Course Overview

National Historic Ships UK is pleased to offer a qualification in Historic Vessel Conservation. This course is unique in addressing the specialist knowledge needed to understand a historic vessel project.  It seeks to establish a national standard, ensuring that the conservation work being carried out on these craft follows recognised guidelines.

During the course you will gain a real understanding of different approaches, terminology, standards and outcomes and put these into practise.

Duration:min 6 months, max 3 years
Cost of whole course:£3100
Cost of individual unit:£500

Structured, supportive, flexible learning

This course is designed to be studied at a distance, giving you the flexibility to learn from any location within a structured and supportive framework. 

The majority of your learning will be done online through the use of an online virtual learning environment called Moodle which can be accessed by registered users.  This will give you access to:

  • course materials such as reading lists, learning films and case studies
  • discussion boards for students and mentors to communicate and an opportunity for sharing knowledge, skills and experience
  • webinars and guest publications
  • group areas to support tasks such as online discussion and file exchange
  • regular course announcements
  • submission and automatic receipting of electronic coursework
  • a record of your progress.

On joining you will receive a copy of Conserving Historic Vessels which should be consulted in conjunction with the course materials online. You will also receive a “how to" guide to get you started on Moodle. Throughout your studies, specialists within the sector will be on hand as mentors to support you by email and telephone whenever required.  We also provide written study skills guidance on how to produce your coursework and test assignments.

We’ve partnered with organisations across the country to create a network of owners, businesses, skilled craftsman and heritage organisations all with an interest in Britain’s maritime heritage.  As students, you will have access to your local Shipshape Hub facilities including work benches and historic vessels to use as case studies during the course.  Connect with our Shipshape Hubs.

What will I learn?

The course comprises seven units which cover key decision making stages that should be considered when planning to conserve a historic vessel. 

Unit 1: Historic Vessel Evaluation Is she worth conserving? This unit aims to teach students the processes required to implement an effective vessel assessment including how to assess a vessel for her historical significance and her current fabric condition.

Unit 2: Stabilising a Historic Vessel as Risk of Decay Buying time! This unit aims to teach students the process required to stabilise a historic vessel and how to protect her condition.

Unit 3: Finding Data Relating to Specific Historic Vessels What have you got? This unit aims to teach students how to identify the sources of information used to understand a historic vessel as well as identify the material used to construct her.

Unit 4: Determining the Appropriate Route for Historic Vessel Conservation Decision time! This unit aims to help students understand the parameters associated with different conservation options including preservation, restoration, reconstruction and adaptation.

Unit 5: Applying Conservation Plans to Historic Vessels Doing the work! This unit will help students develop a conservation plan to map the long term future of a historic vessel and understand the impact such a documentation will have. 

Unit 6: Producing Replica Vessels Starting from scratch! This unit will teach students the concept of “replication” as a method of understanding historic vessels and how the construction of a replica should be planned and implemented.

Unit 7: Recording and Deconstructing Historic Vessels Making a valuable record. This unit aims to teach students how to record historic vessels at risk of loss and how to assess when deconstruction is a suitable course of action.

How do I apply?

To apply for this course, complete our application form here. 

For more information please contact:  

Your application will then be assessed by the Historic Vessel Conservation Course Admissions Panel and we will notify you as soon as possible if you have been accepted on to the programme. 

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