Heritage Conservation

The Heritage Conservation program develops your skills in best practice conservation, architectural adaptation and management of culturally significant places.

This course offers insights into the importance of cultural continuity and place identity while challenging you to imagine how to regenerate and renew buildings, urban areas and cultural landscapes through architectural intervention and urban strategy.

You will learn how to assess heritage significance and how that assessment translates into policies that facilitate or constrain development.

You will learn techniques for documentation, management and interpretation of culturally important places and about the regulatory and policy framework for local and international heritage conservation.

Gain industry relevant experience via a graduate internship and benefit from mentoring by heritage professionals through the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Course Details

Course name Credit points Duration
Master of Heritage Conservation 72 1.5 years
Graduate Diploma in Heritage Conservation 48 1 year
Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation 24 0.5 year

Why choose this course?

If you come from an architectural, urban planning, archaeological, historical, engineering or related background, this course will develop your specialist conservation skills.

What will you achieve?

Career pathways include conservation specialists or in the related fields of architecture, planning, archaeology, history or heritage consultancy.

Modes of study

Part-time study is available for Australian citizens and permanent residents. You may also take individual units as continuing professional development short courses without enrolling in a degree.

Heritage Conservation Studies may also be taken as a major stream within the two-year Master of Urbanism program.

Indicative Course

    First Year

    Semester One

  • This unit will introduce students to key controversies, theoretical propositions and practical innovations that have driven the historical development of heritage conservation. The unit covers ideas and examples from the ancient world until the present, with the main focus being on the period from 1850 until today.

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  • The aims of the course are to introduce students to broad range of specialists from the related fields of architectural conservation and related disciplines who specialize in the conservation of traditional building fabric; to introduce students to the appropriate and accepted methods traditional construction and of the conservation traditional architectural materials; and to familiarise students with the relevant literature pertaining to the domain.

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  • This unit presents foundational knowledge concerning modern movements in global architecture and urbanism, from the early-20th century to the present. It explores the relationships between developments in architectural practice and broader dynamics of 20th century history.

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    First Year

    Semester Two

  • The aims of this unit are to develop practical skills in the methods and practices of conservation at an accepted professional level, and to interpret and apply the theory of practice taught in the mandatory core of the course in practical, on-site projects.

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  • In this unit you will become familiar with the system of legal protections and policy instruments that underpin heritage conservation activity.

    You will explore the idea of cultural property and of shared environmental resources and the ways in which these are balanced with private property rights in heritage policy and law.

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  • The aim of the course is to form and develop interdisciplinary collaboration in design teams of students design and non-design related backgrounds and to work collaboratively following accepted levels of contemporary architectural and conservation professional practice.

    Additionally, it is intended that students will develop a critical ability to assess the appropriateness of the design of new additions to existing buildings of recognised heritage value.

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    Second Year

    Semester One

  • This unit will introduce students to key controversies, theoretical propositions and practical innovations that have driven the historical development of heritage conservation.

    The unit covers ideas and examples from the ancient world until the present, with the main focus being on the period from 1850 until today.

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  • The report is a substantial piece of research conducted over one semester. It takes the form of report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved subject of your choice.

    The report is an opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills in a particular area.

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Student Profiles

    Priyanka Misra

    Master of Heritage Conservation (2014)
    Heritage Specialist, City of Sydney Council

    "My master’s degree gave me the opportunity to undergo an internship with the City of Sydney Council’s heritage team.

    It was an amazing work experience that opened a door to my new career and a whole new world of heritage conservation from a government’s point of view

    It encouraged me to also become a part of various other respected organisations such as Australia ICOMOS, the National Trust and Sydney Living Museums, which are all highly respected for their work in the field of heritage conservation.”

    Amanda Purcell

    Master of Heritage Conservation

    "I have spent most of my adult life in Asia; two stays in Hong Kong totalling almost nine years and a two year stay in Japan. Both countries had very different strategies for dealing with heritage conservation and the treatment of old buildings

    I returned determined to do whatever I could to assist in preserving Australia’s cultural heritage, a young country with a unique story. I felt this degree would be a perfect way to gain a deeper understanding of a profession that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings of historical significance.

    I find the Heritage Conservation degree stimulating on so many levels. We have had the opportunity to visit a number of areas of historical interest within Sydney and have met a variety of people working in related fields who all have inspiring stories and experiences to share.

    The knowledge gained should complement my existing skills as an analyst and my project management experience."

Meet Our
Program Director


Dr Cameron Logan

Research Interests

Cultural Value

Cameron is an urban and architectural historian whose work focuses on the ways that heritage conservation shapes cities.

He is interested in the places we choose to keep, why we choose to keep them and who decides. This involves researching the ways in which regimes of cultural value inform and delimit property value; the social politics of deciding what places to protect and how; and the possibilities of understanding and adapting large-scale landscapes and built ensembles such as hospitals, stadiums and universities.

See Cameron's Profile

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Master of Heritage Conservation