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The Edinburgh College of Art Main Building during the autumn with trees in the foreground and Edinburgh Castle in the background Image courtesy of Federica Mentasti


Architectural Conservation - MSc



1 year


The MSc Architectural Conservation degree provides an in-depth introduction to the key components of the built heritage, in a programme suitable for students from all backgrounds.  

With its blend of medieval, neo-classical and modern architecture, and its unique concentration of national cultural institutions, Edinburgh is the ideal city in which to develop postgraduate skills in historic preservation.   

Our Architectural Conservation MSc programme is over fifty years old, making it the longest-established programme of its kind in Scotland or its neighbouring nations.   

Students form part of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), the University’s specialist historic preservation teaching and research unit, and join a community of postgraduate students from all over the world, and from a wide range of disciplinary first-degree backgrounds, including architecture, history, planning, engineering and interior design.   

Taking advantage of Edinburgh’s position as a UNESCO World Heritage city, and the physical location of the SCCS in the heart of the World Heritage Site, the Architectural Conservation MSc programme focuses on a wide range of themes including conservation theory, criticism and history; urban conservation; conservation technology; and World Heritage.  

Although based within a school of architecture, it is taught from first principles, and is suitable for students from any disciplinary background. No specific prior grounding in architecture, design or built-environment studies in required.


This programme aims to provide students with the broad base of knowledge and skills necessary to embark on a career in one of the many professional sub-disciplines of historic preservation, ranging from heritage management to conservation-specialist architectural practice. 

In pursuing a conservation-related career, your qualification will be extremely well-regarded thanks to its recognition by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, Britain’s official organisation of architectural heritage professionals.

Why you should choose this programme


You will gain a Masters qualification in historic preservation in a single year, as opposed to two years in many other countries.


Flexible in-person teaching approach augmented by extensive additional online resources.


We are the longest established graduate historic preservation programme in Scotland, England, Ireland or Wales, with strong thematic emphases.


You will have access to the extensive multi-disciplinary academic infrastructure and facilities of the University of Edinburgh.


Field trips within Scotland and England, and (where possible) overseas, provide the chance to explore conservation issues in other settings.  

As members of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), students have access to our annual series of Architectural Conservation Masterclasses, which feature leading national and international figures from a wide spectrum of disciplines. As well as the Masterclasses, we also often host and participate in conferences, seminars and exhibitions, including in collaboration with partner organisations.  

Find out more about the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies.

How to apply & entry requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • See detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder 
  • Get information on what to expect after you apply 
  • Find out about study modes, start dates and fees 
  • Find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal 
  • Find out where to go for further advice and guidance.

Get in touch

Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)131 650 4086

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