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.

Thesis Specification


To research and write a thesis on a topic related to the conservation of historic buildings which:

  •  is the product of the author’s original and unaided work;
  • involves an element of originality e.g. new information derived from original and secondary sources, or a new analysis of a previously discussed topic;
  • has implications for the conservation of historic buildings: the extent to which the thesis covers the history, theory and/or practice of conservation will vary depending on the topic; but the conservation element should occupy at least one chapter of the thesis, and should be part of the overall argument e.g. in a thesis on the work of an individual architect, the evaluation of the work in a wider historic and aesthetic context in the main body of the thesis should feed into a chapter on conservation which takes into account the condition or value of the surviving buildings, and makes detailed recommendations for future action, including designation (‘listing’);
  • contains a critical examination and evaluation of material relevant to historic buildings, and leads to a well-argued conclusion;
  • constitutes a valuable addition to the existing fund of knowledge relating to building conservation; and
  • is well-written, fully referenced, and well-presented.


Download Full Thesis Specification as a PDF