Conservation and Restoration

Diploma programme

Academic degree: (Magister artium)
Credits: 300 ECTS
Duration: 10
The study programme of Conservation and Restoration prepares students for an academic conservator’s continually changing and expanding field of activity.

The study programme objective is to enable students to independently carry out measures for examining, conserving and restoring art and cultural goods in line with the appropriate standards of professional ethics. To achieve this, the knowledge of current methods of prevention and preservation form the basis of the programme. At the same time, students will receive guidance in the pursuit of scientific conservation research and interdisciplinary cooperation with other specialist areas.

The study programme will convey the internationally recognised quality criteria for the development of long-term and sustainable preservation strategies. The knowledge imparted will be based on conservation sciences, natural sciences and the humanities. During the course of the programme both theoretical and practical contents are treated as equally important and are set up to mesh with each other. Individual emphasis on certain topics will be enabled depending on the programme framework. On top of that, international cooperation activities and projects will serve to expand professional skills.

Graduates of the programme distinguish themselves by their responsible handling of art and cultural goods and a methodically structured approach in their work. They are able to argue the strategies they have developed, as well as react flexibly to the highly diverse requirements of their field of activity.

Study route

The diploma degree programme of Conservation and Restoration is arranged in two study segments.

The first segment encompasses two semesters and represents an introduction into general conservation-restoration practices, where the teaching covers all specialised areas of the programme. From the very beginning of the programme, students handle original items in the workshops (Central Artistic Subject – ZKF – Conservation-Restoration Practice) and encounter various conservation and restoration tasks. The theoretical courses of the first segment convey basic knowledge from natural sciences, materials science and art history across the specialist areas.

The second study segment (in the chosen specialist area) continues as in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in conservation, materials, and humanities. Contents from preventative conservation as well as dealing with (historical) production and processing techniques supplement the study programme. Students may undertake an exchange or internship semester in a domestic or foreign institution during the second study segment. Also, students will be included in national and international research and restoration projects.

The fifth and final year is dedicated to the diploma thesis in which students are tasked to resolve a complex conservation-restoration issue in its entirety as independently as possible.  
The balance of theory and practice is a significant aspect of the study programme. In addition to the ongoing training in conservation-restoration methods, current trends in conservation sciences are addressed and the appropriate knowledge imparted.

Qualifications of the graduates

The conservator accepts responsibility for the inspection, conservation- restoration work of the cultural good, as well as the documenting and carrying out of all procedures. The academic conservator must be able to recognise, analyse and document complex restoration issues in their entirety and carry out interventions based on an up-to-date standard of knowledge. Conservation will always require interdisciplinary collaboration.
Graduates may either work in museum contexts, increasingly in the field of preventative conservation, or the preservation of historic buildings and monuments. Their position is equal to academics of neighbouring disciplines and will involve interdisciplinary exchange.

Information and Contact


for the Academic Year 2022/23

consists of two parts

1st part: ONLINE-Application
>>via Applicationtool
  • The online registration and the upload of the application documents  are the prerequisite for the admission to the practical entrance examination (2nd part).
2nd part: PRACTICAL Task
>> depending on the department either in Vienna or by video conference
  • only with Invitation letter from the departement
The dates, link to the Applicationtool and detailed information regarding the Online-Application and the practical task can be found under