First year Post-Master’s
The first year focuses upon the supervised treatment of objects as well as participating in (interdisciplinary) projects. The conservator-restorer in training will perform treatments in the conservation studios in Amsterdam or at affiliated training facilities elsewhere in the Netherlands. In addition, the trainee – especially those in the specialisation Historic Interiors – will work on location. In the first year the conservator-restorer in training is expected to develop practical skills, whilst performing treatments of an increasing level of complexity that encourage a growingly independent and critical attitude. Conducting research in order to support the conservation and restoration treatment is an essential part of this educational process.
Besides improving manual skills, the first year also focuses on developing both the self-confidence as well as the self-consciousness of the conservator-restorer in training, leading to greater awareness by the trainees of their own professional qualities and shortcomings.
Besides the development of practical skills in the first year, the trainee will mainly be educated through workshops. The workshops can be general – suitable for all specialisations – or specific: directed towards one or two of the nine specialisations. The main goal of this first year is to optimise the trainee’s practical professional experience. To achieve this, the objects to be treated and projects are chosen to represent the sort of real working situations that the trainee will encounter as a future professional. For further information see: Objects and projects.
Second year Post-Master’s
The majority of the second year of the Post-Master’s programme focuses on one or more work placements at certified – recognised by the University of Amsterdam – host venues in the Netherlands or abroad. During these work placements, the trainee is expected to participate as much as possible in the normal day-to-day practice of a conservation studio at an institution or private practice, thereby gaining relevant practical experience. See also: Work placements.
During the second year, the conservator-restorer in training also has to undertake a three-month research project. The research project must be related to a conservation problem and may focus on issues such as degradation phenomena, materials used for treatment or the effectiveness of specific forms of treatment. The project will result in an article that will be assessed by an Exam Committee composed of experienced researchers in the cultural heritage field.
The conservator-restorer in training will also be required to verbally discuss and defend a complex treatment executed during the Post-Master’s phase for an Exam Committee of experienced conservator-restorers. In this way, the trainee will show that he/she can demonstrate his or her knowledge and practical skills to future peers and clients. After successfully completing the written and oral exams the trainee will receive the Post-Master’s certificate.