Diploma Programme Conservation and Restoration

Head: o. Univ.-Prof. Mag. art. Dr. phil. Gabriela Krist

The diploma programme of Conservation and Restoration prepares students for an academic conservator’s field of activity. The five-year programme offers four specialist areas: paintings, textile, object and stone.

More information on the programme here.


Registration for the academic year 2020/2021 is already closed.
The next admission process is projected for February 2021.
Further information regarding registration and admission exam will follow.

We suggest getting details of the admission exam and the diploma degree programme in good time from the secretary of the Institute during their office hours (kons-rest@uni-ak.ac.at)!

The following skills and abilities are required in the study programme:  

The future restorer should possess artistic aptitude and enjoy  practical-manual, craft-based work, but also show an interest in the humanities (art and cultural history, archaeology …) and natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics). We recommend undertaking a pre-study internship of several weeks at a restoration studio. First and foremost, all those interested should gather information about a restorer‘s everyday work beforehand. Also, they should carefully consider which area of specialisation to choose. A higher school-leaving certificate is not a legal requirement, but Matura certificate (or equivalent) has proven to be a good foundation for our study programme.  

Sufficient German language skills (both spoken and written) are a necessity from the start. Also, basic knowledge of English is a prerequisite, as some courses are held in English. We would like to point out that due to the extent of compulsory practical work and courses with compulsory attendance during the first semesters of the programme there will be hardly any opportunity for part-time work or the pursuit of a second study.

The head and assistants of the Institute would be happy to answer any questions in a face to face meeting regarding the study programme, the entrance exam and the portfolio. We recommend making an appointment at least six months prior to the entrance exam for a critical discussion of the portfolio and to deal with questions regarding the studies.

Admission to the diploma degree programme is based on a two-tier process (submitting portfolio, exam):

Prerequisite for admission to the entrance exam is the positive assessment of the application portfolio.

The portfolio should be of generous proportions (sheet size A3 to A2) and contain approx. 20 current works. The Institute asks for precise freehand drawings and studies of nature in pencil (e.g. life drawing, still life, landscape, etc., preferably a series). The second part of the portfolio can/should contain works in colour (e.g. watercolours, pastels) and may be more freely designed.

In addition, the following is required:
  • completed 17th year of age
  • educational certificate (e.g. Matura certificate, BHS vocational higher school leaving certificate, certificate of apprenticeship, and similar)
  • artistic aptitude and crafting skills
  • overview knowledge in art history
  • basic knowledge in natural sciences (chemistry)
  • computer knowledge (Microsoft Office programmes, Adobe Photoshop)
Recommendations on how to prepare (PDF)

Within the framework of the entrance exam, applicants‘ artistic-creative skills are tested, plus their manual skills such as moulding, object construction, drawing, and colour mixing. Also, their basic knowledge in art history and chemistry (at secondary school level) is tested.

In addition, written papers are to be produced, such as an art-historical description of a painting. A personal interview takes place to test knowledge in art and cultural history and to address expectations towards the occupational profile and the applicant‘s motivation to train and work in the area of conservation-restoration.