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Tuition in Finnish

Tuition in Conservation degree programme is mostly in Finnish. The studies may include lectures, workshops or even complete study courses in English in case of visiting lecturers or international exchange students, participating at certain study courses.

Conservation is an interdisciplinary field of science. The purpose of conservation is to preserve our common cultural heritage, both nationally and internationally. Conservation includes all actions, which slow down and prevent the further deterioration of cultural heritage. Conservation can be divided into preventive conservation, remedial conservation and restoration (ICOM-CC terminology for conservation).

Studying Conservation

The duration of the studies is four years and the extent 240 credit points. There are several different specialisations possible at the Degree Program in Conservation. One specific specialisation will start each year and is announced well in advance at the Metropolia UAS web page.

New students are admitted every year, the degree title is Bachelor of Arts (Conservation). The Degree Programme in Conservation provides the preparedness to work as a conservator, the specialist responsible for the protection and conservation of the cultural heritage.

The education is based on combination of manual skills and extensive theoretical, technical and scientific knowledge and abilities. Documentation, including material analyses, analytical photography, condition surveys and understanding cultural and art historical contexts form an essential part of conservation education. Full conservation reports will be resulted after the conservation of objects. Creative ability is also an essential part in solving conservation problems.

The studies consist of basic studies, professional studies and optional studies which are closely connected to the chosen field of specialisation. The degree also contains practical training / internship (30 credit points) and a Bachelor's Thesis. The subject fields, included in the studies are for example materials and technology in art, chemistry, scientific analysis methods in conservation, photography, digital documentation, preventive conservation and different conservation methods, applied during practical conservation tasks.

Cooperation and projects with working life during the study familiarise the students with their future field of work. The working life tasks, performed during the studies may include for example research and condition survey of collections.

Education in conservation is international and interdisciplinary education. Theoretical knowledge is combined with practical, manual skills. The aim is to be able to obtain excellent problem-solving abilities, skills and competences, the ability to cooperate with other experts in the field of conservation or related professional fields of expertise. Conservators are working as experts protecting world and national cultural heritage in wide variety of sectors – museums, archives, libraries and in various projects both nationally and internationally. The education also gives possibilities to work as entrepreneurs.

Current Fields of Specialisation

Conservation of Inorganic Materials

Conservation of Organic Materials (with focus on textiles)

Painting Conservation (starting from autumn 2021)

An object conservator is an expert in a range of various materials. Their expertise includes, for example, the conservation of metals, ceramics, glass and lead glass, as well as wood, bone, leather, stone and shell. Conservation of finds from archaeological and marine sites, together with cultural historical and ethnographical objects are also covered. Object conservators focus on collection care and project management in practical projects.

Furniture Conservation

Furniture conservators are specialised in the conservation of wooden material, its structure and surface treatments. The conservation of metal fittings and other materials belonging to furniture is also covered in the programme. The studies are built on the techniques of furniture making such as veneer, inlay, gilding, retouching and upholstery. Period furniture and wood anatomy are additional topics covered during the curriculum, and students are also familiarised with material groups like metals, leather and plastics.

Painting Conservation

Painting conservators are introduced to conservation of works of art on wooden and canvas supports – icons, polychrome wooden sculptures, paintings on wood and canvas, as well as modern and contemporary art. Studying different conservation methods and materials, together with historical painting techniques and materials are combined with practical conservation work. Conservation of picture frames and gilding techniques are also topics covered during the study programme. Material analysis based on chemistry and biology form an essential part of problem solving in paintings conservation. Studies in the field of collections care, exhibition building and preventive conservation studies are also included in the curriculum.

Paper Conservation

A paper conservator is a specialist in the preservation of paper and other information containing materials. Large collections are typical to paper conservation. A paper conservator works with a wide range of materials from papyrus to DVDs. Documents, books and other printed material together with art on paper and photographs are examples of the extensive variety. Paper chemistry and fibre science, methods of interventive paper conservation as well as book binding, methods of graphic arts and photography, history of photography are topics covered during the programme.

Textile Conservation

A textile conservator is a specialist in textile materials who works with a variety of textiles including rugs, costumes, ecclesiastical textiles, banners, lace, ethnographic textiles etc. Manual dexterity is combined with aesthetic appreciation of a textile artifact. Studies cover the theory and practice of interventive conservation techniques that are used in the preservation of textiles. Soil removal techniques and stabilization methods are included together with textile history and textile dyeing processes.

The Degree includes various conservation projects that vary according to customers' needs. During the spring of 2006, the students carried out a demanding project in cooperation with the Ostrobothnian Museum in Vaasa. The project included conservation of four wedding dresses dating back to the 1850’s – 60’s, and the conservation of a French silk brocade skirt from the 1740’s. The conservation was carried out in combination of the renewal of the Museum’s basic exhibition which was opened in autumn 2006. The project also included remodelling of dummies in order to fit the costumes.

Conservation of Cultural Historic Interiors

Studies in the Conservation of Cultural Historic Interiors section are focused on taking care of cultural historic values of building interiors.  In addition to basic studies, the Degree Programme includes studies on materials (e.g. wood, stone, glass, metal) and their conservation, as well as surface decoration materials (e.g. paints, varnishes, wall papers) and their conservation. Museology, documentation of buildings and chemistry are also an essential part of the curriculum. Old working techniques and research of surface decoration materials are studied alongside practical conservation work at the building sites.

Contact Information

Kirsi Perkiömäki
Head of Degree Programme
kirsi.perkiomaki [at] metropolia.fi