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.
Why this programme
- 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.
- This is the only programme of its kind in the UK, and one of only a few specialist textile conservation programmes in the world.
- You will be taught by visiting specialists from local and national museums in Scotland and the wider UK.
- Find out more about our facilities and research at the Centre for Textile Conservation and the Textile Conservation blog.
Reproduced courtesy of Glasgow Museums
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
- transferable and professional skills including project management, problem solving, communication and client liaison
- Principles and practice: core skills and ethics
- Ethics in Textile Conservation Practice
- Understanding textiles: technology
- Principles and practice: developing skills
- Preventive conservation
- Material cultures
- Principles and practice: advanced skills
- Conservation in practice
- Deconstructing the artefact
- Principles and practice: conservation projects
- Professional development
- Research management
Find out more about core and optional courses.
Reproduced courtesy of Glasgow Museums
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.
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 of 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, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Institution and Historic New England in the USA as well as post-training internships at the Abegg Stiftung, Switzerland.
In the UK, others work for:
- National Museums Scotland
- Historic Royal Palaces
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- The National Maritime Museum
- Freelance conservators
Graduates also work in museums in Singapore, Japan, Qatar, the USA, Canada and other countries around the world.
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.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2019-20
Home and EU
- Full-time fee: £15500
- Full-time fee: £20420
Home/EU part-time fee: £1722 per 20 credits
This programme is a two year programme. Students will be charged the same fee in each of the two years.
Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only
- Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £320
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
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.
College of Arts Graduate School
The College of Arts Graduate School offers a range of scholarships and funding opportunities each year.More Information
John Buchan Mobility Scholarship
Recipients of this scholarship will be selected from applications received for the Research Support Awards. You may wish to indicate that you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships and you may also wish to alert your supervisor to this.
Please see John Buchan Mobility Scholarship for more details.More Information
Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust
The Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust offers bursaries of £500-£3000 to students experiencing financial hardship. As a University of Glasgow student, you are eligible to apply if you have your ordinary residence in Scotland or outside the United Kingdom, and are either an undergraduate in your second year or above, or a postgraduate pursuing a taught or a research degree.More Information
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000More Information
Postgraduate Talent Scholarships
The University of Glasgow awards Postgraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is £2,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme, in any of the University’s Colleges. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only.More Information
African Excellence Scholarship (Uniserv)
The University of Glasgow is offering 1 exclusive scholarship to students from either Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda who have been supported in their application by our representative in these countries – Uniserv Ltd. The scholarship is available to students entering any of the University’s Colleges to undertake a one year Masters programmes.More Information
The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.More Information
Master's Loan England only
If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.
If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.
Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:
- MSc (Master of Science)
- MA (Master of Arts)
- MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
- MRes (Master of Research)
- LLM (Master of Law)
- MLitt (Master of Letters)
- MFA (Master of Fine Art)
- MEd (Master of Education)
- MBA (Master of Business Administration)
If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate supportMore Information
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
- 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.
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 7.0
- 2 subtests not lower than 7.0 and no other sub-test lower than 6.5
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 95; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 23
- Listening: 23
- Speaking: 22
- Writing: 24
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 185 overall; no sub-test less than 176
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 68; no sub-test less than 62
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries. Find out more about visa requirements, and the support we offer:
How to apply
To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.
Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.
As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- 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)
- One reference letter 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)
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 supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions
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.
If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- 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.
Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.
Application deadline for entry in 2019
For entry in September 2019, the application deadline is 20 November 2018. Interviews will be held in January 2019.Apply now
More information about this programme
History of Art
- Antiquities Trafficking & Art Crime [PgCert: Online distance learning]
- Art History [MLitt]
- Art History: Collecting & Provenance in an International Context [MSc]
- Art History: Dress & Textile Histories [MLitt]
- Art History: Modern Material Artefacts [MSc]