The studies are full-time and take place from September to mid-July. The training alternates between common core instruction for all students and specific teaching on each of the seven specialties. The conservators-restorers training programme includes two long-term internships in a professional environment and restoration field-schools. All sets of teachings are compulsory.
Throughout the training, hours dedicated to specific teaching increase while common core instruction decreases. The training becomes more and more specialized and professionally oriented. The number of hours totaled - comprising theoretical, scientific, artistic, technical and practical training, internships and restoration field-schools including research carried out with a view to defending a thesis paper in conservation-restoration - amounts to 5,293 hours.
Training provided in the 7 specialized workshops and practical art workshops is coordinated by professionals in conservation-restoration, teachers within the establishment and invited participants.
These workshops are essential to the student training programme and highlight the cultural wealth of the conservation-restoration department. The department regularly receives works and objects entrusted to it by French public institutions on which the students mentored by their instructors, learn the skills of their future profession.
Volume of hours and ECTS Credits
The ECTS system (European Credit Transfer System) facilitates the academic recognition of periods of study carried out abroad and qualifications obtained from the different nations within the European Union. The ECTS credits are a numerical value allocated to each course unit. They reflect the quantity of work a course unit requires in relation to the total quantity of work necessary to complete a full year of academic study at a given institution.
Internships and restoration field schools
To consolidate the knowledge acquired, to put this knowledge and expertise into practice, and to be in a pre-professional actual work situation, students in conservation-restoration take part in two internships throughout their studies : one 12-week professional internship in 3rd year and one 24- week internship abroad in 4th year.
In addition, students in conservation-restoration take part in restoration field-schools on preventive conservation during their 1st year and other field-schools throughout their studies in France and abroad.
A large variety of locations and themes is proposed. From the treasures of Beauvais Cathedral to the Delphi Museum in Greece, students have the opportunity to practice the management approach to conservation of collections, conduct a study of polychrome elements, carry out conservation measures, etc.
Degree and employment prospects
Upon completion of their studies, students are conferred with a Master 's degree in conservation-restoration of cultural heritage. This degree states the specialty in which the student carried out his/her training, and eventually an advanced specialised graduate degree in his/her specialty.
Most graduates today operate independently (freelance) and work for public institutions or private clients.
Conservators-restorers can sometimes provide his/her services to a heritage institution (national or territorial) as a contractual agent. There is also a branch called “preventive conservation and restoration” in the field of art technician and restoration supervisor under the auspices of the ministry of culture (access is competition-based). Finally, a certain number of private sector companies or associative structures hire salaried conservators-restorers. Some of these associative structures belong to a national network of workshops and laboratories of the museums of France.