BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces

This section should detail all that you need to know about making an application to BA (Hons) Conservation: Stone, Wood & Decorative Surfaces, including timelines and deadlines, advice on fees and funding, along with guidance on digital and interview portfolios.

The 2020/21 Course Application Form and Reference Form are now available.

To avoid any problems the forms should NOT be completed online but downloaded to a computer and opened in the latest version of Adobe Reader. If you do experience any problems, or if you have any questions about the forms, please contact us at:

We have a number of Application Deadlines throughout the year. Please check the What about the actual application’ section to find the out the next upcoming deadline.

I am thinking of studying on this course, what should I do?

First you should make sure you know all about our BA (Hons) Conservation Studies course by reading, Why Study Here and Course Details.

We strongly recommend you attend an Open Day for a tour of the Art School and discussions with tutors, who provide details and information about the course. Open Days are a great opportunity to meet students currently studying on the course and to hear about their experiences. BA (Hons) Conservation Studies Open Days are booked on an individual basis. Please email to book a place.

For those of you who cannot attend an Open Day, you can download the Course Handbook and view videos. We are, of course, happy to discuss the course with you by phone.

We welcome applications from anyone committed to study with us with the aptitude to do so. If you have a disability that you are concerned might affect your chances of study please read the section What Student Support can I get? featured below.

It is important to remember we manage our own applications and do not currently participate in UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you have any enquiries about BA (Hons) Conservation Studies, or any other of our courses, please contact us directly.

What Fees would I pay?

Tuition Fees

Fees for students joining BA (Hons) Conservation Studies  in 2019/20 have been set at:

  • Full time Home/EU students £9,500 per year of study
  • Full time International students £14,750 per year of study

If you are concerned or worried about your ability to pay the fees, please read How can I fund my studies? below.

Successful Application Processing Fee and Deposit

A non-refundable Successful Application Processing Fee of £225 (Home/EU) /£325 (International) is charged on acceptance of a place.

A Deposit of £500 is also charged on acceptance of a place but forms part-payment of your fees.

Successful Application Processing Fees and Deposits are paid on acceptance of a place but should you change your mind before the course commences, deposits may be refundable. Successful Application Processing Fees are non-refundable.

Material expenses

To study conservation at this level will incur some costs besides your travel, accommodation and normal living costs.

In the 1st year 2015 students spent approximately £220 on tools and materials for the craft foundation element of the course (£150 gilding kit,  £50 heavy duty boots,  £20 book of gold leaf) and around £100 for a conservation tool kit. This equipment is essential for future professional practice and should last beyond the period of the course.

Students are also involved in an observational drawing course and will be expected to buy paper and drawing materials for this, £50 would cover all the materials used.

In the 3rd year students work on individual conservation projects with the cost of materials covered by the institution lending the object(s). Equipment is available to borrow from the conservation department.

Study trips

In the 2nd year of the course there has been an optional Venice trip with an itinerary of specialist talks and visits, in 2016 this cost each student £460 for travel and accommodation (£500 if a single room was required). Whilst we encourage you to take this trip, we understand it is not always possible, so they are not compulsory nor essential. If you are not able to participate, the Conservation team will prepare an alternative itinerary of museum and gallery visits that you can follow in London.

Refund Policy

To be eligible for a full refund you will need to provide notification of your decision to withdraw from the course (cancellation of contract) in writing within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of your original formal acceptance of a place and your payment of the deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Should you decide to cancel the contract outside of this period (less than six (6) weeks before the course commences and after fourteen (14) days have passed since your original formal acceptance of a place) you will not be eligible for a refund of the deposit.

Please note:

  • all refunds will be made to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees; if a third party has paid the deposit on behalf of the student the refund is made to the third party;
  • refunds can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made;
  • if entitled, refunds will be processed within 21 days of receiving the request;
  • all refunds will be made in GB pound sterling;
  • any bank charges or currency conversion costs incurred in making a refund shall be borne by the student or the third party receiving the payment.
  • For international students, tuition fees and deposit will become non-refundable after a CAS number is issued.
Are there any Grants and Financial Awards available?

The Conservation Department has a number of grants funded by benefactors who support the excellent standard of our students. The awards are usually worth up to £3,000 per year.

Below is a list of some of the grants currently available to the Conservation Department.

If you would like to apply for financial support, please DO NOT do not contact these organisations directly, as they distribute their funding through the Art School as part of the institution’s Student Support. Financial support is allocated on the basis of need and merit, and according to the guidelines set out by each Benefactor.

Please refer to our Student Support page for the Art Schools general guidelines on grants, how to apply and more information on other sources of financial support for students.
Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust
City & Guilds Institute
Clothworkers Company
D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
Elizabeth Cayzer Charitable Trust
Gabo Trust
Vandervell Foundation

Should you wish to be considered for financial support please download the following documents:

Applicants must have been offered a place in one of the Art School’s courses before submitting a grant application.

Please note our grant applications will open from 01 February 2019. 

Email all the required documents to with your full name, course and year. The grant application deadline for incoming students varies according to the course; however, as some of the candidates will depend on a grant in order to accept our course offers, candidates should submit their applications at their earliest as these applications are normally reviewed as soon as they are received by the administrator and processed thereafter. Otherwise, the deadline is usually by end of May or end of November each year.

The Art School also operates a Hardship Fund that enrolled students can apply to if they are facing financial hardship. Please note that the fund cannot be relied upon, nor is it sufficient, to finance a student’s course of study.

For further information, following an offer of a place on the course, or to apply for a grant for next year, please contact: 

How can I fund my studies?

Student Loan

Students on this course have been eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company (SLC) since 1998. To be eligible for SLC funding you must be studying on a designated course. Undergraduate degree courses at the Art School are designated each year by Office for Student (OfS) for the Department for Education; this has been confirmed for 2019/20.

If you are a UK national and studying your first Honours degree with the Art School you are most likely eligible for support from the Student Loan Company. Information on how to apply for a student loan and all other aspects of student funding is available from:  and you can find detailed information about repaying your student loan here. For further specific information please check:

Bursaries and Scholarships

There are  a number of bursaries funded by benefactors who support the excellent standard of our students. The awards are usually worth up to £3000 per year.
For further information or to apply for a bursary please contact following an offer of a place on the course.

Professional & Career Development Loans

Professional & Career Development Loans can help pay for learning that enhances job skills or career prospects. This is a bank loan which is paid back when a course has been completed, however, you do not pay interest for the period while you are in learning. A number of our full-time courses are registered with the Learning Skills Council for such loans. Please note that the loan only covers a maximum of two years. The National Careers Service can provide further information by telephone on, 0800 100 900.

What are the Entry Requirements and Selection Criteria?

The BA (Hons) Conservation Studies course is suitable for applicants who can meet the entry requirements and who are highly motivated to develop the knowledge and skills needed to undertake the conservation of three dimensional cultural artefacts.

Entry requirements

All applicants have to meet the minimum entry requirements for admittance to the course, including the English Language Requirements (If you do not speak English as a first language) though there are three different ways of doing so:

1) Standard educational

Applicants who have achieved, or are expected to achieve, the equivalent of 112 UCAS points, for example:

a) three GCE ‘A’ Level passes with one at grade A; OR

b) two GCE ‘A’ Level passes, plus a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at pass or above.

2) International educational

Applicants who have achieved, or are expected to achieve, the equivalent of 112 UCAS points with a combination of other qualifications including, though not exclusively, the International Baccalaureate or High School Diploma.

Please check UCAS guidance for the value of various International Qualifications.

3) Other experiential

Applicants who can demonstrate equivalent prior practice and experience, such as extensive work in administration; or perhaps minimal GCSE qualifications plus a number of years working in an arts context.

Using a process called Recognition /Accreditation of Prior Learning (R/APL), Art School Admissions Tutors consider how various work-life and (in)formal educational experiences meet the educational level of the entry requirements.

Please see our Recognition/ Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy here.

English Language Requirements

All applicants who do not speak English as a first language are required to provide evidence of their English language skills. The Art School cannot accept any applicant who scores lower than the equivalent of Level 6.0 from the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), with a minimum of 5.5 for listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

If you do not require a Tier 4 visa and wish to take The Cambridge English Exams, your score requires to be in the range of 169–175 or higher.

Selection Criteria For Conservation Studies

At interview we are seeking to determine the extent to which you can demonstrate:

  • fulfil entry requirements
  • evidence of interest and knowledge of cultural objects and their historical context;
  •  commitment and motivation to the subject and the course;
  •  a range of hand skills and technical abilities;
  • potential to gather, research and synthesise information;
  • potential to plan and prioritise your own time and set achievable goals

We are also looking for your potential in the following areas:

  • manual dexterity;
  • observational skills;
  • a rational and informed approach to problem solving;
  • a curiosity about objects, materials and their behaviour;
  • patience and attention to detail;
  • an appetite for learning and an ability to focus.
What about the actual Application?

Application deadlines, interviews and outcomes

If you are applying for BA (Hons) Conservation Studies please note the following:

Applications received by 22 November 2019, will be interviewed between 02 and 06 December 2019, the outcome of which will be communicated by 13 December 2019.

Applications received by 13 January 2020, will be interviewed between 20 January and 31 January 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 07 February 2020.

Applications received by 28 February 2020, will be interviewed between 09 and 27 March 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 03 April 2020.

Subject to availability, applications received by 01 May 2020, will be interviewed between 11 and 22 May 2020, the outcome of which will be communicated by 29 May 2020.

Timeline summary BA (Hons) Conservation Studies
Applications received by: …will be interviewed between: …with the outcome communicated by: …offers to be accepted by:
22 Nov 02 & 06 Dec 13 Dec 03 Jan
13 Jan 20 Jan & 31 Jan 07 Feb 28 Feb
28 Feb 09 & 27 Mar 03 Apr 24 Apr
01 May 11 & 22 May 29 May 19 Jun

Due to the nature of small and tailored year group, we often accept applications after those deadlines. Please contact Admissions Office for enquiry:

Please note, applications for 2020/21 will not be processed before 01 November 2019 at the earliest.

What to submit

If you would like to apply for BA (Hons) Conservation Studies, you must submit by email:

  • a PDF application form, completed in full, which must include:
  • a personal statement of up to 500 words explaining your motivations for your application.

You must also arrange for at least one academic reference to be emailed direct to the Art School from your referee(s). Please use the reference form.

If you do not speak English as a first language, please provide proof of English Language Skills with your application.

A portfolio is not a requirement and some of our students do not come from a background in Art or Craft.  You are however welcome to demonstrate evidence of technical abilities by the addition of a selection of digital images of any relevant material, such as drawings, craftwork, DIY or artwork, that you have previously worked on. If you would like to submit examples of your work, please provide:

  • a link to your Flickr, digital portfolio, at the appropriate point on the application form.

Application Form

Please note, the Application Form must be downloaded and cannot currently be completed online. To prevent problems when completing the form, please ensure you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

The application form is your first opportunity to tell us about yourself, as well as being a vital source of the information we need to make a decision. Please take your time to complete the form accurately, consulting the guidance and the website as necessary: remember that if your application is successful you will need to provide proof of your identity and entry requirements.

When you have completed the application form remember to check you have provided all the information required, including the link to your digital portfolio. Ensure the accuracy of your responses and remember, if successful, you will be required to evidence your claims. We suggest you save a copy of your application form, for your own records and please don’t forget to send the Reference Form to your chosen referee(s).

Please submit your completed application form to

The Art School only accepts applications on the form it provides for that purpose, and reserves the right to reject incomplete or alternative applications.

What happens to my Application?

Application Processing

Once we have received your application, the Admissions Office will check your submission to:

  • ensure that you meet the minimum entry requirements;
  • and, to make an assessment of your fee status.

Assuming that your application is complete and that you meet the minimum entry requirements, you will then be invited to interview.

Interview invitation

The interview invitation details the date and time of your interview at the Art School. If you are living overseas, online-video interviews can be arranged.

If you are at all concerned that a disability might interfere or inhibit your interview, please let us know in your application: we will make any reasonable adjustment, which is within our capacity, so that you might fully participate in an interview.

What about the Interview?

The actual Interview

Comprising a conversation between you and senior tutors from Conservation, the oral interview lasts approximately 30 minutes and explores your application and prepared interview material, followed by a series of written exams and manual demonstrations. All the tutors involved are trained in the fair and equitable conduct of interviews and are fully conversant in the Art School’s Admissions Policy.

Conservation Studies applicants come from a wide range of backgrounds and often do not have an art or craft portfolio. If you do have examples of work you have made, we ask you to bring anything you consider relevant such as examples of any art or craft based work, drawings, photography, sketchbooks or notebooks that may support your application. We are not expecting you to present a portfolio in any particular format – we want to see anything that you consider relevant that helps you to show us your enthusiasm for the subject and your experience in any related areas. If you do not have any material to bring with you we are still able to recognise your potential through the set exercises during the interview.

We encourage you to inform us in advance if the arrangements for your interview require adjustment due to an existing condition or disability. For example if you might require more time or specific access arrangements or other support. Our aim is to ensure that all eligible applicants are given a fair opportunity to demonstrate their potential to study on the course.

Interview Tasks and Questions For Applicants
Interviews for Conservation Studies involve 4 elements and usually take 1.5 to 2 hours. They are designed to support you to best demonstrate your abilities in relation to the selection criteria. We want you to feel comfortable and confident and to ensure fairness and help you to prepare for your interview and we have agreed upon a set of key questions for all interviews for Conservation Studies. These are set out below.

Conservation is a very rewarding subject, and it does require a range of skills – but please be aware that we are not expecting you to excel in any of these areas yet, we are looking for your potential to study on the course.
Meanwhile you should use your interview visit as an opportunity to get a good idea about the Art School: our values and ethos, the course, and what studying here would be like and we encourage you to ask questions and see the interview as a 2 way process.

Interview elements:

  1. You will have a short face-to-face interview with a set of key questions.
  2. Then you will be asked to look at and write a short description (approximately 500 words) of a specific object. This should include information such as what material you think it is made from and what condition you think it is in?
  3. You will then be given a problem to solve, for example what would you do to assess the weight of the object without measuring it?
  4. Finally, you will be asked to either make an observational drawing of an object or to make a small clay model of it. This will take around 30 minutes and provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your observational and making skills.

Key questions:

  1. What attracts you to study Conservation Studies at degree level and why did you decide to apply for this particular course?
  2. What do you hope to achieve after completing the course, do you have any specific ambitions?
  3. Please tell us about two cultural objects that you have found interesting? What was it about those objects that held your attention? Have you found out more about those objects and their historical context and how did you go about that?
  4. Do you have any questions for us?

Supplementary questions may also be asked about the work you bring with you or to follow on from your answers to the key questions.


What happens after the Interview?

Communicating interview decisions

We email the outcomes of interviews by the dates outlined in the application timelines.

Interview decisions

There are four possible interview decisions.

1) Unsuccessful indicates that the Art School will NOT be offering a place on the course; OR

2) Deferred places your application in reserve to be considered alongside the next round of interviewees; OR

3) Conditional is the offer of a place on the course, provided the demonstration of additional academic requirements; OR

4) Unconditional is the offer of a place on the course without  demonstration of any further academic requirements.

Please note that all successful applicants, even those with an unconditional offer, MUST provide documentary evidence by enrolment to support the claims made in their application, eg, proof of identity and prior academic achievement.

Offer letter

Offer letters detail:

a) any academic condition of the offer;

b) the fees liable along with how and when to pay them; and

c) the Terms & Conditions relevant to the year of study.

Accepting an offer

The offer letter includes a Registration Form that must be signed and dated and returned to the Art School to confirm acceptance of both the offer and the Terms & Conditions.

Applicants usually have three weeks to accept an offer of a place, though this time may be shorter, later in the application cycle. The exact deadline to accept offers will be detailed in the offer letter.

Failure to accept an offer

Any offer of a place that is neither accepted nor declined by the required deadline, will automatically become deferred.

Registration and after

The return of the registration form, along with any fees required, confirms Registration with the Art School and a place on the course.

An official welcome letter is sent in July, which provides important enrolment and course information.

Withdrawal following registration

To withdraw following registration but prior to enrolment, the Art School must be informed in writing, for which the Model Cancellation Form can be used.

To be eligible for a full refund  notification must be provided within, whichever is the later date of:

a) fourteen (14) days of the original formal acceptance of a place and the payment of deposit; or

b) up to six (6) weeks before the start date of the course.

Please note:

  • all refunds will be made to the individual or organisation that originally paid the fees; if a third party has paid the deposit on behalf of the student the refund is made to the third party;
  • refunds can only be made to the account from which the original payment was made;
  • if entitled, refunds will be processed within 21 days;
  • all refunds will be made in GB pound sterling;
  • any bank charges or currency conversion costs incurred in making a refund shall be borne by the student or the third party receiving the payment.
  • For international students, tuition fees and deposit will become non-refundable after a CAS number is issued.
What if I change my mind?

It is inevitable that, on occasion, someone will want to change their course of study. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should talk to the Art School as soon as possible to consider your options.

Withdrawal following registration

Following Registration but prior to Enrolment a place on a course can be forfeit, and a refund of any tuition fees received are permissible, provided the Art School receives in writing a Cancellation of Contract request, for which the Model Cancellation Form can be used.

The written notification must be received by the Art School at least six (6) weeks before the start of the course, unless the Art School offer of a place was received eight (8) weeks or less before the start off the course, in which case the written notification must be received within fourteen (14) days of the original formal acceptance of a place.

Please see the Art School’s Student Fees, Refunds & Compensation Policy for full details.

What are the Term Dates for 2019/20?

Term dates 2020/21

Autumn Term: 16 September – 13 December 2019

Spring Term: 04 January – 19 March 2021

Summer Term: 12 April – 18 June 2021

What Student Support is available?

A student guide to accessing help and further advice

For students enrolled at City & Guilds of London Art School, the Access to Learning Department provides advice, help and support in the following areas:

  • Support for learning
  • Support for disability
  • Advice and support for health conditions
  • Advice and support for mental health
  • Advice and support with anxiety and depression
  • The learning Mentor
  • Counselling
  • Course based needs assessments
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Assistance with DSA applications
  • Advocacy
  • Pastoral support
  • General advice and information

Don’t worry if you can’t immediately find what you want, there is an email address below if you need to contact us with any queries.

Any student, at any point in their program, can register with Access to Learning.

Registering your information allows us to observe our duty of care and the effective safeguarding of your rights to disclosure and confidentiality.

If you have any particular needs or support issues, early disclosure is essential to ensure the timely provision of any appropriate advice or assistance.

Access to Learning Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I inform the Art School of my situation/needs?

A: If you have enrolled, and know that you will need some help with writing, or are worried that a long-term condition means you need to make regular doctors’ appointments and you might be late, what should you do?

You should first inform the Art School of your situation or specific needs in one of the following ways:

  • disclose your situation on your Application or Enrolment Forms;
  • complete the forms at the end of this leaflet and send to:

Access to Learning, City & Guilds of London Art School, 124 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ or email

  • make an appointment with Access to Learning, Mondays 09:30-16:30, term time only:
  • talk to your Pastoral Tutor, who will, with your permission, advise you and/or refer you to Access to Learning
  • talk to your Personal Progress Tutor, or your Head of Department who will also advise and/or will, with your permission, refer you to Access to Learning.

Q: Will my information be treated as confidential?

A: The Art School respects your right to confidentiality in relation to your disclosure.

We will not give out information about your situation or your needs unless you give us permission to do so.

Q: What happens after I have disclosed/ completed registration with Access to Learning?

A: On receipt of the information you have provided, Access to Learning, will email you to arrange a meeting in the first few weeks of the term. The meeting will discuss and identify the type and level of assistance required and what the Art School may be able to provide.

There will be a formal assessment following the meeting to confirm arrangements for assistance, if it is required.

There may be another meeting with you to complete a Learning Plan or an Access Plan, (depending on your situation).

This Plan will set out any specific requirements agreed with you and will be used to ensure that you are provided with the agreed adjustment or support identified.

Q: What should I do if I am planning to apply for Government DSA funding? *

A: Please contact Access to Learning so that we can advise you on making an application. You will need to supply specific information to apply for DSA funding:

  • For a specific learning difference such as dyslexia:

Evidence in the form of a post-16 diagnostic assessment, in English, from an educational psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher.

  • If you have a disability:

Provide a diagnostic assessment from a relevant professional

  • If you have an ongoing situation or health condition that impacts upon your access to learning, making, your well-being or attendance:

Provide diagnostic and/or valid documentary evidence of your situation or condition,(such as a letter from your GP or specialist).

Remember not all students are able to apply for DSA funding:

Foundation Diploma students, International students and students enrolled on Diploma courses are usually not funded by Student Finance DSA.

* Student Finance England Disabled Student Allowance: We encourage and assist students with a recognised condition and valid supporting documentation, to apply for government funding wherever possible. Students with a valid diagnosis for conditions such as Dyslexia, M.E, Depressions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and many others, are recognised as eligible for DSA. Students enrolled on BA or MA courses can apply online at:

Q: I have never been diagnosed with a learning difficulty, but feel that I need some extra advice, support or help, what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns and speak to your Pastoral Tutor for advice.

Q: I need confidential advice that isn’t listed above and I would rather discuss it before registering with Access to Learning what should I do?

A: Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: I have a situation or condition that impacts upon my experience /learning /wellbeing what should I do?

A: We always recommend you share this information with your Pastoral Tutor Email or visit Access to Learning to discuss your concerns.

Q: Would tutors and technicians need to know about my situation?

Some staff members may need to know about your situation so that they can provide you with the appropriate assistance or support. It may be necessary to inform other tutors of any relevant information regarding your Learning or Access Plan to ensure you receive what you need to engage with the course.

Disclosure is discussed and agreed with you in advance.

Q: How will staff be told about my situation?

A: Where required staff members will be informed about your needs via the Learning or Access Plan made after your first meeting. We may also e-mail, phone or meet with them, if appropriate.

With your permission we might email your tutor and arrange a meeting to discuss your Learning or Access Plan.

Q: What if I don’t want anyone to know about my situation?

A: You may choose to keep all information about your situation, condition or Learning/Access Plans entirely confidential so that information cannot be disclosed to any other person.  It is your right to do this – but please be aware that the School will be restricted in its ability to meet your needs if you do so.

Q: Is there ever a time when disclosure may occur without my permission?

A: In the case of an emergency, or if there are concerns about the health safety and/or well-being of you, another student or student group, our Duty of Care will be observed and this may result in disclosure to an appropriate person.

Where can I find the Course Handbook?

Below is the BA (Hons) Conservation course handbook together with some of the Art School’s key policies related to the student experience.


Art School Policies

Below is a selection of relevant Art School Policies

Frequently asked questions?

Q: What are the application deadlines?

A: We have four different applications deadlines and currently we do not receive applications through UCAS. The application deadlines for entry in the 2019/20 Academic Year are detailed above, in the ‘What about the actual Application?‘ section.

Q: Can I apply this year for entry the year after?

A: Each November the Art School opens applications for Entry in the following academic year. Selection of applicants and an offer of a place, is for the specific cycle of Entry and an offer of a place on the course cannot be held over until the following year.

Q: How do I send my application form?

A: Once completed, please submit your application form as an email attachment to . If the application form is too large to attach, we will accept applications received via file transfer websites, but please ensure the file is available to download without a password or login.

Q: Can I apply for second or third year entry ?

A: Depending on both available space in the year group along with the relevancy of your previous experience, it may be possible to enter into the second year of the course. Direct entry into the final year is exceedingly rare and has to be planned well in advance.


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