Master of Science in Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces

Master of Science in Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces

Course information

Course title Master of Science in Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces
Course code PMSCCDAFTT2
Postnominal M.Sc.(Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 4 Semesters
Mode of attendance Full-time
Total ECTS credits 120
Delivered by Faculty for the Built Environment
This multidisciplinary course will deal with the conservation of stone and wall paintings and will contain an equal balance of theoretical and practical subjects. Topics to be covered will include: conservation history and ethics; research methods; materials and technology in architectural surfaces and sculpture; composition and properties of building and decorative materials; scientific analyses applied to conservation; the deterioration of stone and related building materials; environmental assessment for conservation; conservation management; conservation materials and methods. The course will also include extensive hands on works both in the laboratory and on site carried out both throughout the academic years and as summer placements. A dissertation will be researched and written in the final year of the course.

Prior to the MSc, a preparatory year will be followed and will include science-based topics for students with a humanities background, and arts-based subjects for students with a science background. During this year, other topics to be covered include: documentation for conservation, research methods and traditional materials and technology. Work-in-progress seminars and the development of practical and manual skills will also be given great importance during this preparatory year.

Further details about the preparatory programme are available here.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of:

(a) a Bachelor's degree obtained with at least Second Class (Honours) or Category II in a discipline related to Archaeology, Architecture, Biology, Chemistry, Conservation and Restoration, Engineering, Fine Art, History of Art or Physics or

(b) qualifications deemed by Senate, on the recommendation of the Board, to be comparable to the qualifications listed in paragraph (a).

In addition to the above qualifications, in order to be admitted to the Course, candidates must also obtain a mark of at least 65% in a test or tests as established by the Board, and held not later than one month before the start of the academic year.

Preparatory Programme

All applicants shall be required to successfully complete a preparatory programme comprising 60 ECTS credits, with an overall average mark of 65% or better, prior to their registration as regular students on the Course, unless the main focus of their first cycle degree is in Conservation and Restoration, and directly related to the programme of study of the Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2019.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

The International Office at UM provides information about admission, English language requirements, and comparability of qualifications. Dedicated personnel assist international students with visas, health tests, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: No fees apply

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 26,800
Yr 1: Eur 13,400 - Yr 2: Eur 13,400
At the end of the course of studies, the graduate will be expected to demonstrate the following:

a) Subject Knowledge and understanding

- show that they have a clear understanding of what the practice of the conservation of cultural heritage entails through discussions, seminars, presentations and reports
- evaluate and practically demonstrate a variety of methods for examination, analysis, documentation and conservation of materials relative to their field
- be able to document, analyse and record the state of conservation of architectural surfaces

b) Intellectual development

- demonstrate the use of critical and ethical evaluation in choosing courses of action regarding the conservation of architectural surfaces, especially when faced with complex problems or unpredictable situations
- reflect critically on conservation practice, including their own
- demonstrate self-direction and scientific rigour in tackling and solving conservation related problems

c) Key / transferable skills

- demonstrate the ability to work independently according to the highest ethical standards, and according to negotiated deadlines
- carry out a professionally designed conservation treatment on a complex surface using the principles of minimum intervention, retreatability and reversibility where applicable
- produce professional quality conservation reports for presentation to professionals in the same or related fields
- show the ability to continue to develop their manual skills and advance their theoretical knowledge and understanding of conservation treatments


d) Other skills relevant to employability and personal development

- discuss their work with peers and justify courses of action recommended
- communicate effectively the chosen paths of action to other conservation professionals and clients.
This course is a challenging and wide-ranging one, focusing on developing professionals with highly transferable skills. It is not essential that the candidates have previous experience in the field of conservation, however a serious commitment to the subject is required.

The course is aimed at attracting graduates from the sciences, humanities and those already in the field of conservation. Applicants who hold a first degree of the required level in Conservation and Restoration may apply to enter the MSc Programme directly. Graduates in other areas are required to apply for the one year preparatory programme which will bring the graduates up to par in the topics with which they are less familiar (science graduates doing subjects from the humanities and vice versa).
Because of the multidisciplinary nature of conservation, the postgraduate course will offer job opportunities in a diverse range of professions within the conservation and management of cultural heritage. This includes in particular the ability to practice as a professional hands-on conservator. In addition, graduates with a first degree in science may wish to continue their career in conservation science, whilst those from the humanities may wish to embark on a managerial career in heritage organisations. Such specialised professions are greatly lacking in Malta, whilst abroad, the Mediterranean offers many such opportunities due to the wealth of cultural heritage it offers.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2019/0.

Last Updated: 12 June 2018

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

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