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The conservation and preservation of cultural heritage is an interdisciplinary field requiring close cooperation between conservator-restorers, archaeologists, (art) historians, collection managers and museum curators on the one hand, and Conservation scientists on the other. While the natural sciences, as well as engineering, play a crucial role in the proper selection of conservation materials, methods and strategies, scientific research in conservation is often conducted by scientists who originally come from outside the cultural heritage field.

These scientists thus lack the affinity with the cultural heritage and conservation fields necessary to fully understand and communicate the significance, but also the consequences of their work, to non-technical colleagues.

In order to promote the synergy between the cultural heritage field, and the natural sciences and engineering, the University of Bologna launched a 2nd level Degree Course in Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage (SCoRe). The goal of SCORE is to develop the first generation of "true" Conservation Scientists at an international level.

Course objective

The course is aimed at the education and training of Conservation scientist, that is to say a scientist with further knowledge in conservation (ethics, history, cultural values, historical technologies, past and present conservation technologies and practice, specific scientific aspects, etc.) which enables him/her to contribute to the study and conservation of cultural heritage within an interdisciplinary team.

At the end of the course graduate conservation scientists will be able to:

  • Study, investigate and monitor cultural heritage and its environment with respect to conservation and preservation.
  • Define, develop and evaluate conservation concepts, materials, measures, methods and techniques and develop standards and guidelines.
  • Provide diagnosis before, during and after conservation-restoration interventions.
  • Conduct research on causes and mechanisms of deterioration and interpret scientific results for the benefit of the conservation of cultural heritage.
  • Communicate the scientific principles of conservation and promote scientific research in conservation.
  • Co-operate with other disciplines.

The obtainment of the Master’s degree qualifies students to be enrolled into PhD studies of the Mathematical, Physical and Natural Science Faculty of the University of Bologna.

Course syllabus

The syllabus has been developed internationally by taking into consideration the results achieved through the implementation of two European projects (CURRIC§ and UNICONS©) specifically aimed at the development of post-graduate curricula for conservation scientists.

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • SeminarsWorkshops
  • Laboratory work
  • Research project
  • Field trips
  • Internships/Stages (see external links below)

Assessment Methods

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Thesis Dissertation

Study Hours

The course is full-time and is delivered on an intensive 5-day-a-week basis.
A part from the courses on Processes in conservation, that will be taught by expert conservator-restorers at the newly established restoration laboratories of the Archaeology Museum in Classe, the others are implemented at the Degree course premises located in Via Guaccimanni 42, Ravenna.

First Year

Compulsory academic activities

  • Air Pollution Chemistry
  • Ancient Metallurgy
  • Characterization of Stone Materials
  • Physical Methods of Examining Cultural Property
  • Analytical Chemistry of Organic Materials
  • Biodeterioration and Degradation of Bioarchaeological Materials
  • Chemical Methods of Examining Cultural Property
  • Environmental Impact on Materials, Deterioration and Ageing

Second Year

Compulsory academic activities

  • Computer Science Applications to Cultural Heritage
  • Principles of Collections and Site Management
  • Processes in Conservation
  • Final examination
  • Project

Free-choice academic activities (8 CFU)

  • Natural and Artificial Stone Laboratory - Not available for the year 2014/2015
  • Natural and Synthetic Polymers in Conservation

Program requirements

Admission requirements for the degree programme The 2nd cycle International Degree Programme in Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage is delivered entirely in English. Admission to the programme is subject to the assessment of English language knowledge and skills to level B2. If no certification is held, language skills will be assessed by the Admissions Board. Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is subject to the possession of basic scientific knowledge (chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics, computing, etc.) and more in-depth knowledge of restoration (archaeology, history of art, architectural restoration, etc.). Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is also subject to the possession of the following requirements: 1. A 1st cycle degree in one of the following classes, or other suitable qualification obtained abroad: ex Italian Ministerial Decree no. 270: 1st cycle degree L-43 Technologies for the Preservation and Restoration of the Cultural Heritage as per Italian Ministerial Decree no. 509/99: 1st cycle degree 41 Technologies for the Preservation and Restoration of the Cultural Heritage Previous degree programme system: University Diploma in Diagnostic technician for the restoration and conservation of the cultural heritage Previous four-year degree programme system: BSc in Art Conservation BSc in Art Restoration (of Cultural heritage) BSc in Heritage/Historic preservation BASc/BAS - Bachelor of Applied Science BSc in Science In line with the agreement signed by Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna and the Art Institute of Nanjing (China), Chinese students from the Institute will be admitted to the Second Cycle Programme only after having completed the preparatory study year run jointly with the Second Cycle Degree Programme in Science for the conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. If the above requirements are not met, admission to the 2nd Cycle Degree Programme is subject to a preliminary assessment by a Board; candidates will be interviewed to check their possession of the required competencies and skills. The Board, appointed by the Degree Programme Board, will establish a calendar for the interviews to be held between September and December, which will be published on the University Portal. Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is subject to the possession of the curricular requirements and personal competencies and skills, assessed by the candidate's curriculum. An interview may follow the assessment of the curriculum, the methods, criteria and procedures of which are resolved by the Degree Programme Board and published on the University Portal. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 80

The University of Bologna offers Unibo Action 2 study grants to deserving international students, who wish to register for Second Cycle Degree Programmes in A.Y. 2014/2015.

The grants, worth € 11,000 gross, are assigned on the basis of the GRE (Revised General Test) test scores. Read the full information on the requirements and the application procedure in the call for applications, available on the website of the University of Bologna. The deadline to apply for these grants is March 31st, 2014.

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