Five reasons to choose the programme

You'll be based in the Old Town of one of Europe’s premier historic cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our programme is closely integrated with Edinburgh’s thriving network of heritage organisations and professionals.
You'll gain a Masters qualification in historic preservation in a single year, as opposed to two years in many other countries.
We are the longest established graduate historic preservation programme in the UK, with strong thematic emphases.
You'll have access to the extensive multi-disciplinary academic infrastructure and facilities of the University of Edinburgh.


With its stunning 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 forty years old, making it the longest-established programme of its kind in the UK.

As a student here, you’ll be part of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), ECA’s specialist teaching and research unit, based in the city’s historic Old Town.

You’ll 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.

What you will study

Using Edinburgh’s position as a UNESCO 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; World Heritage; 20th-century architectural heritage; and the challenges of reconciling heritage and new architecture.

The programme combines compulsory and optional courses, and is assessed through individual papers, group projects and presentations, design exercises, and report writing. It culminates in a supervised dissertation of around 15,000 words on your chosen aspect of architectural conservation, with specialist supervision.

In addition to formal teaching, we partner with a wide network of heritage organisations to provide diverse volunteering opportunities, from the local (Edinburgh World Heritage and the City of Edinburgh Council) to the national (Historic Environment Scotland) and international (Docomomo).

As well as course-specific site visits, the programme includes an annual field trip to Bavaria in Germany to expand, in particular, on the issues raised in our core course on the History and Theory of Conservation.

The benefits of studying in SCCS

As a member of Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies (SCCS), you’ll have access to our annual series of Architectural Conservation Masterclasses, which feature leading national and international figures from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Typically held in the evening, and regularly co-hosted with partner organisations, each Masterclass addresses a subject of major significance within architectural conservation or cultural landscape heritage.

As well as the Masterclasses, we also host and participate in conferences, seminars and exhibitions, including in collaboration with partner organisations, giving you the opportunity to get involved in event organisation or to present your work.

Find out more about the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies and our Architectural Conservation Masterclasses.


Historic preservation presents a broad range of career possibilities. On graduation, you’ll have the broad knowledge base and skills to pursue whichever you choose, from heritage management to conservation-specialist architectural design.

Crucially, your qualification will be extremely well regarded, thanks to its recognition by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the UK’s official organisation of architectural preservation professionals.

How to apply and entrance 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 where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study

Alumni profiles


Prof Miles Glendinning

Personal Chair of Architectural Conservation

Director, Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies


Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5789

Facilities and resources

Students at the University of Edinburgh have access to a range of library resources across the campus and online.

We have model workshops in both the Hunter Building and Minto House. Here you can work with machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods and metals.

Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Deadline: 1 March 2021
  • Value: £10,000
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086