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How do we decide which buildings and environments need preserving? How do we better understand their physical fabric and the influences on their design and construction? How will they be conserved in future, and who will pay for this to happen? Study at Oxford Brookes to develop expertise in historic conservation and discover how we can preserve, learn from, and protect sites of historic importance.
You’ll examine the ideas, laws and policies that define current conservation, including how these have changed - and evolve over time. You’ll explore how built heritage can be conserved, adapted and developed in a variety of ways. And you’ll learn fundamental concepts and conservation techniques, taught by leading experts in the field.
You’ll study the history of architecture and the built environment, and progress skills in researching, analysing and recording information from historic sites.
With a broad range of guest speakers, field trips, workshops and site visits, you’ll expand your network and develop the professional skills needed to explore a variety of jobs in this sector.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
Study in a city steeped in architectural history
Enrol on a course based in one of the UK’s finest historic cities, with close ties to local and national heritage organisations.
Attend Oxford Brookes and the University of Oxford
Teaching is delivered jointly by Oxford Brookes and the University of Oxford, combining the internationally renowned research and teaching expertise of the two institutions.
Active conservation site visits
Visit and survey live conservation projects taking place in the UK, gaining an insight into current practices in the field.
Develop historic building insights
From knapping flint to mixing lime mortar, gain a hands-on understanding of traditional construction and repair techniques through workshops, visits and field trips.
A stepping stone to a rewarding career
This course puts you at the centre of UK conservation practice. Previous alumni have gone on to work for Historic England, UNESCO, the National Trust and other leading employers.
Throughout this course you’ll think critically about the role of historic conservation, asking why we do it, and how we might improve upon current practices.
You’ll study the theory, law and history of conservation. Here you’ll gain an understanding of the cultural and political forces that have shaped the practice, and the debates that animate it today.
You’ll gain hands-on, practical insights into building and repair techniques, helping you to understand how both traditional and modern buildings can be preserved and renewed. You’ll develop skills in analysis and recording, and learn how good design can help secure the future of historic areas. You’ll also gain a thorough understanding of conservation economics: how projects get funded, how they’re costed and appraised, and how third-party funding can be secured.
For the full MSc award, you’ll write a dissertation on a conservation topic of your choice, using independent research and regular tutorial discussion to develop your own area of special expertise within the field.
Learning and teaching
You’ll look into the major elements of architectural history in England from the medieval period to the present. You’ll experience the extraordinary built heritage of Oxford and its environs, and examine the mechanisms by which it is currently managed.
Our teaching and learning methods reflect the variety of topics and techniques associated with historic conservation. These include:
- directed reading
- practical and project work.
Most modules also include site visits and/or fieldwork. These provide you with direct experience of the practical application of conservation principles.
Assessment is 100% coursework based.
There are a number of extra-curricular field trips and practical workshops. These are optional, and those attending will need to pay a supplementary fee to cover costs. See the additional costs section of this page for details.
The School of the Built Environment has an impressive list of funders and clients covering UK and EU government, research funding councils and industry.
- the European Commission
- UK Government/Agencies
- local government
- the commercial sector.
Research areas and clusters
Infrastructure and energy continue to be a key focus as they are the essential components of a rapidly urbanising world.
- Smart Construction and Impact Assessment (SC&IA)
- Land Design and Development (LDD)
- Planning, Policy and Governance (PPG)
We have links with universities worldwide so there are exciting opportunities for collaborative research, exchanges and study overseas.
By the time you finish our degree in historic conservation, you’ll be well placed to explore a wide range of careers across the sector. You’ll also have developed a number of transferable skills in research, analysis, surveying and design.
Graduates of this course can explore roles such as heritage consultant, historic buildings adviser, conservation officer and project manager with employers including:
- architectural practices,
- heritage consultancies,
- planning and property consultancies,
- national and international heritage bodies,
- central government departments,
- local planning authorities,
- museums and education sites,
- voluntary and campaign groups.
Previous graduates have found work in organisations such as the Landmark Trust, English Heritage, Historic England, UNESCO, the National Trust, the Victorian Society, and SAVE Britain’s Heritage.
On completion of this degree, you may also choose to further your studies at doctorate level and work towards a PhD.
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
If your first language is not English you will require a minimum academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all components.
An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.
Pathways courses for international and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.
Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.
If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
We advise applying in advance to secure places, and allow sufficient time for applications to be reviewed.
There is no formal application deadline (recruitment closes when teaching capacity is reached).
Applicants should also factor any time needed to meet offer conditions, arrange accommodation, and obtain a UK Student visa (if applicable).
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
|Historic Conservation (field trips and practical workshops)||£100|
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
It’s your responsibility to cover print / binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.
|You may choose to purchase books to support your studies. Many books on our reading lists are available via the Library, or can be purchased secondhand.||£20-60 per book|
Accommodation fees in Brookes Letting (most do not include bills)
|£94-265 per week|
Accommodation fees in university halls (bills included, excluding laundry costs)
|£122-180 per week|
Graduation costs include tickets, gowning and photography. Gowns are not compulsory but typically students do hire robes, starting at £41.
Students are responsible for their own travel to and from university for classes. BrookesBus travel is subsidised for full-time undergraduate students that are on a course with a fee of £9,250 or more, or living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence. There is an administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.
Financial support and scholarships
Featured funding opportunities available for this course.