Conservation with Specialisation in Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects, Master's Program
In this education, we address issues related to sustainability. The content of the course or program fits into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced sustainability perspective.
The Master’s Programme in Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects provides an opportunity to specialise within the field of conservation and to develop in-depth skills in conservation techniques and instruments. The specialisation for the academic year 2024/2025 is archaeological materials. The programme incorporates critical thinking in conservation and prepares you for professional work in your specialisation area, as well as lays the foundation for future academic studies.
Preserving works of art is necessary for the appreciation of our tangible heritage by future generations. Materials used to produce works of art are often intrinsically susceptible to chemical degradation; conservation aims to stabilise and understand how we can preserve cultural heritage and works of art. Climate change and the increased demand for access to works of art in exhibitions are challenges that conservators address.
The Master's Programme in Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects incorporates professional codes of ethics and scientific methods of analysis in assessing the condition of artefacts and implementing preventive and remedial methods for conservation. At the programme, you will develop methodological and technical skills while incorporating critical thinking in conservation, reflecting on how your decisions influence context and treatment.
The master’s programme is given in accordance with the European professional standard for conservation developed by the European Confederation of Conservators-Restorers Organisations (E.C.C.O.) and the European Network for Conservation/Restoration Education (ENCoRE). This allows you to work both in Sweden and internationally.
The programme offers practical in-depth studies in:
- Documentation Photography and Video Production;
- 3D Modelling;
- Technical Photography;
- X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF);
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR);
- Raman Spectroscopy, and
- Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS).
A unique opportunity to specialise
The programme offers a new specialisation at each start of the programme. In the academic year 2024/2025, we offer archaeological materials as a specialisation.
Archaeological materials are a group of cultural heritage objects that were discovered from archaeological excavations from terrestrial and seawater environments. Due to long-term burial in soil or water and changes in the environment during excavation, some special considerations should be applied before, during and after excavation. The aim of this specialisation is to teach you all aspects of field conservation activities, the methods of study and analysis of archaeological materials as well as post-excavation conservation operations in the lab.
In the following academic year, 2025/2026, the specialisation is stone. Specialisations for the upcoming years are metals, monumental art, glass and ceramics, paper, and conservation science.
A firm grounding in research and collaboration
The Department of Conservation has a strong historical position in Sweden and has been operating for over four decades. Internships and student research are based on a strong network of collaborations with national and international organisations including the Swedish National Heritage Board (RAA).
Safeguarding cultural heritage
Working as a conservator, you contribute to the Global Goals by keeping the cultural heritage accessible and alive for future generations. By preserving objects, interiors, and building elements, you continuously work towards target 11.4, which is about strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage.
Environmental work at the programme
In the master’s programme, you use different types of solvents, chemicals, and single-use items to preserve cultural heritage objects. The University has agreements with enterprises that recycle chemicals and waste, and we use green solvents or the most environmentally friendly option in our courses. We have a policy for dealing with single-use items and during your studies, you are introduced to sustainable practices within the field of conservation.
Programme structure and content
Throughout the programme, you will participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory work. The first year is comprised of courses within the main field of study, and the second year is dedicated to an internship and a research-based thesis project. The programme combines science, practical conservation, and research and is taught by experienced conservators, conservation scientists, and international guest lecturers.
Who should apply?
Are you aiming towards an international career in conservation? Are you a working professional who wants to broaden your skillset to include cutting-edge methodologies in conservation?
Apply for the Master's Programme in Conservation if you are interested in a holistic understanding of practical conservation and if you want to deepen your theoretical and practical knowledge within the field of conservation.
Prerequisites and selection
A Bachelor's degree in Conservation.Students with equivalent education may, after examination, be admitted to the program. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.
Selection is based upon the number of credits in Conservation.
Graduates receive the degree Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Conservation with Specialisation in Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects and studies at the programme make you eligible for future academic studies.
The master’s programme is given in accordance with the European professional standard for conservation which opens up for work both in Sweden and internationally. Our former students work in museums, private conservation studios and libraries. Former students have also started their own businesses.
Our teaching is held in the building Natrium in the centre of Gothenburg.