Master of Heritage Conservation
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
The Master of Heritage Conservation allows you to develop specific skills in assessment, interpretation, management, formulation of policy, and documentation of culturally significant places—including buildings, sites and cultural landscapes. You will be introduced to methods and practices of conservation, designing and building new buildings in old settings, and the history, theory, law and policy of this unique area.
This exciting field of study is much more than just the simple preservation of existing buildings. Instead, by engaging with history, your role is to provide value to building owners, visitors and cultural bodies, all of which have a shared interest in understanding, adapting and preserving our heritage.
Heritage Conservation teaches you the techniques, approaches and methodologies required to work as a heritage consultant in policy development, regulation enforcement or as a cultural historian and commentator. Through this program you will understand the social value and embedded capital of significant sites and determine what should be preserved for future generations
Your degree in Heritage Conservation allows you to draw on our Faculty’s extensive history in this profession, being the first university in the Asia-Pacific region to offer a program in Heritage Conservation.
This program combines the technical and aesthetic principles of architecture and architectural history with the social value of our past. You will be educated in the use of new and old material, alteration design, additions and modifications to existing buildings, and the sustainable, ethical and equitable development of sites in light of its past uses.
Your core program emphasises the skills required for work with valuable heritage sites. These skills include the assessment, interpretation, management, documentation and formation of policy for culturally significant places, including buildings, sites and cultural landscapes. These core skills are taught by focusing on the duality of historic buildings – their construction (in terms of design and materials) and significance (culturally, historically, economically and socially). From this dual understanding, you will be trained to develop policy that reflects the importance of all aspects of a significant building.
Candidates for the Master of Heritage Conservation complete 72 credit points (cp) made up of at least five core units of study (42cp), three optional units from the list offered by the course (18cp), and two elective units (12cp) from those available within the faculty, subject to meeting prior learning requirements and timetabling. Areas of study include history and theory of conservation, conservation methods and practices and new design in old settings.
Further course information
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will monitor students for satisfactory progress towards the completion of their award course. In addition to the common triggers used to identify students not meeting academic progression requirements, students must pass any unit of study identified in the course resolutions as being critical to progression through the course.
A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed by the faculty to provide you with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with your prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. For the Master of Heritage Conservation students complete a research report as a capstone experience. The objective of the report is to allow students to develop research and analytical skills by undertaking an in depth study of their own selection.
Course outcomes and further study
Heritage consultants’ skills are in demand by government and cultural agencies, development firms, historical societies and architectural and urban planning firms. Graduates may also be employed as social commentators, historians or cultural observers. The dual focus of this program – building design and policy formation – equips you to enter either area, and there are an increasing number of opportunities with government and councils to work on conservation projects within their electorates. The approaches taught in this program are recognised internationally, and our internationally-focused approach to conservation education makes your skills readily transferrable to other countries.
There is increasing demand for specialist skills in this area. Many graduates develop a niche specialisation (in a particular era or style of architecture, or in geographic contexts) in their professional practice. The increasing complexity of government regulations – ‘red tape’ - for new project developments presents an opportunity for skilled heritage consultants to work alongside regulators and design teams to help navigate the complexities of significant sites.
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning places a high emphasis on its research activity. We have a vibrantly diverse community of scholars and practitioners, many of whom have taken national and international leadership roles in their fields. The faculty offers the opportunity to pursue research degrees, both MPhil and PhD in four disciplines: architecture and allied arts; architectural and design science; design lab; and urban and regional planning and policy.
You may elect to study in any of these fields, or to pursue interdisciplinary studies in a combination of fields with the faculty or between the faculty and elsewhere in the University. The University and the faculty have formal links, including exchange agreements and memoranda of understanding, with institutions throughout Asia, Europe, Scandinavia and North America. These translate into research opportunities for students as well as staff.
These degrees are supported through a wide range of resources, including extensively equipped laboratories and comprehensive workshop facilities.
Other study options
The Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning runs continuing professional development short courses, including an online program, which provide a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. All of our courses qualify for CPD points with AIA, SBSE/EA and AIRAH members.
If you are considering further study it is also an opportunity to try a subject from a course to gauge its suitability. You have the choice to either complete the assessment work or not. If you do successfully complete the assessment work you will be eligible to receive 6 credit points per subject towards a future degree. For more information please see the CPD website.
A successful applicant for admission to the Master of Heritage Conservation will have completed a bachelor's degree with a credit average.
Students may apply to upgrade at the completion of their program from the Graduate Certificate, through to the Diploma and then to the Masters by maintaining a credit average over the course of study.
Masters and Diploma students may also opt to graduate with a lower level of certification once the required units are complete.
Please note that students may commence studies in Semester 2, however some courses are only available in part-time capacity due to the units on offer.
More detail on the Program (including course planner, credit request forms and timetable links) can be found at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning home page.
How to apply
How to apply
Applications are made directly to the University via the apply button on this page and assessed by the Faculty.
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University via the apply button on this page, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2016, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2016, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2016, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.