the experts who can be called upon
  • The legal framework of conservation.

Philosophy

  • A range of philosophies towards the repair and re-use of old buildings
  • History of conservation, from John Wood and James Wyatt, the Victorian age, William Morris and the development of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings through to present day policies and the listing of twentieth century buildings
  • Stimulating debate and the opportunity to develop an individual viewpoint
  • A body of knowledge on the history of British architecture from town planning to interiors
  • An awareness of adjacent related fields including garden conservation and archaeology.

Teaching of the Theory of Classical Architecture

  • Visual training based around the teaching of classical architecture within the context of Bath as a classical city
  • Aims to achieve a high level of architectural correctness and competence in detailing architectural elements.

Case studies

  • You will attend six case studies (a combination of large and small buildings at sites both local to Bath and further afield)
  • The case studies cover the philosophy upon which the conservation work is based, the architectural and engineering principles involved and a study of the techniques and technologies employed.

Bath students have an excellent track record for getting jobs.

  • Bath postgraduates noticeably outperform postgraduates nationally
  • Our MSc graduates are extremely attractive to employers and have entered a wide range of careers
  • Other graduates have gone on to pursue research towards and MPhil or PhD.

The course exposes students to a variety of external lecturers (all leading practitioners in their field) including conservation engineers and architects, specialist contractors, members of English Heritage and the Director of Properties to the Royal Household. This has provided significant employment opportunities in the past.

The MSc provides a short cut to becoming a Chartered Surveyor. Graduates get exemption from the RICS internal examinations and are eligible for entry to the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). This usually involves two years of structured training with an employer followed by the APC. Visit the RICS website for more information.

Graduate destinations

  • Inspector for the Victorian Society
  • English Heritage (historic research department, inspectors, managers)
  • Architects’ practices working on conservation and building new country houses in the classical style
  • National Trust Manager of Uppark House
  • Conservation officer, UNESCO, Paris
  • Conservation architects with well-known practices working on every type of historic building from Salisbury cathedral to medieval timber-framed barns
  • Development Officer with Turquoise Mountain repairing a mosque in Kabul
  • Member of the Information Team, the Science Museum, South Kensington.

We also encourage the best of our MSc students to continue their studies with us to PhD level.