Textile Conservation MPhil

Textile Conservation is a multidisciplinary subject which combines academic knowledge with cultural awareness, aesthetic sensitivity and technical skill. This MPhil is both an academic programme and professional training; it will give you a framework of theoretical knowledge and a range of practical experience which will enable you to contribute to the understanding and preservation of culturally significant textile artefacts.

Key facts

Why Glasgow

  • If you are looking to enter a career in textile conservation practice in a museum or other institution, or to pursue doctoral-level research in this field, this programme is designed for you.
  • You will take part in a project-based work placement, where you can explore a possible future career while meeting professional practitioners and developing your skills and experience.
  • You will be based in our specialist conservation laboratories. The facilities include workrooms, a wet lab, dye lab, chemistry lab and well-equipped analytical lab.
  • You will benefit from our close links with Glasgow Museums, as well as the University’s own Hunterian Museum. Glasgow’s civic and university collections are some of the richest and most diverse in Europe and are of international standing. You will have the opportunity to draw on the museums’ rich and varied textile collections.

Programme structure

You will take core courses over two semesters in each year, with a work placement in the summer between the first and second years. You will write up your dissertation over the second summer and submit it at the end of August.

The core courses will develop an understanding of

  • the practical skills used in textile conservation
  • related practical skills including dyeing and photography
  • the science underpinning textile deterioration and conservation treatments
  • preventive conservation techniques
  • the technological, cultural, historic and aesthetic contexts of textile artefacts
  • the place of conservation in the wider cultural sector.

Core courses

Year 1

  • Research methods in practice
  • Principles and practice: core skills and ethics
  • Material cultures
  • Principles and practice: developing skills
  • Preventive conservation
  • Understanding textiles: technology
  • Placement

Year 2

  • Principles and practice: advanced skills
  • Conservation in practice
  • Deconstructing the artefact 
  • Principles and practice: conservation projects
  • Professional development
  • Research management
  • Dissertation

Background

Teaching staff

Core courses

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

  • An Honours degree, at 2.1 or above, or international equivalent.
  • GCSE /Higher/international equivalent Chemistry qualification. A pass in the International Academic Projects distance-learning course Chemistry for Conservators is an acceptable alternative. See http://www.academicprojects.co.uk/ .
  • Good manual skills – demonstrated by examples, preferably of stitching – examples are brought to interview. 
  • Previous conservation or museum experience is not an essential requirement, although it is necessary to demonstrate an interest in this work. It is recommended that candidates visit local conservation laboratories to gain a good insight into the type of work that goes on. Contact details can be provided.

A personal statement and sample of academic writing are also required.

Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • 2 subtest not lower than 7.0 and 2 subtest not lower than 6.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 24*
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): A minimum
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): B minimum
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 68minimum 60 in writing

* Please note that TOEFL has now been removed from the approved list of English tests by the Home Office and TOEFL tests taken on or after 17 April 2014 will no longer normally be accepted for UK visa applications. However, the University as an HEI can still choose to accept TOEFL tests for admission to degree level courses and so TOEFL tests can still be accepted as normal for this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2015-16 (subject to change and for guidance only)

MPhil

Home and EU
Full time fee£15000
Part time 20 credits£1667
International
Full time fee£15750

This programme is a two year programme. Students will be charged the same fee in each of the two years. Students entering 1st year in 2015/16 will be charged 2015/16 fees for both their 1st and 2nd years.

Funding opportunities

The selection process for the MPhil Textile Conservation programme begins some time before the start of the academic year, to allow students time to raise funds for their study. The closing date for applications is in November, for entry the following year.

The fees for this programme are high because of the intensive and high quality teaching and range of facilities and equipment that are provided. We realise that fees at this level may appear daunting but we give considerable support to successful applicants to help them in their fundraising efforts. If you are concerned, we recommend that you apply and that we discuss fees and fundraising as part of the interview process.

All successful applicants to the programme are encouraged to research funding opportunities and to apply for funding – advice is available from the College of Arts Graduate School. In addition there is some bursary funding available through the Textile Conservation Centre Foundation – all successful applicants will be eligible to apply to the TCF for funding. There are some other sources such as smaller trusts and grant-giving bodies in the UK, as well as some overseas sources.

Potential applicants could begin to investigate local sources of funding but you should not make contact with funding bodies before you have been offered and accepted a place on the programme. For more information please see: School of Culture and Creative Arts Funding.

Career prospects

The programme is at career-entry level and graduates are qualified to go on to a post-training internship or directly into the workplace as a textile conservator in a museum or other institution around the world, as well as to undertake further study at PhD level.

The great majority of graduates of this programme and if its predecessor, the Textile Conservation Centre’s MA Textile Conservation programme, now work in museums and other institutions.  Graduates of the two programmes have an outstanding record of employment on graduation and of remaining in the sector. They now work in nearly 30 countries and are in senior positions worldwide.

MPhil graduates have been awarded Mellon Fellowships at Denver Art Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, in the USA, while others now work for National Museums Scotland, Historic Royal Palaces and the National Maritime Museum in the UK and Heritage Conservation Center, Singapore, among others.

However, it is worth noting that many graduates go on to short-term contract posts initially. It is easier to find a textile conservation post if you are able to be flexible in terms of location.

Further information:

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What essential documentation should I have available before I start my application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

The application deadline for this programme is 23 November 2015 for entry in September 2016. Interviews will be held in January 2016.

Apply now