Part of Historic Environment Scotland

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.



Download a prospectus for more information on the diploma and short courses.

Temp prospectus link

Study time


As a stand-alone short course:£tbc

Get a brief history of the wide range of traditional and innovative materials used on Scottish roofs from the medieval period to the present day, together with an overview of how roofs function as an assemblage of many disparate elements – including dormers and chimneys.

This course will offer a detailed examination of traditional Scottish roof coverings, including stone, slate, tile, thatch, lead, corrugated iron and other metals. Students will look at traditional construction methods and details. They will learn to identify areas most prone to decay, deterioration and mechanical failure, in cladding materials, fixings, flashings, rainwater goods and underlying timber or metal structures.

A key part of this course will be learning how to inspect and survey Scottish roofs , diagnose causes of current problems and the urgency of repairs, and procure materials for a roofing project in the context of current principles of conservation best practice. Sustainable procurement and the current current challenges of maintaining adequate levels of traditional roofing skills in the Scottish workforce are also key issues. 

Topics covered

  • Roofing traditions
  • Roofing materials
  • Flashings and features
  • Properties and characteristics
  • Traditional working practices
  • Decay mechanisms
  • Repair and conservation techniques
  • Maintenance
  • Sustainability and procurement
  • Health and safety

Course content

Classes, lectures and presentations

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

Hands-on workshop/lab activities

Roofing (lead burning, bossing etc; slate dressing).

Potential site visits

Stirling old town and Castle; HES Estate project sites; Holyrood Palace Cultybraggan Camp, Comrie; Sunnybrae Cottage, Pitlochry; Highland Folk Museum; Craiglea quarry site, Logiealmond, Perthshire; Culross.


Short courses are not formally assessed. Students will be awarded a certificate upon successfully completing this course. Anyone looking for a formal qualification can study our full diploma course or separate units.

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