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Conservation of the Historic Environment - Short Courses

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Birmingham City University is offering workshops in Conservation of the Historic Environment which can be attended individually as elements of CPD training accredited by the IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservation)....

  • Level CPD
  • Study mode Short Course
  • Location City Centre
  • Award N/A
  • Start date November 2023
  • School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:


Birmingham City University is offering workshops in Conservation of the Historic Environment which can be attended individually as elements of CPD training accredited by the IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservation).

What are they?

There are two-day workshops on a range of topics related to Conservation of the Historic Environment - sustainability, conservation legislation, conservation planning, the history of British Buildings, project management and urban design, disaster management and heritage management, and so on. There are also more practical two-day workshops on lime, stone, timber, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ceramic building materials, twentieth-century building materials, building recording, historic interiors, traditional estate management and canal heritage. The hands-on workshops will include visits to working sites such as the Black Country Living Museum and Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton.

Who are they for?

They are for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of the management of the historic environment in a particular area. Or for those who want to refresh their skills. Or for those who want to do a short course as a taster before deciding whether to commit to a longer post-graduate programme.

How much do they cost?

£210 for each two-day course. Some courses have limited capacity.

What do they come with?

Each participant gets an attendance certificate and an extensive collection of resource material – reading list, articles and guidance.

This course is not open to International students.

Fees & How to Apply

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.


Each two-day course costs £210; occasionally it may be possible to undertake one day at a reduced cost, although priority will be given to those booking for two days.

For any information about any of these courses please contact Katriona Byrne at the details below for online enrolment information.

Katriona Byrne BA, MA, MUBC, Post-grad Dip.

Birmingham City University
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
The Parkside Building, #306
5 Cardigan Street
Birmingham B4 7BD

Landline: 01212028526
Mob: 07849006478

Course in Depth

Course Timetable

Disaster Management and Heritage Management

Date: 23-24 February 2024
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD

If you work in a historic building, site or landscape you will want and need to share that asset with lots of other people. In order to do this you will need to market it and interpret it. This two-day course will aim to cover some of the essentials of marketing the heritage as well as to explore a variety of interpretation methods for historic properties and environments. It will look at Black Heritage and contested heritage. It will also cover disaster management in relation to historic buildings - how to plan in advance for fire and flood in order to lessen possible consequences without harming the historic building in the process.

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The Use of Lime in Historic Buildings

Date: 12-13 April 2024
Location: Llanymynech Limeworks, near Oswestry, Shropshire

All buildings constructed before the mid-nineteenth century would have used lime for mortar, render, plaster and limewash. Lime allows buildings to ‘breathe’, but yet it is sometimes tricky to use and takes longer to apply, dry and finish than modern cements, and therefore many builders are unhappy with using it. Yet if you live, work or own an old property, using cement for repairs will damage the fabric of the building so this is your chance to get to understand the lime cycle, lime mixing and to enjoy practical hands-on sessions pointing and plastering using lime. Tim Ratcliffe, Conservation Architect, Simon Ayres of Lime Green and Stuart Preece, Plasterer, will be course tutors for an enjoyable two outdoor days. Mark Hawcroft will teach us about hot-mixed lime. Not for the faint-hearted!

‘great fun – I’ll never use cement again’; ‘now I understand what all the fuss is about with hot-mix lime’

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Canals: History, Heritage and Practical Issues

Date: 25-26 April 2024
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD and Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust, Dudley

A general introduction to the history of canals with particular emphasis on the canal heritage of the West Midlands, run in conjunction with the Canal and Rivers Trust. Issues of planning, conservation and sustainability will be discussed. The course will involve site visits and a canal trip. There will also be sessions on the conservation of canal vessels and on maritime and underwater heritage.

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The Conservation and Repair of Stone

Date: 3-4 May 2024
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD and Woodchester Mansion, Stroud, Gloucestershire

England is blessed with a great variety of building stones, which is partly what gives it its unique character. Yet stone weathers and decays for a number of reasons. If you work in or with or on a stone building this two-day course will help you understand why and how stone decays and what the appropriate repair or conservation techniques are. Demonstrations from a stone mason will complement lectures from architectural conservation staff. There will also be a chance to do some carving.

‘I now know limestone from sandstone and know what to ask my builder to do’

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Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals in Construction

Date: 17-18 May 2024
Location: Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Lead flashing on roofs, brass or copper on domes, lead windows, wrought iron gates, structural cast-iron buildings – these are some of the uses of metals in buildings. And metals decay. This workshop looks at the historical background of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, their methods of production, the reasons for their decay and the appropriate conservation techniques for lead, wrought and cast iron. Students will get a feel for wrought-iron repair by trying their hand at forge welding. We will be making pot hooks, nails and pokers.

‘Really exciting and eye opening’

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The Recording of Historic Buildings

Date: 23-24 May 2024
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD and another venue TBC

Learn the levels of recording commissioned in the conservation industry, whether to discharge a planning condition or for investigation, or in advance of demolition. Prepare for recording, selecting the most appropriate techniques. See the latest techniques of photogrammetry and laser scanning. Experience hand drawing a measured elevation and plan. See if remote capture by drone is for your project.

‘I needed to update myself on current methods and potential’

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Ceramic Building Materials

Date: 7-8 June 2024
Location: Museum of Iron and Jackfield Tile Museum, Ironbridge Gorge, Telford

Bricks, terracotta, faience and tiles – all of these form part of many historic buildings. Do you know how they are made, how they decay and how to repair, replace or conserve them? This hands-on course will include a trip to the newly-refurbished Jackfield Tile Museum, a go at decorating a tile, as well as bricklaying using lime mortar.

‘a great experience...’

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The Conservation of Historic Interiors

Date: 13-14 June 2024
Location: Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton and Westwood House, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire

How do you peel away the layers of a historic interior and discover what is really ‘significant’? Once you have understood the interior how do you install services - electricity, security and fire detection systems? Using Wightwick Manor as a case study the day will progress to how the National Trust conservators identify the agents of deterioration within the mansion and deal with both preventative and remedial conservation. The second day will take a closer look at the plastered, papered and painted finishes of historic interiors.

‘a wonderful weekend…’

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The Conservation of Twentieth-century Buildings

Date: 28-29 June 2024
Location: Parkside Building, Birmingham City University B4 7BD

Some of the iconic buildings of the twentieth century were constructed from reinforced concrete. Like it or loathe it the concrete revolution changed the pattern of building. Yet reinforced concrete decays and is subject to concrete cancer. If you manage a twentieth-century building you may want to know why it is important, how its components might be decaying and what to do about it. The Twentieth Century Society will talk about their recent campaigns. Concrete repairs will be covered in detail. There will also be case studies on successful conservation projects.

‘I could have done a whole week of this’

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Introduction to the Management of Historic Estates, Parks and Gardens

Date: 11-12 July 2024
Location: A private estate in Shropshire and Hagley Hall, Worcestershire

This two-day course will study how a traditional landed estate used to be managed and how it manages to make its way in the twenty-first century. Are there compromises to be made over reusing farm buildings? If the estate contains listed buildings, scheduled monuments and a registered park or garden, how are funding targets met? The course will be held at a privately-owned estate near Shrewsbury. The second day looks at the history and management of historic parks and the exciting discovery and conservation of an eighteenth-century landscape garden.

‘To get behind the scenes as we did felt very privileged’; ‘The head gardener at Hagley is inspirational’

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Conservation of Non-structural and Structural Timber in Historic Buildings

Date: 19-20 July 2024
Location: Ludlow and Worcester

Nearly all historic properties will have wood in them - whether as windows, joists, floors or doors. Some buildings are also structurally made from wood with timber frames. The first day of this course will deal with the conservation of non-structural timber in buildings – using Treasures workshop in Ludlow. The second day will deal with the history of and problems with timber-framed buildings and include visits to some magnificent examples. Current repair techniques will be demonstrated using experts.

‘Very helpful and interesting’

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Facilities & Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality of our campuses. With an investment of over £400 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

You will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus.

Our staff

Katriona Byrne

Deputy Head of Architecture

Katriona's BA in History of Art led her to work on the Pevsner Architectural Guide for Dublin and on the National Inventory of Ireland. The Historic Heart of Dublin European project led to a postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Inventorying and Recording. Katriona then worked for about 10 years as a local authority...

More about Katriona


For detailed programmes and information about any of these courses please contact Katriona Byrne at the details below for online enrolment details.

Katriona Byrne BA, MA, MUBC, Post-grad Dip.
Birmingham City University
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
The Parkside Building
5 Cardigan Street
Birmingham B4 7BD