Postgraduate taught 

Textile Conservation MPhil

Principles And Practice: Core Skills HISTART5052

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces students to the principles and practice of textile conservation and to the appropriate implementation of interventive techniques. It introduces the core techniques of conservation documentation, surface cleaning, humidification and stitched support, in addition to the underlying principles of textile science, including the science of fibres and dyes.


15 hours (two and a half days) per week comprising lectures (8 x 2 hours), seminars (20 hours), workshops (32 x 3 hours), supervised studio time (8 x 3 hours sessions), external visit (1 x 3 hours) and individual tutorials (3 x 1 hour).

Excluded Courses





Science assignment 50% (3,000)

Assessment of practical work 25% (continuous assessment)

Object record 25% (1,500 words)

The three parts of the assessment are interlinked, drawing on a developing understanding of textile composition, degradation, condition reporting and intervention; and how this influences conservation decisions.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce the students to the principles and practice of the core conservation treatment approaches and techniques used to preserve historic textile artefacts.

■ Enable the students to acquire knowledge of material properties and the causes and effects of degradation necessary to understand an object's characteristics and condition.

■ Foster the development of specialised observation skills to understand and document textile artefacts.

■ Raise students' awareness of appropriate professional skills.

■ Support the students' development of a range of communication skills for professional practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Proficiently use a range of core conservation and laboratory techniques to develop practical and professional skills.

■ Analyse textile artefacts, using observation and interpretation skills in order to record their technical information and condition.

■ Identify and characterise the scientific properties of different fibre types and the scientific principles of textile ageing that inform conservation decisions.

■ Critically reflect on relevant theory and practice in order to justify choices of techniques and materials.

■ Employ professional language and appropriate terminology to communicate orally 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 is mandatory