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Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology (BSc)

  • F481

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology offers students interested in arts, applied science and practical work an opportunity to combine all of these interests within an exciting and challenging degree programme. Cardiff University specialises in the conservation of museum objects and archaeological material, using both preventive and interventive conservation procedures. All of our teaching is set against the cultural context of the objects undergoing treatment. Working on these objects you will consider the needs of owners, current and future users of objects in designing your treatments. Working in the laboratories from day one, you will have direct access to many state of the art conservation and scientific facilities.

Students studying artifacts in a lab

The degree translates academic study into practical outcomes. Cardiff Archaeology and Conservation is one of the leading departments in the United Kingdom and Europe. As a student at Cardiff, you will learn from staff who are involved in cutting-edge research in a wide range of subjects. You will also undertake up to eight weeks of conservation placement in museums, heritage organisations and archaeological units in the UK and abroad.

Key Facts

UCAS Code F481
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits 260 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes. Conservation represents a small degree with an intake of less than 10 students per year
Typical applications received 1,650
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB-BBC Chemistry or another science at A level is preferred
Admissions Tutors Dr Alan Lane
Tel Number 029 2087 5627
Email address
School website

First Year

First year conservation modules are designed to develop an underpinning knowledge of conservation theory and practice. This includes developing academic and practical skills within investigative practices such as x-radiography, microscopy, photography and instrumental analysis. An introduction to archaeology is provided via modules which you select.

Year One modules include:

  • Introduction to Investigative Cleaning
  • Polymers in Conservation
  • Introduction to Conservation Practice

Year Two and Three

The second and third year builds on this platform via theory modules, practical laboratory work and museum vacation placements in conservation. Graduates emerge as practical conservators who are able to preserve and care for a wide range of material, which is typically found within museums. They are also able to communicate their activities to others.

Year Two and Three modules include:

  • Independent Conservation Study
  • Analysis of artefacts
  • Conservation of wet archaeological wood
  • Technology and Materials
  • Introduction to the Museum Environment
  • Organic Objects: decay and conservation
  • Conservation Dissertation
  • Metals: corrosion and conservation
  • Inorganic objects: decay and conservation
  • Practical Projects

The School of History, Archaeology and Religion offers programmes that are exciting, cutting edge, research- led and in tune with demand. The School maintains a thoroughly student-orientated approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills and offering the highest quality learning environment in which individuals can develop.

The School’s programmes develop a range of important intellectual skills, including critical thinking, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments based on evidence, and presenting opinions effectively in writing and in debate. You will also gain valuable practical skills — for example, team-working, independent research and time management. You will study in a working laboratory and will contribute to its safe and efficient working, ensuring that you also gain skills in safe practice and resource management.

Strong pastoral support within the School is supplemented by university-wide assistance in housing, finances and career development.

Conservation practice is taught in a problem based learning style. Within the 40 credit practical projects model you will be faced with a series of artefacts requiring some kind of care or investigation and you will be encouraged to develop conservation strategies for them. Each strategy will be unique and you will record your learning in a reflective learning log. Over the degree the complexity of the challenges will increase including project management and liaison with stakeholders: preparing you for professional practice. Your practical work relates to and is informed by the theory led modules which are taught in a more traditional lecture and tutorial style.

You will receive written and oral feedback from module tutors on your assessed course work and you will receive a full formative evaluation and report in the midpoint of the second and third years as part of the practical projects module. Each student is allocated with a personal tutor who you will meet with regularly throughout the year to discuss your personal development. Every member of staff has weekly office hours advertising when they are available for students to drop in for further support.

Typical A-level Offer


Chemistry preferred. Not including General Studies

Typical WBQ Offer  Grade A in the Core, with a BB at A-level
Typical Int Bacc Offer  28-36 points, including scores of 5/4 at Higher Level

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

The School believes in giving its graduates the best opportunities to find employment. We organise interactive workshops with the Careers Service to help students identify their skills and attributes. As the BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology has a strong vocational element many of our graduates aim to find related employment and our own record shows that between 70 – 75% of graduates move into related employment or education. Some conservation graduates move into research degrees many choosing to take MSc or higher qualifications with us. Other graduates utilise their extensive transferable skills in communication, problem solving, project management, independent thinking, and scientific theory and practice to compete very successfully in a wide range of other fields.

In 2010, 62% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while a further 22% were engages in further study.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Alan Lane  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4259 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4929 


School Website:

More information

School of History, Archaeology and Religion