Conservation, Bachelor's Programme

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 Organic Materials (with focus on textiles)

The education and training focuses on the conservation of cultural and historical objects made of organic materials. Students become acquainted with the structures and material properties of objects through various analysis and research methods as well as practical conservation projects. The objects may be objects from indigenous or world cultures or archaeological objects of textile or other organic material. Studies also include studies in modern materials.

The studies include project entities, based on the study courses. In addition to practical conservation, collection management and the various aspects of preventive conservation form important part of studies.

Extensive material and collection management skills provide good ability to work not only in conservation but also in collection management in museums and other collections.

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.

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. Learning different conservation methods and materials, together with historical painting techniques and materials is 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.

Conservation of Inorganic Materials

The education and training focuses on the conservation of three-dimensional objects of cultural and historical value produced or made mainly of inorganic materials. Objects range from archaeological finds to industrial cultural heritage, often consisting of many different materials.

Conservation skills are built on courses that combine theory and practice, which familiarize you with the materials, analysis and research methods, commonly used in conservation. In managing the conservation process, it is important to identify the meanings and values, ​​associated with the objects and understand their impact on conservation decisions and cultural heritage management.

Studies include projects, implemented with working life, which are often related to collection management, conditions and risk mapping. The themes that are essentially related to the project entities are

  • usability of collections
  • accessibility
  • involvement
  • sense of community and
  • sustainable development.

Conservation is a museum profession and most conservators work on museum collections. Extensive material as well as collection management skills obtained, provide a good ability to work as an expert in collection management tasks also outside of museums.

Contact Information

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