Cultural heritage conservation science

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Master programme
A.Y. 2020/2021
LM-11 - Conservation and restoration of culturale heritage
Master programme
Open with entry requirements examination
Course location
The master degree in "Cultural Heritage Conservation Science" is aimed at students who want to extend and deepen the skills acquired in previous degree courses to enter in the world of research or profession in the field of conservation science of cultural heritage.
In this light, the master degree aims to transmit an in-depth knowledge of the methods and technologies that the mathematical, physical and natural sciences make available today for the preservation of cultural heritage; moreover, it aims to provide the scientific skills allowing further development in these research fields. It aims to train future Conservation Scientists, i.e. experts in science and technology applied to cultural heritage with a high interdisciplinary educational background. Since there are many types of cultural heritage, it is appropriate to specify that the course will focus on the historical-artistic, archaeological, architectural, on museums and on information storage media, because they are the ones deeply rooted in the cultural tradition of the proposers and, in view of the future professional opportunities for graduates, the most relevant for the research field and the employment market. Therefore, the master degree will prepare professional profiles of: 1 - experts in diagnostics and application technology to historical and artistic cultural heritage, with particular reference to wall and on wooden paintings and textile supports; 2 - experts in diagnostics and technology applied to archaeological cultural heritage (geoarchaeologists and archaeometres); 3 - conservation experts applied to museum cultural heritage; 4 - experts in diagnostics and technology applied to information storage media.
In addition to theoretical courses, numerous laboratories are provided to support the notions with the necessary applications, in order to make the interface with the research and professional worlds stricter. The training offer proposed is composed of courses for each area envisaged by the ministerial educational system (Conservation Sciences and Technologies, Earth and Nature Sciences, Interdisciplinary Training), corroborated by supplementary courses, as well as by the internships and the final dissertation. Through this offer the students will be oriented and guided to finalize their training to achieve one of the proposed professional profiles.
The master degree aims to transmit the wide range of knowledge necessary to operate at the level of excellence in the field of cultural heritage diagnostics and conservation, taking as a cultural reference the interdisciplinary nature of the professions of the research field.
In particular, the master graduated will acquire in-depth theoretical, methodological and experimental skills in the Conservation Sciences applied to Cultural Heritage, in order to identify new theoretical developments and to operate at decision-making level in all areas of the sciences applied. to Cultural Heritage.
- Experts in diagnostics and technology applied to historical-artistic cultural heritage
Work Context
The master graduated in Cultural Heritage Conservation Science carries out functions of high responsibility in the areas of the conservation of historical-artistic heritage, both in terms of diagnostics (in support of restoration) and of protection and development:
- carrying out research activities in public and private institutes responsible for the conservation of cultural heritage (museums, art galleries, galleries, private collections);
- coordinating activities related to the scientific knowledge of cultural heritage performed by experts from different sectors, in the context of conservation / restoration campaigns;
- carrying out freelance activities the conservation of movable property belonging to public institutions and private collections;
- carrying out dissemination activities in the field of sciences applied to diagnostics and conservation of historical and artistic heritage;
- collaborating in the creation of scientific apparatus for temporary exhibitions and displays;
- examining and harmonizing the analytical results of specific diagnostic campaigns, on behalf of public and private institutions involved in the conservation of the historical and artistic heritage.
Skills Associated to the Role
The master graduated in Cultural Heritage Conservation Science has specific knowledge of the most modern applications of the biological, chemical, physical, geological and IT sciences used in the field of the conservation of historical-artistic heritage, in different contexts related to specific environmental or provenance conditions. He is aware of the ethical and legislative aspects of the restoration of the artworks of public and private institutions.
Career Opportunities
- universities and public research agencies;
- public and private biological, chemical, physical, geological and IT analysis laboratories;
- superintendences, museums, and art galleries;
- private museums;
- scientific journalism, specifically linked to the dissemination of scientific analyzes related to the study and conservation of historical and artistic heritage;
- freelance activities in the field of laboratory analysis on historical and artistic heritage.

2 - Experts in diagnostics and technology applied to archaeological cultural heritage (geoarchaelogists and archaeometres)
Work Context
Employment statistics (Almalaurea)

Bachelor's graduates in Science and Technology for Studying and Preserving the Cultural Heritage and Information Storage Media (class L-43) can access the Master's degree programme in Cultural heritage conservation science. Graduates from other eligible programmes, both in Italy and abroad, can also be admitted, if they meet skills requirements.

Curricular requirements

Access to the Master's degree programme requires solid foundations in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, agricultural disciplines, and a total of at least 60 CFU across the following areas: AGR, BIO, CHIM, FIS, GEO, ICAR, INF, ING-INF, IUS, L-ANT, MAT, SECS, of which at least 6 CFU in three out of five of the following areas: BIO, CHIM, FIS, GEO, INF.

For further details please refer to the ADMISSION PROCEDURE section of the Study Programme.

Erasmus is a grant that finances the study abroad experience at a partner university, as part of bilateral agreements with selected universities and research centers in many foreign countries. When abroad, students attend courses, carry out research activities or do an internship.
In order to get these grants, students must contact a professor of this program who will scientifically supervise the exchange. Every topic related to this program is suitable. Two types of grants are available:
Erasmus+, for attending courses and carry out research activities (refer to the call in the Geological Sciences area).
Erasmus+ Traineeship (see Placement on website), exclusively for internships.
For Erasmus+, see the call on the Geology area in the website. Among other agreements, please have a look at the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by TEI, Technological Educational Institute, Atene (Grecia), who has a special agreement with this program.
The call for Erasmus+ Traineeship is published on the website for all programs. In the recent past, Traneeship partners were: Cergy-Pontoise (France), Poitiers (France), Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and Ghent (Belgium). Anyway, new agreements with other universities or research centers can be signed if a professor of this program has some scientific collaboration with them. Apart from courses and exams, any activity carried out at the abroad institution is worth 5 credits (CFU) per month.
The "learning agreement" between professors at the home and abroad institution will define the activities the student will carry out. This document, together with the transcript of the exams and other research activities, will allow for the acknowledgment of such activities by this program.
To attend courses and take exams abroad has many advantages. In addition to being an unconventional experience in a student's life, it offers a big opportunity to practice in the local language. The students will also experience and compare different teaching systems, gaining more flexibility in their studying activities. Finally, the study abroad experience is in some cases a good opportunity to use facilities otherwise not available (for example, special equipment for experiments), work with large research groups on a cosmopolitan scale.

Highly recommended, not mandatory.

Courses list

Optional programme year

Compulsory activity
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
English proficiency B2 (3 ECTS) 3 0 Italian Undefined
Final exam 33 0 Italian Undefined
Training 12 0 Italian Undefined
1 - Characterizing Formation Activities - Conservation Sciences and Technologies (18 CFU)
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Physic techniques applied to cultural heritage: laboratory 6 48 Italian year FIS/07
Calorimetry and thermal analysis, laboratory 6 48 Italian First semester CHIM/02
Analytical methods for the environmental degradation of cultural heritage 6 48 Italian Second semester CHIM/01
Conservation and valorization of scientific instruments 6 48 Italian Second semester FIS/07
2 - Characterizing Formation Activities - Earth and Natural Sciences (18 CFU)
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Advanced analytical methods in mineralogy and petrography for cultural heritage, laboratory 6 68 Italian First semester GEO/06 GEO/07
Applied geology for the preservation of archaeological and architectonical heritages 6 48 Italian First semester GEO/05
Sedimentology and cultural heritage 6 48 Italian First semester GEO/02
Archaeobotany 6 48 Italian Second semester BIO/02
Geophysics applied to cultural heritage 6 48 Italian Second semester GEO/11
Palaeontology and vertebrate palaeontology, museological aspects 6 48 Italian Second semester GEO/01
3 - Characterizing Formation Activities - Interdisciplinary Formation (12 CFU)
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Colorimetry and color management for cultural heritage 6 48 Italian First semester ING-INF/05
Computing technologies applied to cultural heritage 6 48 Italian First semester INF/01
Integrated course of advanced biotechnologies applied to cultural heritage: laboratory 6 48 Italian Second semester AGR/11 AGR/12 AGR/16
Movie restoration 6 48 Italian Second semester INF/01
Site managment and preventive archaeology 6 48 Italian Second semester L-ANT/10
4 - Related and Complementary Formation Activities (12 CFU)
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Analysis and diagnostics of architectural cultural heritage 6 48 Italian First semester AGR/10
Topographic techniques and equipment for archaeological and architectonical survey 6 48 Italian First semester ICAR/06
Formation processes in archaeological sites 6 48 Italian Second semester GEO/04
Microclimatology applied to cultural heritage 6 48 Italian Second semester GEO/12
5 - Other Formation Activities, freely selected by students among courses held by University of Milan (12 CFU)
The program of each course indicates the preliminary knowledge necessary to adequately deal with the contents of the course itself. It is the responsibility, as well as the interest, of the student to comply with these indications.
Course locations
Le lezioni e le esercitazioni/laboratori, si svolgono nelle aule del Settore Didattico di Città Studi.
Laboratory locations
Le attività didattiche di laboratorio si svolgono sia in strutture dipartimentali, attrezzate con collezioni e strumentazioni tecnico-scientifiche, sia sul terreno, usufruendo di logistica specificamente sviluppata.
Le attività nelle aule attrezzate si svolgono presso i laboratori dei seguenti Dipartimenti: Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Dipartimento di Chimica, Dipartimento di Scienze per gli Alimenti, la Nutrizione e l'Ambiente (Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari), Dipartimento di Fisica, Dipartimento di Informatica.
Head of study programme
Erasmus and international mobility tutor 
Internship tutor
Seminar and workshop tutor
Dissertation tutor
University and programme transfer tutor
Master's degree admission tutor
Credit recognition tutor
Quality Assurance Delegate

The tuition fees for students enrolled in Bachelor's, Master's and single-cycle degree programmes are divided into two instalments with different calculation methods and payment schedules:

  • The amount of the first instalment is the same for all students
  • The amount of the second instalment varies according to the ISEE University value, the degree programme and the student status (on track / off track for one year or off track for more than a year) 
  • An additional fee is due for online programmes

The University also offers:

  • Concessions for students meeting high merit requirements
  • Diversified tuition fees according to the student's home country for international students with assets/income abroad
  • Concessions for international students with refugee status

Scholarships and benefits

The University provides a range of financial benefits to students meeting special requirements (merit, financial or personal conditions, international students).

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