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MA Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management

Join an innovative, world-leading course that prepares you for a career in conservation and heritage management

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


2 years full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Our Masters in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management will give you practical experience with up-to-date conservation techniques, and an opportunity to work with leading conservation studios, providing you with invaluable work experience, and networks for your future career.

You'll train for a variety of employment in stained glass conservation, cultural heritage management, arts administration, museums, and the administration of historic buildings. You'll combine practical work with intensive seminar study to investigate the key issues in approaches to conservation and heritage. The course will also prepare you for a higher research degree.

The course is based entirely on the historic campus at King's Manor in the heart of the medieval city of York, and you will have continuous access to our dedicated conservation and teaching studio.

We teach the course in partnership with the Department of Archaeology.

Course content

This is a two-year course, including taught modules, a twelve-week studio placement in a leading conservation workshop, museum or heritage institution, and a five-month dissertation. You'll be able to choose an art-historical or archaeological module in Year 2.

You'll be taught basic and advanced techniques of stained glass conservation, grounded in an understanding of the historical development of stained glass craft and its care. You'll study other topics including art and architectural history, the history, ethics and philosophy of conservation, and international issues in conservation including the impact of climate change.

You'll also attend masterclasses presented by visiting experts which address current issues and new research, events that will provide invaluable opportunities for networking with your peers and practitioners in the field from both home and abroad.

The experience of working within a business or conservation institution, in a team with colleagues, with clients, custodians and heritage bodies, will be an invaluable aspect of your training. In addition to improving your practical skills, you'll have a chance to develop skills of advocacy, presentation and project management. The placement will also introduce you to a range of projects of greater scale and complexity. All of this training will benefit you in your future career.


Year 1

In your first year you will study modules that cover work in the conservation studio, stained-glass conservation and its history, and the wider cultural context of conservation. You'll also look at issues and the role of policy in cultural heritage at an international level. In your work in the conservation studio you'll gain knowledge of glass technology, production techniques of stained-glass, conservation technology and you'll reproduce historical techniques in practice. You'll study the relationship of stained-glass to architectural settings and explore the issues raised by the medium of stained-glass. 

Core modules

Year 2

In your second year you'll study the principles, concepts and philosophy of cultural heritage management and conservation and you'll explore the importance of studying stained-glass in the context of a major monument. You'll manage and implement a stained glass conservation project and address the latest developments in the field of glass painting conservation as part of a seminar module. You'll prepare for your dissertation with a practical workshop-based module which will enable you to design your own research project.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study two option modules:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.


You'll prepare and write your dissertation in Year 2. This will give you time to undertake primary research, design experiments and test treatments, read widely and develop your thoughts on specialised topics. Recent topics have included:

  • A 'Veritable Tour de Force of Mechanical and Artistic Dexterity’: An Investigation into the Medieval Techniques of Inserting ‘Jewels’ in Stained Glass
  • In, but not of the City: Agents of Deterioration, Risk Management and the Future of Stained Glass Preservation in Mumbai, India
  • The 'Cameo Process': The Twentieth-century Acid-etching Technique by William Meikle and Sons of Glasgow
  • A Restoration History of the Rose Window of York Minster
  • Appliqué Windows in Britain: Their History, Significance and Conservation Challenges
  • Low Lime Glass Degradation: The Case of Windows in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Howsham: Further Research into the Phenomenon Formerly Known as ‘Crizzling'


Your studio placement will enable you to consolidate and expand your practical skills in a professional setting, which will involve working on site in an architectural environment, often at height and alongside masons and other construction crafts. You'll take on projects that test your abilities to translate theory into practice in an environment in which targets, timescales and budgets can impose challenges, and you are urged to think carefully about the implications of this aspect of the course.

Before starting a placement that forms part of your course, you are likely to be asked by the placement provider to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is to ensure that you do not disclose any information that is confidential to the placement provider.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Display an authoritative and critical command of past practice and current trends in the conservation and care of historic stained-glass and be able to move beyond country-specific traditions to engage critically with the international context of conservation practice and research in this field.
  • Produce work that is compliant with the rigorous professional international standards and guidelines relating to stained-glass conservation and heritage management (Corpus Vitrearum, ICOMOS etc).
  • Produce work and present professional documentation and scholarly research in conservation practice and heritage management, including the use of appropriate digital tools and skills, to international standards.
  • Develop the capacity to work as a conservation practitioner in decision-making and leadership roles through the conduct of autonomous conservation projects which evaluate, and, where appropriate, employ a range of conservation treatments.
  • Relate in an original and critical manner to a range of sources, problems, significant methodologies and techniques, and new insights from the forefront of the discipline that are most relevant to your interests, enabling you to manage and undertake significant and original postgraduate level research on art historical, archaeological and technical materials and conceptual issues.
  • Be equipped with skills in conservation and documentation, and scholarly research and presentation to join the international practitioner community at the highest level of international, professional practice.
I chose the Masters in York because of its academic focus, its international status, the extensive placement, and, specifically in my case, the fact that it is only two years.
Katrien, Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management MA

Read more from Katrien, who works in a stained glass workshop in Belgium.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Department scholarship information

Current funding opportunities are available from The Headley Trust and the Worshipful Company of Glaziers. These scholarships are announced the summer before the MA programme commences. Accepted MA applicants will be invited to apply later in the summer. Read more about other available funding

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

My placements at Cologne Cathedral and Barley Studio gave me great insight and experience and I hope to apply my skills to a future in conservation.
Emily, MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management

Read more from Emily.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

After an initial introduction to practical stained glass craft skills, you will quickly learn to apply what you have learned to the context of conservation, making regular use of the specialist Nicolas Barker conservation studio in the King's Manor. You'll develop your experience and knowledge of the field through study in seminar groups and lectures. You'll have seven to nine hours per week of lectures, seminars and one-to-one meetings with your lecturer/supervisor. You'll be encouraged to spend time in the workshop to practise your skills and use self-directed learning. The amount of study time per week will depend on the modules taken each term, and this will also vary slightly throughout the course.

We offer an extensive programme of research seminars and events which are an invaluable way to engage with different aspects of your subject, along with discussing module themes with your peers, and the staff weekly office hours.


We have a fully equipped and custom-designed stained glass conservation studio at King's Manor - the Nicolas Barker Conservation Studio.

There is a specialist library collection for stained glass and conservation studies at King's Manor, and further History of Art resources available.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of History of Art on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in King’s Manor in the city centre.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll write 4,000 word essays, technical reports and project designs, reports on the masterclasses, complete a placement report of 7,000-8,000 words and a weekly placement log. Your final assessment will be in the form of your 15,000-20,000 word dissertation.

Stained glass workshop
stained glass lifting faceplate

Careers and skills

This course is for students who want to work in stained glass conservation, collections management, museum curation or heritage management. Potential employers will value the experience you'll gain on your placement. Our graduates are now leading figures in the discipline in the UK, Germany, Belgium and the USA. The course also prepares you for doctoral research.

Career opportunities

  • stained glass conservator
  • archivist
  • history teacher
  • project manager for a heritage conservation company
  • heritage manager
  • historic buildings officer

Transferable skills

  • the ability to apply theoretical approaches to a diversity of practical contexts
  • the capacity to work efficiently, effectively and to a consistently high standard in a workshop/professional practice environment
  • the ability to work to timescales and within budgets
  • project creation, planning and management
  • interdisciplinary work
  • strategy relating to stained-glass conservation in major conservation projects
  • advocacy and presentation skills
  • the ability to conduct significant, sustained and original research
  • intellectual independence

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree An undergraduate degree in related fields such as architectural stained glass, conservation, art history, history, architecture, archaeology, fine arts, literary studies. Applicants below 2:1 or equivalent will be considered on condition of an interview with the programme leader
Other qualifications and experience Applicants without a degree, but with exceptional experience or demonstrable skills may also be admitted, subject to an entrance test. Previous experience in glass conservation is desirable.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will need to submit an example of written work with your application. Please see our guidance on submitting written work.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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