Title: Training to become a conservator
Author: The Institute of Conservator-Restorers in Ireland (ICRI)
The Internet, Online, 14/10/2015
Training to become a conservator
The profession of conservation involves an amalgam of different traditions and disciplines drawing on science, technology, art, artistry and humanities; it has a strong ethical base as well as a recognition of intelligent, reflective practice and professional judgement. Training should provide technical and scientific knowledge of materials and deterioration processes and allow students to develop appropriate aesthetic and perceptual abilities. As well as teaching design, fabrication, artistic and other special skills necessary for the practical application of that knowledge.
There are three accepted training routes for conservators:
1. A substantial period of experience backed by practical training and continued professional development, known as CPD.
2. A directly relevant degree followed by years of relevant experience
3. A less relevant first degree or period of practical training, followed by a full-or part-time postgraduate qualification and further experience.
Conservators usually specialise in a particular material or group of objects such as architecture, archaeology, art on paper, books, decorative arts, natural science or ethnographic materials, paintings, photographs, sculpture or textiles.
There are no practical conservation training course currently available in Ireland at this time.
A list of training courses available in the UK is available organised by discipline.
Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London
Camberwell College of Arts
Tel: +44(0) 20 7514 6302
Conservation BA – Three years
Conservation MA – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
Postgraduate Diploma PGDip – One year
Book Conservation FdA – in collaboration with the British Library, 2 years full time
West Dean College
The Academic Office
West Dean College
MA Conservation of Fine Art
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST
Tel: +44(0) 191 227 3250
Fax: +44(0) 191 227 3250
Conservation of Fine Art MA – Two years full time (works of art on paper)
Details of International conservation training can be obtained at:
International Centre for the Study of the Preservation & Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)