In this Master’s you will learn to assess the condition of objects of cultural value and identify possible causes of decay, investigate the way in which they are manufactured, and become familiar with the most important techniques for preserving objects of cultural value for the future. Lecturers are strongly linked to practice. (Inter)national experts complement the programme.
The programme has a workload of 120 ECTS: 66 ECTS object-focused practical training; 36 ECTS theory courses; and 18 ECTS thesis
The practical component for the nine conservation and restoration specialisations focuses on the preservation of objects of cultural value, including relating research. In the Technical Art History programme, you develop your technical skills in scientific analysis, both during the modules and in a fieldwork project. Interdisciplinary projects can be part of the programme. You will also participate in presentations, lectures and symposia. The Master’s programme concludes with an individual thesis research project.
Courses within the Master’s in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage teach you an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation, analysis and preservation of heritage objects. Object analysis focuses on assessing technical and material characteristics, values, phenomena of deterioration and documentation. Academic skill development emphasizes research and technical analysis skills, academic writing and presenting. In practicals you develop the observational and manual skills related to your particular (conservation) specialisation, learn to weigh treatment options and formulate a proposal that offers a holistic view on the conservation of heritage objects.
Students can choose an elective of 6 ECTS (2 x 6 ECTS for Technical Art History) from the wide range of electives offered by the UvA and other Dutch universities. Electives contribute to the student’s insights in cultural heritage, humanities or science, broaden their perspectives and are usually offered by other disciplines such as archeology, computational science and philosophy.
The programme for conservation students includes a long internship during the Advanced Professional Programme that follows the Master’s in Conservation and Restoration. No mandatory internships are scheduled during the Master’s, however conservation projects often take you to heritage institutions. In the Field work module that is part of the Master’s programme for Technical Art History students, you work in Dutch museums or heritage institutions.
You write a thesis of 18 ECTS in the second year of the Master’s. The research topic will be determined in consultation with the thesis supervisor. Theses typically focus on a particular object or group of objects. They may involve object analysis, historical source research, reconstructions of heritage objects or techniques, or they may have a more theoretical focus.
The Master's in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage currently comprises ten specialisations:
Each year, five specialisations will be open for application. The specialisations that start in the academic year 2021-2022, are: Contemporary Art; Glass and Ceramics; Paintings; Textiles; and Technical Art History.
Whilst these specialisations offer their first-year courses, the specialisations that started in the previous academic year (2020-2021), and which will consequently start again in 2022-2023, offer their second-year courses. Those specialisations are: Book and Paper; Historic Interiors; Metals; Photography; Wood and Furniture.
The entire programme for becoming a conservator-restorer consists of three parts:
With the exception of graduates from the Technical Art History specialisation, students who have completed the Master’s degree in Conservation and Restoration can apply for the Advanced Professional Programme. Admitted students will receive a modest grant to cover the tuition fees and living costs.
Completion of the Master’s degree qualifies you as an academic scholar in the field of Technical Art History or in Conservation and Restoration, not as a conservator. You qualify as a conservator only when you successfully complete the subsequent Advanced Professional Programme.