RSUA Conservation Diploma

Successful graduates from the RSUA Introductory Conservation Course and Advanced Conservation Course are eligible to undertake the RSUA Conservation Diploma, and applications are now open. 

The RSUA Conservation Diploma is research-based and involves the writing of a dissertation of around 20,000 words drawing on both original research and documented sources.  While historical subjects are eligible, candidates should note that practice-oriented dissertations are more likely to contribute towards accreditation by the RIBA and RIAI.  Examiners have been selected for their conservation expertise from across these islands. 

External Examiners

Tanja Poppelreuter is a lecturer in Architectural History and Theory at the School of the Built Environment at Salford University. After being awarded a PhD in Art History from Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany she worked at the Department of Art History and at the School of Architecture at Auckland University, New Zealand. In 2011 Tanja took a post at Ulster University in Belfast, Northern Ireland where she taught in the undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and supervised a number of PhD projects.

Paul Arnold is Principal at Paul Arnold Architects and has been variously lecturer, tutor, co-director of the UCD Masters in Urban and Building Conservation availed of by architects, archaeologists, art historians and planners since 1986.  He was the conservation architect on the restoration of Dublin City Hall and the Ha’penny Bridge and Paul has worked on Leinster House and the Trinity Library Conservation Plan.

Key Dates

Stage 1Registration
24.09.20Date by which candidates are to register and submit the title of the topic intended for research.
Stage 2Interviews
22.10.20Interviews in which research subjects will be agreed and an opportunity offered to put any questions and seek guidance on sources and contacts
Stage 3Seminar
10.12.20Seminar at which candidates will be expected to make a brief presentation about their topics
Stage 4Submission of the draft dissertation
08.04.21Date by which draft dissertations must be submitted
Stage 5Oral Examination
13.05.21After which the dissertation should be formally presented taking account of feedback from the examiners 
Stage 6 Final hand-in
03.06.21Diplomas will be awarded by RSUA Council at a suitable occasion (NB: RSUA does not undertake to award the Diploma in every case)

Final copies of the dissertations must be A4 size (with fold-outs as required), and case-bound “thesis-style” with the title, name and year on the spine. Two bound copies should be provided, and an additional copy of the main text, including illustrations if possible, must be submitted digitally. Copies will be made available to the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society on College Square North, Belfast.  We reserve the right to change dates if necessary. 

Key details

Where:                         Online, via Microsoft Teams

Cost:                            RSUA Practice Services Scheme Members £400 + VAT

                                    RSUA Members £480 + VAT

                                    Non-member £533 + VAT

How to book:                Contact Julia Leaker ( to book by 28 August. Cheques should be made out to RSUA and sent to 2 Mount Charles, Belfast, BT7 1NZ