There is no guarantee that a job will be immediately forthcoming but the fact that the course has now been in existence for over fifteen years does mean that the course is known about and there is a good network of EUC graduates holding a variety of different positions. While the majority have probably gone in to local authority conservation officer posts, they can be found in most areas of conservation through central and local government outwards to organisations such as The Civic Trust, The Scottish Lime Centre Trust, Building preservation Trusts, and the private sector. There are even some who are now lecturing
The following is a fairly random selection of EUC graduates which is indicative of both the range of backgrounds of our students and the type of work they are now doing.
Lorna Hards, now full time Phd student Birmingham City University (working) title of the project, Public Art Strategies in Birmingham c.1985-2005. EUC student 2006-2007 with a first degree in Museology.
While I was undertaking my work placement with the Conservation Area and Public Art Officers at Westminster City Council I applied for a funded PhD place advertised by Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (Birmingham City University). My application was successful and I took up the position in October. The subject of the research is Public Art and the fact that my EUC dissertation was on the role of art in historic areas was clearly instrumental in landing the post. The intention of the research is to look at what strategies have existed, what they have achieved, the nature of the art produced and responses to it. With a bit of luck, I hope to be finished in 2010.
I had previously thought of doing a PhD but the EUC programme gave me the confidence and skills to undertake one. Much of the programme was also very relevant to the subject of my research. The rationale for public art overlaps extensively with that of heritage conservation and all which that can involve such as place-making, enhancement of urban areas, regeneration etc. In addition the knowledge I now have of the planning system has already proved vital, since it is through Section 106 Agreements that much art is paid for.
Graeme McKirdy, Resource Development Officer (Technical Conservation Research and Education Group) Historic Scotland. EUC student 2006-2007, with a first degree in Interior and Environmental Design
I completed my interior and environmental design degree at Duncan of Jordanstone in 2006. After doing this, I knew I wanted to work with buildings and architecture, but didn't feel ready to be able to design them for myself yet. I had noticed the EUC course during my undergrad and heard good things about it. The mixture of architectural history, town planning legislation and technical teaching was a perfect mix to get me more acquainted with our built environment. The varied nature of the course has helped me immensely in my current job running the technical enquiry service at Historic Scotland. I find myself almost quoting words or word phrases which the tutors used in our lectures. I found that the reports which we were required to produce at the end of each module really helped me understand the role of conservation professionals and how analysis of buildings are undertaken. It's amazing how many people I come across in Historic Scotland and related organizations who have done the EUC course. It proves that the course forms a very well balanced and informative year. The MSc has made me more aware and appreciative of our built environment and given me a desire to be apart of its protection.
Jane Wylie, Assistant Conservation Officer, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, EUC Student 2006-2007 with a first degree in History and politics
'After completing my first degree I found it hard to find employment which appealed to me. Reading up on the EUC course, I felt it offered a way for me to gain more practical experience and explore a field I had an interest in. I hoped that the course would in some manner be connected to my interest in history. In reality the course is incredibly enjoyable and teaches a great deal in a very short space of time. I particularly enjoyed the analysing architecture element. The course has a real practical emphasis and I feel it gave me skills to take to the workplace which I would never have learned otherwise.
The six week placement is an important part of the course and really shows the realities of working in Conservation. I chose to complete my placement in a local authority and I feel that this gave me an insight which I could then take to the interview process. Shortly after I had completed my dissertation, I was offered my current position. Although this has entailed my having to relocate, I am now working in a field I enjoy and doing a challenging and interesting job which currently involves reviewing existing Conservation Area Appraisals and writing new ones. I am also beginning to be involved in Development Control work and attend pre-planning application site visits regularly. The best thing for me about my job is the insight it gives you into an area. I spend much of my day out of the office and am learning new things all the time.
I'm very grateful to Ralph and Neil for all the help they gave me throughout my time at Dundee and I am quite certain I would still not have an enjoyable career had it not been for the EUC course.'
Gille Young, Freelance Conservation Consultant, Student 2006-2007 with first degrees in Archaeology and Conservation of Historical Objects
I am currently working as a freelance consultant in Scotland having just completed the EUC Masters degree. I had been working in the building and collections conservation field for some time but was beginning to feel as if I needed a slight change in direction. I had harboured a desire to be a Conservation Officer a while ago, so I took the opportunity, whilst I was in between jobs, to do the EUC degree which would give me the grounding I needed. Family reasons have meant I am unable to move to where the jobs are so I set up my own business in the north, covering the whole of Scotland. Work has been coming in gradually ever since and I have worked with a couple of Scottish Councils on Conservation Area Appraisals, as well as with the Scottish Traditional Skills Training Centre. The course was extremely enjoyable and has given me the push I needed to go out and get more involved in this field. I am excited about the prospects of my new business and have high hopes for the future!
Marianna Gilbert, Project Officer Lincoln City Council. EUC student 2005-2006, with a first degree in History and Hispanic Studies.
I chose to do the EUC course as I was looking for a postgraduate conservation course with a strong vocational angle. I enjoyed all aspects of the course, particularly the analysing architecture module which I felt gave me a lot of the background information I needed coming from a first degree in History and Hispanic studies. I completed my placement with Tayside Building Preservation Trust which gave me a valuable insight into the day to day realities conservation work. I was lucky enough to be offered a job with City of Lincoln Council as project officer on the Lincoln Townscape Assessment, a pilot scheme run in conjunction with English Heritage to produce a characterisation report of the whole of Lincoln and a methodology for future projects. After nearly a year, my job is still great fun, I'm really enjoying it and getting quite happily sidetracked into urban design issues.
Lindsey Templeton, Conservation Officer, Wyre Borough Council. EUC student 2005 - 2006, with a first degree in Geography
"After completing my Undergraduate Degree in Geography, I realised that my degree was not specialised enough for any specific position. I decided to apply for the course to allow me to specialise my degree in a field I had already realised interested me enormously. Once I had completed the Postgraduate Diploma, I initially found it quite hard to find a position within a Conservation field. I had completed two six-week placements so experience shouldn't have been a problem. The difficulty was that I wanted to stay in Scotland. However, I soon realised that the most important issue to me was that I was working and doing something that I really enjoyed. I then widened my search for positions outside of Scotland and was soon asked to come for an interview for the position of Conservation Officer, at Wyre Borough Council in Lancashire. This was my first interview and I was offered the job by the end of the same day. It was a big move to come down here from my home in Ayrshire, but I couldn't wait to get started. Besides being a lot of fun and allowing me to make some great friends, this course really gave me a huge appreciation for historic buildings and areas, and the importance of their survival into modern times. I am indebted Ralph and Neil for enabling me to succeed in a job I enjoy immensely. "
Sonya Linskaill, Chartered Architect. EUC student 2004-5, Degree in Design
I qualified as an architect in 1997 and subsequently worked in private practise for over 5 years. A developing interest in historic buildings led me to enrol in the MSc in European Urban Conservation. I was attracted to the course for a variety of reasons, in particular the balance and breadth of the course content.
I entered the course with an open mind. I had no probable 'career' in mind; I did not necessarily wish to return to practice as an architect. I allowed the experiences of the course to focus how I could work in the future. Having enjoyed the research into the reports (Conservation Plan and Conservation Area Appraisal) I have pursued this type of work as an independent consultant. To date I have undertaken work for the Scottish Lime Centre Trust and Stirling Council. I have also worked briefly as a Conservation Officer in local government, and for a year with the Scottish Civic Trust as a Technical Officer. In January 2007 I was appointed co-manager of the Stirling City Heritage Trust.
I hoped the course would reinvigorate my knowledge, expand my professional skills, and create an opportunity to develop my career. I am pleased to say that the course has met all these aims and more... I now enjoy my work!
Zac Manning, training as a stonemason with the Scottish Lime Centre Trust. EUC student 2004-5 with a first degree in Geography
Having spent a year out, I was looking for that ideal occupation that combined both theoretical understanding and applied knowledge, the why and the how which, the EUC course promised and ultimately delivered. It managed to cover both the theory and practice of 'conservation' - old buildings and why we need them, and how to save them. In just 9 months we studied the history and philosophy of conservation, architectural history and design, planning legislation throughout Europe, traditional building construction and material analysis/science, finances and funding, building regulations and project management. We also covered the role of cultural heritage and tourism wrote a Conservation Area Appraisal and a Conservation Plan (the tools of the Conservation Officer) and went on a two week fieldtrip to Malta. In sum, we were taught to appreciate the praxis of conservation by experienced tutors - the key to becoming a successful, practicing professional.
I am now working for the Scottish Lime Centre Trust - my first proper job! The Trust is a very dynamic working environment: I have been involved in a wide range of departments including sales, administration, finance and building consultancy. More recently, since September 2006, I have been training with the Masonry Training Squad with the prospect of becoming a qualified stone mason. I am now in a position that would have been impossible had I not enrolled in the EUC course, if only because I would have never considered the possibility of learning a trade never mind working with old buildings!
Alex Adamson, Technical Officer at the Scottish Civic Trust. EUC student 2004-5,
with a first degree in History
I took the EUC course with a view to making a radical career change. As a mature student with a young family and a 120 mile daily round-trip, returning to study was not without its challenges! However, I thoroughly enjoyed the year, especially the practical work.
After the course, I was taken on by an architectural practise for three months to produce a 'Conservation Area Appraisal' and a 'Building Condition Survey' for central Dunfermline. At the completion of the work I joined the Scottish Civic Trust where I provide consultancy to Local Authorities, mostly in answer to requests for our opinion on planning applications. I could not have got either of these jobs without having taken the course.
Fionn McIntosh Planning Officer (Conservation), Stirling Council.
EUC Student 2003 - 2004 with a first degree in Interior Design
I am currently employed as a Planning Officer (Conservation) with Stirling Council. In this post my time is mostly spent making conservation recommendations to Development Control Officers relating to Listed Building applications, as well as offering advice and information to enquiries from members of the public with regards to Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas. I am also jointly responsible for the Stirling Council Area Town Scheme grant fund and maintaining and updating the local Buildings at Risk information.
Research for my undergraduate thesis project brought about my interest in the architectural history of Scotland and over the duration of the EUC course I developed a strong commitment towards the built heritage conservation of the country. Dundee University's EUC course provides a good, solid foundation in building conservation philosophy which is ideal for Conservation Officer work.
Sarah Kettles, Freelance Conservation Consultant. EUC Student 2002-2003, with a first degree in Geography
After an extended career break -due to children and several house moves - I was keen to retrain in a more 'portable' line of work than my previous specialist area of geodemography. I had always found buildings fascinating and after my initial fears of having limited architectural knowledge (and being a 'mature' student) enlisted as a full time student on the EUC course. The course was broad ranging and always interesting allowing the individual to pursue particular lines of interest through assessed practicals, an overseas fieldtrip and finally in the choice of dissertation subject. The combination of excellent staff and a variety of student backgrounds made it a highly enjoyable year.
On finishing the course, I set up as a freelance conservation consultant allowing me the flexibility of location and hours, whilst simultaneously enabling me to look after my children and complete my dissertation. Projects have included conservation area consultancy work for a large Scottish council, assisting the Tayside Building Preservation Trust in a feasibility study for a chapel and in 2004 I received a Millenium Commission Award from the RIAS, in order to write and produce an architectural heritage trail booklet on my local village. I have also become an active member of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS). Most recently I have set up and become the Secretary for a cases panel for Angus and Dundee, where we comment on planning applications on behalf of the AHSS.
Elaine Lee, Architectural Survey and Recording Officer,
The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland. EUC Student 2002/03 with a first degree in Geography.
Upon completion of the Diploma element of the EUC course in July 2003 I started work as an Assistant Conservation Officer with Lancaster City Council. I continued to write my dissertation on a part time basis alongside my full time job and was awarded my MSC in September 2005. My work in a small conservation team of two was very varied and at times pressured but very enjoyable - a steep learning curve!! A few of my main duties involved dealing with planning applications for listed buildings and conservation areas, writing and reviewing conservation area appraisals, maintaining the local buildings at risk register, participating in the work of the Morecambe THI, writing guidance notes and policy documents and providing a range of day to day advice to the public etc. . . . .
I am currently employed by RCAHMS and work within the Survey & Recording Group which operates its activities throughout Scotland. In my role as Architectural Survey & Recording Officer, I am responsible for co-ordinating the 'Threatened Buildings Survey' (TBS) Project within the Architecture, Industry & Maritime Section. The main remit of the TBS project is to record buildings of architectural and/or historic importance that are threatened by significant change or destruction.
Neil Robertson, Senior Conservation Officer, Herefordshire Council. EUC student 2001-2002 with a first degree in Archaeology
The EUC course was very enjoyable and provided a good understanding of the theoretical and practical issues that affect the day to day work of a conservation officer. In particular the visits to various sites and the opportunity to work at Gardyne's Land have been most useful in my previous and current employment. After graduating and before taking up my current position I worked for eighteen months with the Scottish Civic Trust on casework and preparing the "Sources of Financial Help for Scotland's Historic Buildings". My present post is extremely varied, among completed projects is the restoration of a Victorian Footbridge and currently I am involved with the restoration of St Katherine's Masters house, a 15th century Hall House with many later additions, and the surrounding complex. The Hall House is the only survivor of its kind (the rest were destroyed by Henry VIII). The EUC course has allowed me to gain a job which is interesting, varied, challenging and which involves me being on site for 2 days a week in a picturesque part of England. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in working with the historic environment.
Craig Frew, Senior Buildings Consultant, Charlestown Consultants, part of the Scottish Lime Centre Trust, EUC student 2000-2001 with a first degree in town planning
"The EUC course gave me an excellent background in building conservation - one of the unique benefits of the course is that it runs in parallel with the work of Tayside BPT - giving students an opportunity to become involved in the 'real world' of building conservation. Students are encouraged to attend the Dundee Conservation Lecture series with guest speakers, and get involved with the AHSS Cases Panel - all of these ultimately make EUC students much more 'employable' - in my case I ended up with my first post as Buildings Advisor for the Scottish Lime Centre a few weeks after sitting my exams! Since then, I spent a spell working as Conservation Officer with Dundee City Council, but recently decided to return to the Lime Centre to further my career in the building conservation industry. I am now responsible for 'Charlestown Consultants' - a small multi-disciplinary team of consultants, providing advice on the most appropriate repair of traditional buildings. A quick scan through our consultancy projects reveals buildings and structures such as the Great Wall of China, The White House, Dostoevsky's Apartment in St Petersburg, Frank Lloyd Wrights' Robie House in Chicago, Fort Washington, Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Queensberry House (Scottish Parliament) - in addition to hundreds of less well known, but often more interesting, vernacular and traditional buildings.
Simon Hickman, Senior Conservation Officer Durham City. EUC Student 2000-2001 with a first degree in Town Planning
"I found the EUC course to be the perfect foundation for a career in Conservation. The course is interesting, well-taught, and above all relevant. As a result of my time in Dundee I acquired a broad range of skills which I use on a daily basis working as Senior Conservation Officer for Durham City Council."
Torsten Haak, Project Manager Arbroath Abbey to Harbour Townscape Heritage Initiative. EUC student 1999-2000, with a first degree in Architecture
I am indebted to the Tayside Building Preservation Trust who offered me a scholarship to enable me to participate and complete the excellent EUC course at Dundee University. Having had difficulties in securing a job as architect in Scotland or Germany I went to Japan for two years where I read about the course in the International Guardian, contacted Neil Grieve and was so impressed by the prompt positive reply and content of the course that I applied immediately. A step I have never regretted. Even before I had finished my dissertation I was offered the position of Buildings Adviser for the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust. After three years I moved on to manage the Arbroath THI for Angus Council.
David Clark, Heritage Conservation Team Leader, Mendip District Council. EUC student 1998-1999 with a first degree in Geography
I applied for EUC MSc as I felt it would allow me to specialise in a subject area briefly touched on in my Human Geography undergrad, which by its very nature addressed a very broad subject. I had a general interest in architecture and the development of the built environment which this course helped shape into a career.
The mix of lectures, tutorials, fieldtrips and work placements along with the dedicated studio space and all important social-life combined to make my time in Dundee the best I had as a student. Some 10 years on I am still keep in touch with my fellow EUC graduates and tutors.
I had secured my first interview for a permanent post before the 12 month course was complete and started at Mendip District Council as Assistant Conservation Officer in January 2000. I have no doubt that the conservation philosophy and hands on technical teachings of the course were a major factor in my appointment along with the important AHSS Cases Panel work. Within 3 years I had risen to lead the conservation team at Mendip and am still enjoying the interest and variety of work that the job brings; it's not all beards and sandals!
Colin Tennant, Chief Executive, The Scottish Stone Liaison Group. EUC student 1996/7 with a first degree in Geography
Following completion of the course, I undertook voluntary work for Tayside Building Preservation Trust for six months before getting my first paid post as a Planning Assistant (Conservation) at Alnwick District Council in Northumberland. The focus of the course on conservation management and planning, really helped me hit the ground running in my first job. Although I still had a lot to learn, in terms of practical knowledge, the course had given me good understanding of conservation within the planning system and the role of the conservation officer. Following two and half years in Alnwick, I moved to Stirling Council to manage their Townscape Heritage Initiative. Again, as a result of the EUC course I had an understanding of the usefulness of grant aid and the role conservation could play in regeneration. Since 2005, I carried this forward as manager of Stirling City Heritage Trust. In September 2006 I took up my latest post as Chief Executive of the Scottish Stone Liaison Group. This movement away from planning and grant work has been quite a challenge. However, the grounding that the EUC course gave me in materials and traditional construction has given me the confidence to move into this area of conservation.
The EUC course has proved invaluable in the development of my career. The breadth of the subject matter and the depth that it is gone into in quite a short time scale, will give you the grounding that you require to pursue a career in conservation. I would recommend it to anyone considering a career in this sector. The evidence of its success is all around with the growing number of EUC graduates now working in the industry.
Douglas Black, Deputy team leader (Conservation and Urban Design) London Borough of Lambeth. EUC student 1995-96, with a first degree in Town Planning
My time in Dundee was the happiest of my student years both academically and socially. The course gave me an excellent insight into the everyday workings of the conservation system, complementing and enforcing my existing knowledge of the legislation. Additionally, the guest lecture series, practical work and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland's local cases panel gave me the opportunity to widen my technical knowledge, increase my understanding of list descriptions and to learn some important architectural terminology. Finally, the MSc dissertation provided an excellent opportunity for me to pursue those topics I was most interested in.
I am currently Deputy Team Leader (Conservation & Urban Design), London Borough of Lambeth. Previously Principal Conservation Officer London Borough of Bromley (6 years) and prior to that 3 years experience as listed building surveyor in Northern Ireland. I am a member of Twentieth Century Society's Casework Committee, events organiser and tour leader, editor of IHBC London Branch newsletter, member of London Borough of Bromley's Advisory Panel for Conservation Areas. Other memberships include Architectural heritage Society of Scotland, National Trust, Royal Town Planning Institute, Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, Victorian Society.
Gareth Jones, Architect - Pollock Hammond Partnership, EUC student 1993 - 1994, with a first degree in Architecture
I decided to take the MSc in 1993 after meeting a former student at an evening lecture in Dundee. I had previously worked with a conservation architect but found that the MSc gave me the opportunity to learn more, not just about the nuts and bolts of traditional buildings, but of the wider environmental implications of urban conservation. The staff, like my fellow students, had differing backgrounds and excellent hands-on experience of the subject. They were also encouraging, helpful and friendly, making that year all the more enjoyable."
My first position was depute director of The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, I then graduated to become its Director but after two years decided to move back into mainstream architecture and joined the Pollock Hammond Partnership where I am now an architect. The Partnership is well known for its work in conservation and among a number of projects on which I have been the project architect is the award winning restoration of Dymock's Buildings in Boness for the National Trust for Scotland.
Steven Robb, Senior Inspector of Historic Buildings with Historic Scotland. EUC student 1992-3. First degree Building Surveying
My first degree in building surveying, together with a spell working for a Glasgow conservation trust and as an assistant to a conservation architect, convinced me to follow a career in conservation. I was therefore lucky to have obtained a place on the EUC course, then in its second year. The relatively small classes allowed Ralph and Neil to assist students in reaching their potential and encouraged close friendships between the students. It also allowed close supervised study of a subject and I particularly enjoyed being able to indulge my interest in Scottish tower houses and their restoration, which I studied in depth for my Research project.
As the majority of conservation officer posts are based in local authority planning departments, I welcomed the firm planning foundation of the course, and the ability to interact with the planning students and their coursework. This was especially helpful for those EUC students who had a limited background in planning.
In addition, the strong technical input of the course, the frequent site visits, lectures and work placements were extremely useful in providing the valuable work experience and knowledge that are vital at interviews for that important first job. My placement with the City of Edinburgh Council was particularly valuable, as besides answering phone enquires from the public, I was able to be involved with real projects, including the publication of a manual on shopfronts in the Old Town and a conservation area appraisal, which I illustrated and co-wrote.
This hands-on work experience stood me in good stead for my first appointment in 1994 as a Historic Buildings Officer for Cleveland County Council, based in Middlesbrough. From an area where a lack of money for listed buildings and conservation areas was a problem, in mid-1996 I moved to London to work for English Heritage where development pressures and high land values provided an entirely new set of challenges . I spent ten years working with Central London casework, the majority of which was with the City of Westminster Council, who incidentally employed several EUC graduates!. After Westminster I worked for EH in the London Boroughs of Camden, Islington and Barnet. In mid-2006 I returned to Scotland, to work for Historic Scotland, and now lead a team of four, dealing with the South East of Scotland, and personally with casework in the Edinburgh World Heritage site and East Lothian.
I consider the EUC course was an essential step in developing the skills to make the transition from an interested and keen student to a fully fledged conservation officer. It is a well respected course whose former students I have encountered at London Boroughs, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, planning consultancies, and various other conservation trusts and organisations. Additionally, on a more personal note, the West End of Dundee is a good place to be a student and many post-lecture evenings were spent in McGonagalls or the immense beer garden at Laing's
Lynn Davidson (now Kilpatrick), Project Officer, Alba Conservation Trust. EUC student 1992-1993, with a first degree in Geography
'The EUC course provided me with a sound background in conservation which undoubtedly helped me gain employment with firstly the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England (now English Heritage), followed by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), and ultimately (since October 2003) working in building conservation with a building preservation trust. As Project Officer for the Alba Conservation Trust, I'm now using my EUC background to help restore historic buildings across Scotland, bringing them back into a wide variety of new uses. I am also currently administering the HLF-funded Townscape Heritage Initiative in Dunbar, East Lothian, which awards grants to property owners to carry out essential repairs to their buildings within the Dunbar Conservation Area. Without the site visits, the technical and theoretical aspects of conservation taught on the EUC course, I wouldn't have the necessary skills to be working in the BPT movement.'
Richard MacCullagh, Principle Conservation Officer, Winchester Borough Council 1991 - 1992, with a first degree in Town Planning
"The MSc supplemented my town planning qualification, allowing me to develop specialist skills and gain practical experience. The European element, the work placement I spent at Temple Bar, numerous site visits and the enthusiasm of dedicated staff made the course all the more enjoyable. After graduating, I worked on a number of temporary contracts as a university researcher and planning assistant, before securing my first conservation post with Moray District where I worked for two years before joining Lewisham where I enjoyed a good mix of historic building casework and policy making. I moved to Winchester in 1999 and now head a small conservation and design team dealing mainly with listed building casework and conservation area appraisals."
Roz Artis-Young, Technical Director of the Scottish Lime Centre Trust. EUC student 1991-92, with a first degree in Geography
After completing the course, I initially had problems in finding a suitable post, but then worked for a year for Tayside Building Preservation Trust. On completing this, I moved to Edinburgh, where I acted as secretary to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) (Scottish) technical panel before joining the Scottish Lime Centre Trust, then in its infancy. I became the director in 2004. The post is amazingly varied, ranging from hands on lime working to mortar analysis to historic research to training, education and publications. I am indebted to the EUC course for providing me with an appropriate training.