Diploma Programme Conservation and Restoration

Head: o. Univ.-Prof. Mag. art. Dr. phil. Gabriela Krist

The diploma programme of Conservation and Restoration prepares students for an academic conservator’s field of activity. The five-year programme offers four specialist areas: paintings, textile, object and stone.

More information on the programme here.

Admission to the Diploma Programme

You are interested in studying conservation-restoration?

Here you find information regarding admission requirements, registration, portfolio submission and examination.

The next admission process is projected for 2021. The dates will be announced around Christmas. We suggest getting details of the admission exam and the diploma degree programme in good time.

Please contact the secretary of the Institute for an appointment (kons-rest@uni-ak.ac.at)!

Don’t forget to bring your portfolio and drawings with you!


Admission requirements

The future conservators-restorer should possess artistic aptitude and enjoy  practical-manual, craft-based work, but also show an interest in the humanities (art and cultural history, archaeology …) and natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) and provide overview, basic knowledge in these fields. Further computer knowledge (Microsoft Office programmes, Adobe Photoshop) is desirable.

All those interested should gather information about a conservator-restorer‘s everyday work beforehand. We recommend undertaking a pre-study internship of several weeks at a conservation-restoration studio.

The completed 17th year of age is required. A higher school-leaving certificate is not a legal requirement, but Matura certificate (or equivalent) has proven to be a good foundation for our study programme.

Sufficient German language skills (both spoken and written) are a necessity from the start. Also, basic knowledge of English is a prerequisite, as some courses are held in English.

We would like to point out that due to the extent of compulsory practical work and courses with compulsory attendance during the first semesters of the programme there will be hardly any opportunity for part-time work or the pursuit of a second study. 

Registration, Portfolio & Examination

Admission to the diploma degree programme is based on a two-tier process. This includes a pre-selection (submitting portfolio) and an exam. Prerequisite for admission to the entrance exam is the positive assessment of the application portfolio!

a) REGISTRATION & PORTFOLIO SUBMISSION
Registration and submission of the portfolio take place on two days in February prior to the exam. The portfolio should be of generous proportions (sheet size A3 to A2) and contain at least 20 current works. The Institute asks for precise freehand drawings /studies of nature in pencil (e.g. still life, landscape, etc., preferably a series). Real objects should be used as templates, no photographs.  The second part of the portfolio can/should contain works in colour (e.g. watercolours, pastels) and may be more freely designed. The portfolio can also include works related to specialisations of the programme – these can be documented on photos as it is not recommended to bring the original to the Institute (e.g. copy of painting, sculpture, etc.). The single sheets are to be labelled with name and date.

In addition, the following is required:
  • CV
  • Copy of identity document
  • educational certificate (e.g. Matura certificate, BHS vocational higher school leaving certificate)
  • internship / apprenticeship certificate (if available, e.g. photo documentation)
Further, applicants should carefully consider which area of specialisation to choose (paintings, objects, textiles, stone). The decision has to be indicated with the registration.

b) EXAMINATION
Applicants, who are admitted to the examination, are informed by notice. The examination lasts two to three days and consists of written, oral and practical partial tests.

Within the framework of the entrance exam, applicants‘ artistic-creative and manual skills (moulding, object construction, drawing, and colour mixing), observation, basic knowledge in chemistry (at secondary school level) and art history (antiquity to modernity) as well as written skills (art-historical description and motivation letter) are tested.

A personal interview takes place to address the occupational profile and the applicant‘s motivation to train and work in the area of conservation-restoration.

Recommendations on how to prepare (PDF)

The following has to be brought to the test:
  • passport photo
  • work utensils:  paper A2 (drawing cardboard), drawing pad, pensils (from hard to soft), sharpener, eraser, vessel for water and colour mixing, brush, e.g. fine round brushes (0-4), flat brushes (6-14), watercolours, writing devices, scissor, glue, two triangles.

Admission announcement

On the last day of the entrance examination the applicants are informed by notice, if they are accepted for the diploma degree programme with start in the following autumn. Directly following the exam, the portfolios are handed over. Further, it is possible to get personal feedback on the portfolio and the performance during the exam.At the University of Applied Arts Vienna there is no lottery, waiting list or reserve system.

Where / How can I get informed?

The head and assistants of the Institute would be happy to answer any questions in a face to face meeting regarding the study programme and the entrance exam. We recommend making an appointment prior to the entrance exam for a critical discussion of the portfolio and to deal with questions regarding the studies.

Applicants are also invited to the Open House (each year in autumn) of the Institute. This day provides the opportunity to meet students and teachers and gain insights into the study programme, the workshops and labs and the occupational field.