Accessibility statement

Approaches to conservation


Module leader: Louise Cooke


In this module we consider the history and contemporary practice of conservation for the built heritage, looking critically at how conservation has developed with changing ideas about material, intangible and socio-economic values of heritage.  In group work and in module assessments, you will critique and apply value-based approaches to conservation management using local building case studies. The English planning framework is used as a practice model for this work but you are encouraged to contextualise this with other national / international frameworks and principles and consider how these are reflected in global shifts in approaches to conservation.  Through this module you will approach historic buildings and areas differently and develop a complex understanding  of how conservation today is engaged with a diversity of heritage assets, actors, interpretations and audiences.


  • to introduce key concepts and approaches in conservation of the built heritage and the ethics and philosophies which underlie them
  • to provide an understanding of how these approaches and principles have developed and are applied in practice
  • to develop research, analytical and presentation skills

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module students should:

  • have a critical understanding of how and why the concept of cultural heritage and its conservation has evolved and is applied in contemporary practice
  • have a thorough knowledge of the historical background to heritage conservation practices, the range of philosophical approaches and their relevance
  • be able to critically evaluate the conservation plan approach and apply the processes of determining values and significance for built cultural heritage in context

and in academic and graduate skills

  • have developed transferrable skills in small team groupwork, independent research and visual / verbal presentation

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