The four-year Bachelor of Arts in Conservation Degree [the BA(Conservation)] was launched in 2012 to meet the growing professional need for graduates with an understanding in heritage conservation. The programme provides students with the competency to pursue careers in numerous related fields, as well as a solid foundation for continuing their studies in specialised postgraduate programmes in conservation and complementary academic disciplines. The analytical skills developed in the programme and the multidisciplinary nature of the curriculum prepare students for a successful career in many professional fields, whether in the civil service, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or private practice.
The BA(Conservation) curriculum emphasises experiential and problem-based learning in the field of architectural conservation. The objective of the four-year, full-time BA(Conservation) Degree is for students to understand the complex and multi-disciplinary nature of architectural conservation in a progressive manner, starting from the conservation of single buildings, to that of streets and districts, culminating in the wider physical and social context. Courses in the curriculum provide core competencies in the history and theory of conservation and the understanding of structures and fabrics in terms of material science and construction techniques. Other courses crucial to the practice of architectural conservation, such as architectural history, documentation and visual communication are also an important part of the curriculum.
Field studies, workshops and exchange programmes with institutions in China and overseas are an integral part of the BA(Conservation). Final-year students are also provided the opportunity to undertake practical training placements in a conservation related project for a minimum of 160 contact hours. Students may be placed with an academic institution, a government agency or an NGO in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Southeast Asia or another overseas country.
In the fourth and final year, three interrelated capstone courses allow the BA(Conservation) students to apply all that they have learnt through their degree via three different learning modes. CONS4001 Conservation Research Thesis is a taught thesis that leads to a clear, well-researched, textual and graphic presentation of a student’s philosophical and technical understanding of a particular aspect of conservation. It is designed as a means for students to consolidate their learning from previous coursework and pursue a specific facet of conservation that is presented in thesis form. This connects to CONS4004 Area Conservation Studio, which is the fourth and final studio of the BA(Conservation) curriculum, allowing students to apply what they have learnt in the programme to date. Students examine conservation issues and develop a plan that takes into account heritage resources within the context of local zoning, development plans, economic realities, socio-political challenges and community aspirations. The third and final capstone course is CONS4005 Conservation Internship, which provides students the opportunity to undertake practical on-site training in a conservation related project, demonstrating and applying their learning in a real-life professional environment. Through these courses, the BA(Conservation) students become best equipped to enter the work force on graduation, contributing their professional knowledge to the conservation field and beyond.
The BA(Conservation) curriculum is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). BA(Conservation) graduates are eligible to choose either the Building Control pathway or Planning and Development professional pathway and can sit for the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence to qualify as chartered surveyors.
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