The Science of Material Conservation

Module code: CH7100

Module co-ordinator: Professor Andrew Abbott

Conserving cities requires preserving their material fabric. In this module you will examines 'green chemistry' and the applications of chemical analysis to conservation practice.

We will explore the basic chemical principles of material conservation, such as why metals and other materials corrode and what practical techniques are available to counter or overcome this process, including the use of microscopy. Led by the Department of Chemistry, this module uses a problem-solving approach to the subject and requires a basic knowledge of chemistry.

This module is recommended if you are studying for an MSc and thinking of writing your dissertation on the scientific aspects of conservation.


  • 20 one-hour lectures
  • 10 hours of practicals


  • Extended project (75%)
  • Problem-based assessment (25%)