Postgraduate Diploma at Architectural Association – Important Notice: The Conservation of Historic Buildings course has been suspended. This is a temporary suspension while the school works to re-organise the programme. Please regularly review the website for further updates.





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The AA Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Historic Buildings is designed to offer a comprehensive and innovative approach to the conservation of historic buildings. It addresses the need to conserve; the artefacts that require conservation; and the methods of conserving. Philosophical issues and craft techniques are explored alongside modern value systems of assessment. The programme includes site and craft workshop visits that are connected to current conservation issues of interest.

– Concerned with the technical, professional, and philosophical aspects of the care and upkeep of the historic built environment

– Established 40 years, the course is recognised as one of the leading courses of its kind

– Taught by visiting specialists within a modular structure

– Highly employable alumni have gone on to be leaders in the field

– Syllabus designed to designed to meet the ICOMOS Guidelines for Education and Training

– Recognised by the Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

– Students benefit from the rich intellectual and cultural life of the Architectural Association



2 years part time

How the programme is taught

The programme is taught on Fridays during term time; there are 3 terms in each year.

2015/16 Course Dates; Term 1: September to December, Term 2: January to March Term 3: April to June

The programme is arranged into a number of themed modules, each of approximately one month duration. In line with conservation practice, the programme is constantly evolving, and is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current developments and concerns in the field.

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and visits to historic sites, live projects and craft workshops. Sessions are taught by visiting experts with course staff providing mentoring throughout the year.

The principal work of each student is to write a thesis of 20,000 words on a subject of their choice in which they develop their own conservation philosophies.


Successful completion of the programme leads to the Architectural Association Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation of Historic Buildings.

The AA Post Graduate Diploma is equivalent to a level 7 award within the England, Wales, and Northern Ireland Framework for Higher Education Qualifications