Skip to main content


This blog is a platform for current students of the Cardiff University Conservation Department to publicise their activities, work and opinions.  We are a small complement of around 50 students that encompass Masters courses in Care of Collections, Conservation Practice and Professional Conservation as well as an Undergraduate programme in Conservation.

Here we learn by hands on practice and rigorous academic theory in purpose-designed laboratories boasting state of the art analytical and imaging tools.  This is on top of all the other facilities that Cardiff University has to offer. Alumni have gone on to become practising conservators, teach and research in the UK and internationally.

There really is no better way to highlight the labs and infrastructure than this most informative video tour of the MSc in Conservation Practice produced by past students, Arianna Carini and Marisa Kalvins. It also applies to the other courses too!

The department includes a number of staff all experts in their own field. Professor Jane Henderson ACR leads on Care of Collections, with particular interests in sustainability, influence and decision making. Currently Secretary General of The International Institute for Conservation Jane has a worldwide reputation in the field of collections care. Professor David Watkinson and Dr Nicola Emmerson specialise in materials science of metals and inorganic materials. Phil Parkes and Dr Ashley Lingle are both ICON accredited conservators leading on the teaching of practical objects-based conservation. Ashley was Head of Conservation for the Çatalhöyük Research Project from 2012 to 2020 and has interests in archaeological materials, natural history collections and digital preservation. Phil has worked with archaeological units, museums and heritage organisations throughout the UK for 30 years, offering a commercial conservation service at Cardiff University alongside teaching on the Conservation programmes. His current interests are in historical maille making. Beyond the academic and professional prowess of this team of lecturers is their encompassing and friendly manner.

But what do we do on a day-to-day basis?  What is studying Conservation really like?  What are the real prospects once you leave Cardiff?  All these questions we hope to answer and have some fun along the way. We hope you’ll enjoy finding out what it takes to become a conservator.