What will I learn?

Course Overview

The Courtauld is one of the leading centres in the world for education and research in wall painting conservation. Over the last 30 years, the Conservation of Wall Painting Department has had a major impact on the evolution of the discipline and the care of wall paintings globally. A considerable part of this impact derives from the Master’s programme that aims to ensure the improved care of wall paintings through providing appropriate education in their conservation.

Governed by the philosophy of minimal intervention and an interdisciplinary approach, the education seeks to impart a methodology that emphasises investigation and analysis of component materials and techniques, and diagnosis and control of the causes of deterioration. This aids design of a preventive, passive or remedial conservation strategy that is in line with accepted professional practice, and respects the integrity and significance of the object and its context.

The programme seeks to provide the student with a strong foundation in all aspects of wall painting conservation. On completion students will be able to:

  • contribute to the assessment of the significance of the painting and its context;
  • examine and assess the original and later materials of both the painting and its support and the implications these have for deterioration and intervention;
  • identify relevant factors of deterioration and evaluate the likely effects on the painting of measures proposed for their control;
  • contribute to the design and implementation of a programme of conservation which may include: preventative measures; passive measures; emergency and protective interventions; remedial treatments; and design and implement monitoring and maintenance programmes;
  • produce full written, graphic and photographic documentation;
  • participate in the development of the profession, for instance through the presentation and publication of papers.

Teaching: Continuity in instruction and supervision is provided by permanent staff, but considerable advantage is also taken of supervision and teaching by established practitioners and leading international specialists. The various teaching methods and types of work required of the students are related to the objectives of each component of the programme and include lectures, seminars, student seminars, essays, and reports. Practical work takes place in the department and on site. There are also regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress and general issues, and to receive feedback after presentations.

Assessment: Both formal and informal mechanisms of assessment are used. Formal assessment comprises written examinations and practical oral examinations administered by a Board of Examiners. Informal, continuous assessment is carried out by the staff, and is based on didactic exercises—essays, seminars, revision questions, etc.—and supervision of practical work. Students must demonstrate competence in each of the subject areas in order to be advanced in the programme.

Careers & Employability

On graduation, students join a long list of Courtauld alumni who have gone on to have a major impact in the conservation of wall paintings and other aspects of cultural heritage through roles at leading institutions of global prominence including International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) China; the Getty Conservation Institute; and English Heritage.

Which department am I in?

Courtauld Institute of Art

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
£24,250.00 (24,84,320) per year
This is a fixed fee
Start date

Expected October 2021

Venue

Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

Somerset House,

Strand,

Westminster,

WC2R 0RN, England

Entry requirements

For international students

Equivalent to a good 2.1 in a UK first degree (e.g. US applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above). The interview process consists of a personal interview before a board; tests of manual dexterity and colour vision; and a brief written test requiring comment on a variety of wall paintings. International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic / for UKVI) with an overall bandwidth of 7.0 or above, with no less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing (must be taken within 2 years of the start of the programme).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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