Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Technical Building Conservation

Advanced professional diploma

Accreditation

Download a prospectus for more information on the diploma accreditation

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Qualification

The diploma course is certified by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA). Students will be enrolled at Forth Valley College.

Duration

Full-time:9 months

Part-time:Up to 5 years*

Credits

120

Study time

Taught:x days (506.5 hours)

Self-study:y days (742 hours)

Fees

For full-time or part-time study.

UK students:£9,780

International students:£13,500

Diploma

Looking for a shorter course that fits in with your schedule. Choose from over 20 certified shorts courses that can be taken part-time or full time.

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The Advanced Professional Diploma in Technical Conservation has been specifically developed in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills in today’s industry in Scotland.

Whether you are a new graduate, emerging professional or existing practitioner, the Diploma will broaden your knowledge and skills, and prepare you for a wide range of specialist careers in the heritage sector.

Be taught by those in the know

This course is taught by national and international experts, through a mixture of lectures, hands-on experience, and site visits.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the issues underpinning the successful practice of
    architectural conservation in Scotland.
  • Evaluate the historical context and cultural significance of a traditional building, site, element or historic fabricPrform condition assessments of materials and buildings and analyse decay mechanisms, deterioration and failure.
  • Work within the legislative and public policy framework of heritage management.
  • Select appropriate, site-specific methods of conservation, surveying, improving energy efficiency and other alterations.
  • Develop research strategies.
  • Create and follow a programme of work repairs, and project manage the programme to successful completion.
  • Evaluate the use, function and performance on technology in conservation.

*based on a commitment of one unit per year

Enquire about Diploma

Course content

The advanced professional diploma programme is made up of four units. Each unit is divided into modules and can also be studied independently. Explore your options within the four sections below.

Unit 1: Conservation in Context

Get an overview of the basic principles and traditions that underpin architectural conservation, with an emphasis on those particular to Scotland.

Duration 20 weeks
Credits 35
Taught hours x days (176 hours)
Self study hours y days (177 hours)

This unit covers the following modules:

  • Scottish architectural traditions

    Get an introduction to traditional Scottish building methods and materials, and learn how the elements of a building interact and function together as a whole.

  • Building fabric and function

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Conservation principles and ethics

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Conservation policy and planning

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Sustainability and adaptation in the Historic Environment

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Documentation of the Historic Environment

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Project design and management

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

Unit 2: Masonry, Limes and Cements

This unit covers the core materials of Scotland's built environment. Students will learn their historic use, best practice in their repair and conservation, and innovation in the research and use of these materials today.

Duration 25 weeks
Credits 38
Taught hours x days (181.5 hours)
Self study hours y days (194.5 hours)

This unit covers the following modules:

  • Stone conservation

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Fired earth conservation

    Get to grips with fired earth in traditional buildings. Learn about its uses, properties, weathering and decay processes, and conservation and repair techniques.

  • Unfired earth conservation

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Mortars, plasters, and renders - Part 1

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

  • Mortars, plasters, and renders - Part 2

    Learn about the development and use of mortars, plasters and renders in traditional Scottish structures, including innovations.

  • Historic cement and concrete conservation

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

Unit 3: Structures and Finishes

Get a comprehensive overview of the variety of structures and finishes of Scotland's traditional buildings, including ironwork, claddings and coatings. Students will learn how to assess their cultural significance, and decay or failure, and discover best practice in conservation methods.

Duration 13 weeks
Credits 34
Taught hours x days (157 hours)
Self study hours y days (179.5 hours)

This unit covers the following modules:

  • Conservation of ferrous metals

    Explore the main issues associated with the manufacture and use of ferrous metals in Scotland’s built environment, from wrought and cast iron technology, to corrugated iron sheeting and steel.

  • Conservation of non-ferrous metals

    Explore the issues associated with non-ferrous metals in Scotland’s historic built environment. Discover their cultural significance and how they've been used in traditional buildings.

  • Historic glass and glazing conservation

    Learn about the physical nature of historic glass and glazing and its significance in Scotland's historic buildings.

  • Conservation of surface finishes

    Discover the history and conservation of a range of internal and external surface finishes traditionally used on Scotland’s historic buildings.

  • Conservation of timberwork

    Learn about the properties, use and conservation of one of Scotland's most widely used building materials.

  • Traditional roof repairs

    Discover the principal materials used to construct and cover historic Scottish roofs in this short course.

Unit 4: Final project

Students will collate, consolidate and synthesise the specialist skills and knowledge gained from Units 1-3. The Final Project requires students the adopt the role of a conservation professional in a scenario to rescue a building at risk. Students must demonstrate and understanding of – and addressing creatively – the many real and abstract challenges faced by a consultant charged with preventing the demolition of, and securing a future for, an important historic building.

Duration 6 weeks
Credits 20
Taught hours x days (4 hours)
Self study hours Optional study hours - y days (204 hours)

This unit covers the following modules:

  • Final project

    tbc - Historic Environment Scotland has developed this unique diploma in consultation with heritage experts to meet the growing demand for conservation skills across the heritage sector.

Eligibility

Diploma applicants (full or part-time) should have a relevant honours degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline (e.g. architecture, surveying, engineering, geography, town planning).

Relevant professional experience, qualifications or institute membership may be accepted in lieu of a degree. Each application will be assessed individually.

Individual modules can be taken as a short course and are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. These courses are not accredited, but students will be provided a certificate as proof of CPD on successful completion of their course.

Programme delivery

The diploma programme will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, labwork, workshops and site visits. Students will receive a solid theoretical understanding of technical building conservation, supported by practical, hands-on experience.

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