Postgraduate taught 

Textile Conservation MPhil

Preventive Conservation HISTART5049

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides information and practical experience of the agents and processes of the physical, chemical and biological deterioration of textiles and the preventive conservation strategies devised for these artefacts. This knowledge will help students to identify how and why textiles deteriorate, and to contribute to decisions regarding the selection, implementation and evaluation of appropriate preventive measures.


2 hours per week (lecture/ seminar) for 10 weeks, plus one 1 hour tutorial, one external visit (4 hours) and one practical class (2 hours).

Excluded Courses





Written assignment 80% (4,000 words).

Group Presentation 20% (15 minutes).

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce the student to the concept of preventive conservation and the relationship of objects to both their physical and social environments.

■ Introduce the student to agents and processes of the physical, biological and chemical deterioration of textiles.

■ Introduce the student to the emerging concept of sustainable heritage and its implications.

■ Enable the student to evaluate a range of approaches to the management of the museum environment, including environmental monitoring and control methods such as integrated pest management systems.

■ Provide the student with practical experience of environmental monitoring over a period of time and of assessing the results.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain and apply the concepts of preventive conservation and sustainable heritage for effective conservation practice.

■ Identify, select and evaluate options, approaches and resources to plan and implement effective preventive conservation measures.

■ Critically evaluate risk management options for collections care and emergency planning. 

■ Assess preservation issues for the storage and display of textile artefacts.

■ Effectively utilise monitoring equipment to measure environmental conditions and assess insect pests in storage and display areas.

■ Communicate effectively with a range of specialist and general audiences and using appropriate terminology, both orally, visually, and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.

Attendance mandatory.