The stewardship of the historic environment requires heritage practitioners with special skills in understanding, investigating, enhancing and communicating the legacy of the past. It is the ambition of this programme to inspire the participants to build upon their existing knowledge and skills to become more effective, competent and confident practitioners. This two-year part-time programme takes place on 32 Fridays over each of the two academic years and is designed to offer a comprehensive and innovative approach to the conservation of historic buildings. It attempts to address the need to conserve; the artefacts that require conservation; and the methods of conserving. Philosophical issues and craft techniques, are explored alongside modern value systems of assessment. The programme includes site and craft workshop visits that are connected to current conservation issues of interest. The First Year engages students in developing their own conservation philosophies, allied with the study of early and medieval building types. Amongst the required pieces of written work are a materials essay/investigation, a church development study, a conservation statement exercise and a fabric condition survey of a building. The Second Year extends the scope of these studies including the issues associated with the development and repair of historic interiors and the introduction of services into historic buildings. The principal work for the student is a thesis of 15–20,000 words on a subject of their choice to be approved by the staff. Those directing the programme benefit from the expertise of its advisors, Richard Halsey, Elain Harwood, Frank Kelsall, John Redmill, Clive Richardson and Robert Thorne. Many former students show their continuing commitment to the course by returning to lecture. For 35 years the Conservation of Historic Buildings programme has been recognised as one of the leading courses of its kind and is designed to meet the ICOMOS Guidelines for Education and Training and is informed by current developments in conservation. The course is accepted by the RICS and IHBC, meeting the standards for members involved with conservation works.
Andrew Shepherd is an architect and has run a practice specialising in conservation work for over 30 years, principally in the ecclesiastical field. He is also involved in various international training programmes.
David Hills is an architect with a major conservation practice and has a special interest in the conservation of modern architecture with heritage significance.
David Heath was latterly Chief Conservation Architect to English Heritage and is the current Chairman of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He is the course thesis tutor for Conservation of Historical Buildings.
Open to students/professionals with Part 2 (RIBA/ARB) or equivalent recognised qualifications. Suitably qualified members of other disciplines (e.g., surveyors, planners) may be considered.