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Arts, Humanities & Social SciencesHistory, Archaeology and ReligionOur Alumni

Simon Stephens (MSc 2013)

13 April 2016
Simon Stephens
Simon Stephens

Simon Stephens is an Assistant Conservator of Engineering for National Museums Scotland’s Museum of Flight.

I studied undergraduate biology and went on to work in a genetics laboratory before realising that the career path wasn’t right for me. I always had a passion for museums, antiquities and cultural heritage but never thought to pursue a career in those areas until I saw the MSc in Conservation Practice in a Cardiff University prospectus. From that moment my goal was to become a conservator and work in the heritage sector.

The degree was taught over two years allowing me to convert my previous scientific background into a conservation skillset before building on them to Master’s level.

I went from a complete novice to a fully qualified competent emerging professional who had completed an internship with one of the largest museums in the country.

I now work for National Museums Scotland’s Museum of Flight as Assistant Conservator of Engineering. I am part of a small team delivering conservation to a wide variety of artefacts. I have a great interest in the conservation of large objects such as industrial machinery and vehicles so for me to get this job was a dream come true.

I would certainly not be in this position had I not pursued my goal and studied to become a conservator at Cardiff University. The brilliant methods of teaching conservation theory and practice and the experience I gained doing my summer internship at my chosen museum have given me the best start to a new career that I could have possibly ever imagined.

What makes the course truly special is the way taught theoretical principles are put into practice as you undertake conservation treatments on a wide variety of actual museum artefacts.

The teaching staff are all renowned conservators in their fields and the facilities are fantastic. From the department’s state-of-the-art analytical equipment to the well-stocked libraries and postgraduate study centres provided by the University, all make studying at Cardiff a great experience.