Photograph courtesy of the National Trust
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.
- Academic contact: Karen.Thompson@glasgow.ac.uk
- Teaching start: Monday, 20 September 2021
- MPhil: 24 months full-time; 48 months part‑time
Why this programme
- 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 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.
- You will be taught by visiting specialists from local and national museums in Scotland and the wider UK.
- 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.
The students develop a wide breath of academic, practical and professional skills. 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.
- PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE: CORE SKILLS
- ETHICS IN TEXTILE CONSERVATION PRACTICE
- UNDERSTANDING TEXTILES: TECHNOLOGY
- PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE: DEVELOPING SKILLS
- PREVENTIVE CONSERVATION
- MATERIAL CULTURES
- TEXTILE CONSERVATION PLACEMENT
- PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE: ADVANCED SKILLS
- CONSERVATION IN PRACTICE
- DECONSTRUCTING THE ARTEFACT
- PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE: CONSERVATION PROJECTS
- PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- RESEARCH MANAGEMENT
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 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 40 countries and are in senior positions worldwide. Our graduates have worked in museums and conservation institutions from San Francisco to Singapore and from Auckland, New Zealand, to Alaska.
Many of our graduates have been awarded fellowships and internships in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe including Historic Royal Palaces, The National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian, and the Abegg-Stiftung. In many cases these one-year internships, or short contracts, have resulted in graduates being permanently employed in their host institutions, such as the British Museum, National Museum Scotland. and Historic Royal Palaces.
However, it is worth noting that many graduates initially go on to short-term contract posts. It is easier to find employment as a textile conservator if you are able to be flexible in terms of location.
Fees & funding
Tuition fees for 2021-22
- Full-time fee: £15500
International & EU
- Full-time fee: £22050
UK 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 for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
- Registration/exam only fee: £170
Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only
The selection process for the MPhil Textile Conservation programme begins nearly a year 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 (e.g. November 2020 for entry in September 2021).
The fees for the MPhil Textile Conservation are high because of the intensive and high quality teaching and range of facilities and equipment that are provided on this internationally leading programme. We realise that fees at this level may appear daunting but, through our supporting charity, The Textile Conservation Foundation (TCF), we give considerable support to successful applicants to help them in their fundraising efforts. All those who accept places are given detailed guidance and support from the TC Foundation to help their own fundraising efforts; advice is also available from the College of Arts Graduate School (for more information please see: School of Culture and Creative Arts Funding).
In addition there is bursary funding available through the Textile Conservation Foundation – all successful applicants are 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. The majority of students successfully secure funding for at least part of the cost of their fees.
If you are concerned, we recommend that you apply and that we discuss fees and fundraising as part of the interview process.
Prospective applicants could begin to investigate potential sources of funding, but you should not make contact with funding bodies before you have been offered and accepted a place on the programme.
Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans
Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans are EU-guaranteed loans with favourable pay-back terms. They’re designed to help prospective students finance their Master’s courses in an Erasmus+ Programme country while leaving as little of a lasting economic footprint as possible.
The scheme is designed to provide postgraduate students with the means to pay their tuition and living expenses – thereby allowing individuals to focus on their degree instead of managing their bank balance. The programme aims to be as inclusive as possible, working under the following guidelines:
- No need for collateral from students or parents - ensuring equality of access
- Favourable, better-than-market interest rates
- Pay-back terms that allow graduates up to two years to find work before beginning repayment.
Please visit the Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans website for more information.
CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) / FUNED Agreement
CONACYT offers a non-refundable scholarship, a monthly stipend and medical insurance of an approximate total of $20,000 USD (in the case of the UK, no medical insurance grant is given since students are already covered by the National Health System) The University of Glasgow offer a 30% discount to all successful CONACyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.
Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)
If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.
Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.
For more information visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/types-of-finance/postgraduate .
* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes
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.
CONICyT (La Comsion Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica de Chile)
The University of Glasgow offers a 25% discount to all successful CONICyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.
Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)
Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 towards their course.
Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply to us for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.
Please see the Postgraduate funding guide.
For more information visit the SAAS website
Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students
If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.
* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes
Postgraduate Master's Finance
If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:
- a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
- a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.
For more information visit Student Finance Wales
Postgraduate Doctoral Loan
If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.
For more information visit Student Finance Wales
The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2021/22. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.
We are also offering eight scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £2,500 stipend towards study costs, per year of study.
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, a reference and sample of academic writing are also required.
The online application process opens at the beginning of October each year.
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 using our enquiry form
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form
We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.
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 2021
For entry in September 2021, the application deadline is 17 November 2020 (applications open from 1st October).
Interviews will be held in January 2021.Apply now
More information about this programme
History of Art
- Art History [MLitt]
- Art History: Collecting & Provenance in an International Context [MSc]
- Art History: Dress & Textile Histories [MLitt]
- Art History: Technical Art History, Making & Meaning [MLitt]
- Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) (in conjunction with The Glasgow School of Art) [MLitt]