Develop the skills and competences to work towards becoming a professional book conservator. Books and Library Materials is the largest specialism in the material conservation sector, and this programme has a very high success rate with alumni going on to work in Libraries and Archives in the UK and internationally.
Perhaps you have previously studied English or history but would like to pursue a course with a more applied approach. Our courses offer the chance to gain practical experience on live conservation projects.
Take a Virtual Tour of the studios and college.
Levels 4 & 5: Foundation Degree (FdA) specialising in books and binding
The Foundation Degree in Arts, specialising in books and binding, is designed to give you well-rounded theory and craft skills in using papers, cloths and leathers to bind books so you can set up as a maker and craftsperson, continue your studies in higher education in crafts or conservation, or find employment in the creative industry sector.
Level 6: BA (Hons) Craft Practices
The BA (Hons) Craft Practices course is a one-year programme designed to provide a route into professional practice in your chosen field or for progression onto postgraduate study.
Level 6: Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies
Allows you to further your interest in conservation and progress to the MA Conservation Studies.
Level 7: MA Conservation Studies
The global industry standard for conservation.
Objects from private collections, museums and from our own unique Collection and Archive are provided for you to work on to acquire and practice both established and developing techniques. In keeping with professional standards, treatments are discussed and agreed with stakeholders, with reference to the current and historical context of the item, its structure and a scientific understanding of its materials.
You will study historic bookbinding techniques and the relationship between structure, mechanical use and deterioration through the observation of original material and model making of book structures. You will also become familiar with ethical considerations when taking decisions about treatments of books and archive material from special collections and private collections. Challenges and strategies in object and collections care are introduced, including considerations of usage, exhibitions, environmental monitoring, enclosures, and protective systems. Reflective practice is continuously developed to integrate practical, theoretical, conceptual and professional skills.
Work undertaken will increase in complexity, enabling you to accumulate a core range of practical skills that can be applied to selecting and executing appropriate treatments.
Seminars, lectures and case studies all add to producing a portfolio of treated objects and demonstrable workplace skills. See examples of student projects in our books conservation blog