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The Postgraduate Research Methods Course in Conservation: The Practical Approach Taken at the University of Gothenburg

Elizabeth E. Peacock


The theory-led Master’s Research Methods course in the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg was completely redesigned for the 2013 autumn term from a theory-led to a student-oriented learning format. The practical techniques and interactive skills framework enables students to become familiar with common research tools culminating with each student writing a Master’s research project proposal. This article presents a reflective case study analysis of the course redesign undertaken with the aim to improve the student learning experience of research methods, and presents a model for research methods education in cultural heritage conservation.

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Introduction and background

1Many university departments offer Research Methods courses. These tend to include training in specific research methodologies common to a given discipline, differing for an undergraduate compared to a postgraduate course, with depth often determined by course length. They are challenging classes to teach because the body of material to be covered is extremely broad. The content of most courses includes such topics as literature search, research question, ethics, research design, methodology, data collection and analysis, and dissemination. Many of these are worthy of their own courses. Cultural heritage specialists, including conservators-restorers, conduct research in both academic and practitioner career fields, and the completion of a course in research methods is a critical step in their development both as researchers and as professionals.

2The Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden offers a single two-year (120 ECTS) Master of Science (MSc) Degree in Conservation. It is common to all the department’s postgraduate students. It builds upon the student’s undergraduate education, which, within the department, includes the broad spectrum of specialisations: Integrated Conservation of Built Heritage; Building Crafts; Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects; Garden and Landscape Crafts; and, Cultural Heritage Handicrafts Management.

3The introductory first term of the MSc consists of a compulsory three-course package: Conservation and Sustainable Development and Introduction to the Master’s Programme in Conservation (7.5 ECTS); Research Methods in Cultural Heritage Conservation (7.5 ECTS); and, Integrated Conservation (15 ECTS). The second term consists of elective courses (30 ECTS) offered in-house, in another department, or another university. The third term can be either fieldwork or an internship or the start of a 60 ECTS Master’s project. The fourth term is either a continuation or start of the Master’s project/thesis.

  • 1  Studies indicate that two of the most widely used teaching strategies – lectures and textbook read (...)

4The predecessor to the current redesigned Research Methods course, “Qualitative Research Methods” (7.5 ECTS), had been part of the MSc programme core curriculum since the programme began. This was a theory-led, qualitative research methods course. It was taught as an abstract subject focusing upon theory rather than practice, and delivered in the traditional didactic lecture-text-exam format.1 When the MSc programme began, the department had fewer specialisations than today, and it was primarily Built Heritage graduates who took the course. As Conservation-Restoration graduates and others began to take the compulsory course, the theory-led, qualitative research method-heavy focus became increasingly seen as inadequate and unsuccessful. It emerged from student course evaluations and reflections from course tutors that a new approach to the teaching of the course needed to be developed.

5The department’s Master student cohort is diverse with a wide range of previous knowledge, qualifications, and academic ability. It includes full-time employed professionals and postgraduate students with no professional experience. There are recent graduates and returning mid-career professionals taking up study for the first time after many years. Master’s students are graduates drawn from the department and from other universities in Sweden and Europe with a range of undergraduate disciplines in cultural heritage in addition to those taught in the department (e.g. art history). Furthermore, there are students who live locally and those with a long-distance, overnight commute. From 2016, the cohort will include PhD candidates as well.

6In addition to the diverse student cohort, there are a number of limitations and logistical barriers that have to be accounted for. The course is required for all MSc students and, as a common course, must be relevant for all the department’s disciplines. It is a 7.5 ECTS full time course that has to be delivered within the time constraints of a course block of 22 days (4 ½ weeks). It is offered as the second course in the MSc programme progression. The course must be able to accommodate a maximum 25 students without any teaching assistants. Furthermore, it is offered once during the academic year and is not offered by distance learning.

7The course was completely redesigned for the 2013 autumn term from a theory-led to a student-oriented learning format. The practical techniques and interactive skills framework enables students to become familiar with common research tools culminating with each student writing a Master’s research project proposal. The author was tasked with the redesign, and has been responsible for its design, planning, construction, delivery, and assessment since 2013. This article discusses the challenges and approaches adopted in carrying this out.

State of the Art and Literature Review

8A study on the ways to teach research methods, replacing the traditional didactic teaching approach with a student-oriented approach, was undertaken, adopting an action research framework. Educational action research involves the utilization of an action research framework for conducting projects that aim to improve the quality of teaching and learning (Kember, 2000). It leads to developing the ability to evaluate and systematically reflect upon one’s own teaching.

9Initially, an extensive search of the Internet was undertaken for course information (e.g. syllabus, course description, learning outcomes) for other, similar university research methods courses (both postgraduate and graduate) to get an overview of topics covered, weight given to topics, weight given to theory versus practice, length of course, how often it met, methods of delivery, literature, and methods of assessment. Of the courses found, most courses were in the social sciences and humanities; none were found in the discipline of conservation-restoration or the broader field of cultural heritage conservation.

10Further, an on-line literature survey and review was carried out for current studies providing information about research methods education. Of particular interest were: range of topics taught, teaching and assessment methods, and student and course tutor feedback. Again, most research that addressed course content and various approaches to teaching research methods was in the social sciences and humanities (e.g. Denham, 1997; Poindexter, 1998; Edwards and Thatcher 2004; Aguado, 2009). There was no research about research methods in the discipline of conservation-restoration or the broader field of cultural heritage conservation. The research focus in conservation-restoration education has long been conservation research and science, but not research methods pedagogy. A similar situation was encountered by Wagner et al. (2011) in their literature review of research methods education in general. They found a substantial body of literature at the disposal of teachers addressing the ‘how to’ of research methods, but not adequately informing the teaching of methods. Strayhorn (2012) in his review of the (in)effectiveness of teaching strategies in research methods courses found the emphasis on ‘learning about’ as opposed to ‘learning how to do’ research. Interestingly, there were a number of studies (Bensen and Blackman, 2003; Edwards and Thatcher, 2004, Sproken-Smith, 2005; Barreket, 2005; Bailie, 2009; Yan, 2013) reporting redesigning research methods courses confirming that these courses are a challenge to teach. All of these opted for group structures or methods supporting Weimer’s (2013) research findings about the very practical and beneficial effects of learner-centred methods for students.

11An unforeseen resource in this preparatory background work was the two-week “International Summer School on Communication and Teaching Skills in Conservation and Science” course offered by ICCROM (ICCROM, n.d.) for the first time in July 2013, and onto which the author was fortunate enough to be accepted. This course not only presented a wide range of teaching methods but also did so through practice. As a result, many of these delivery methods have been incorporated into the revised Research Methods course.

Overview of the Course

12In order to accommodate student cohorts who are in paid employment and/or commute over long distances, as well as provide ample time to complete out-of-class assignments, the class sessions are held as two full days every Thursday and Friday over the 4½-week course period for a total of eleven sessions. These full days may seem excessive; however, the amount of class time needed to accommodate interactive group work must not be underestimated. The course is delivered primarily by the course tutor with the assistance of one lecturer who teaches the research design and statistics modules. Attendance is required for all sessions. Additionally, the sessions are held outside the department because teaching facilities on the department’s premises cannot provide for the considerable classroom space needed for in-class group work sessions.

  • 2  The students are non-native English speakers.

13The course has chosen alternative delivery patterns and moved away from the traditional didactic teaching approach of a lecture slot and a separate seminar/tutorial. Normally in such a format, the lecture session concentrates on the introduction of more theoretical knowledge with the seminar focusing on more detailed exploration of issues covered in the lecture. Rather, class sessions are two full days back-to-back with each consisting of two three-hour slots. These slots consist of an integration of short lectures and a range of in-class group assignments. A selection of directed readings from several traditional research-methods texts are suggested as preparation for each class session. PowerPoint handouts of the lecture presentations are provided to assist the students in notetaking and allow them to focus on the lecture.2 For the in-class assignments, the instructor randomly divides students into small groups of 3-4, and each group presents their discussions to the class with the aid of a flipchart. The makeup of the groups is constantly changed throughout the course. The three-hour extended time slots ensure that adequate time is available for review and feedback of exercises and ideas (Bensen and Blackman, 2003). The ability of the instructor to act as facilitator is paramount to the success of this approach.

14The first class session begins with the students being asked to conduct a pairwise interview with their neighbour followed by each student presenting their fellow classmate to the class. This provides the course tutor insight into the background and goals of each student, as well as introducing ‘new’ students to the student core from the preceding feed-in compulsory course.

  • 3  Implementing the changes in the first year (2013) of the redesigned course was met with hostility (...)

15The course is unusual regarding delivery and style in relation to the students’ other studies. As Bensen and Blackman (2003) and Sproken-Smith (2005) emphasize, a key factor to the success of a redesigned course is student ‘preparedness’ and ‘willingness’ for a different style of learning. Therefore, in the first session, time is invested in acknowledging and explaining the differences up front.3 Of importance is the fact that the student-oriented nature of the course makes its delivery and success dependent upon student attendance and participation.

  • 4  The flipchart papers appear once again in the concluding session of the course; whereupon, they ar (...)

16This leads into a small-group assignment in which the students are asked to list their expectations for what they are going to learn and what they hope to learn in the course. Each group informally presents their summarised expectations to the class on a flipchart4. Thereafter, the course content is presented, and course expectations of the students are clarified. The further topics for the first session are “The Research Process” and “Research Ethics”. The session rounds off with an explanation of the first assignment due the next day, and the fact that all the course’s individual assignments require a common theme in the form of a Master’s research topic.

17In the second session of the course, students give a prepared 10-minute formal presentation to the class describing the topic for their Master’s project. The presentation is followed by class discussion and input. This exercise provides the course tutor and fellow students’ insight into all the students’ research areas of interest early on. The third session of the course is a librarian-led information literacy skill instruction session (Brians and Garaffa, 2009) held in one of the university library’s computer classrooms. An instructional librarian on the staff of the university library who is one of the discipline librarians for the Department of Conservation delivers an interactive workshop on locating, processing and utilizing research.

18The fourth session begins with the students being divided into small groups to discuss their critiques (second assignment) with one another (aided by a list of considerations), followed by informally presenting their reflections to the entire class. The further topics for this interactive session are “Identifying Research Questions” and “Hypotheses”. The fifth interactive session focuses on “Research Design”. Towards the end of this session, students are divided into small groups for Assignment 3 and provided time to organise and plan; but this is largely an out-of-class assignment. The student groups present their data collection method lecture to the class in session six. Session seven consists of “Data Collection Method Design”, “Structuring the Research Project” and “Writing the Research Proposal” interactive lectures.

  • 5  There are numerous designs of paper airplanes. Each design is unique and alters the plane's flight (...)

19The eighth session is a “Measuring, Sampling and Data Collection” workshop in which student groups carry out the classic ‘paper airplane experiment’5. This is followed by “Preparing to Analyse Data” and “Data Analysis” interactive lectures. In session nine, groups work through statistical analysis of the data collected for the paper airplane experiment. “Presentation of Results”, “Writing Up” and “Dissemination” interactive lectures round off the session and the taught element of the course.

20The last two days of the course are devoted to each student presenting his/her research proposal to the class followed by its oral review by a fellow classmate. This is followed by an open class discussion. In the concluding session, the ‘what I want to get out of this course’ flipchart papers from the course’s first session appear once again; whereupon, they are reviewed as a reminder of what students had hoped to learn from the course – and how successful this was.

Course Assignments and Assessment

21Several studies emphasize breaking down the complexities of the research process into manageable tasks (Earley, 2013; Ball and Pelco, 2006). Sanders (2001) recommends that students be allowed to share their ideas in an ongoing manner, that their individual differences in experience and interest be taken into account, and that class assignments be frequent, small, varied, and linked to a final project. However, as Shaffer (2006) noted, coming up with meaningful assignments for the research methods course is unusually challenging. An important goal is that they be as ‘authentic’ as possible in that an assignment is directly relevant and intrinsically useful to the students’ real life and activities, and not an artificial exercise for the purpose of assigning a grade for the course (Shaffer, 2006). Moreover, that group work needs to be carefully and appropriately designed, implemented, and managed (Longmore et al., 1996).

22The course has five formal assignments. The goal is that each serves as a component of the final research project proposal. Assessment is based on 100% coursework, which is divided into four components corresponding to Assignments 2 through 5. There is no end-of-course examination. Assessment is both formative and summative. The first three assignments are assessed formatively by way of feedback about student performance to help students improve their performance. The final research proposal is the summative assessment.

Assignment 1: Oral presentation of proposed Master’s topic

23The first assignment of the course is a 10-minute oral presentation to the class describing the topic for a student’s Master’s project. For the presentation, students can use teaching aids of their choice (e.g. PowerPoint presentation, flipchart, whiteboard). Those who have not selected a topic are encouraged to pick a topic that they can use throughout the course. This assignment does not contribute to the final course grade.

Assignment 2: The literature critique

24For their first written assignment, students are asked to write a literature critique of two pieces of peer-reviewed literature of their choice relevant to their proposed Master’s topic. Reflecting that the conservation literature encompasses not only scholarly journals and books but also conference pre- and post-prints and other ‘grey’ literature, students are required to choose from two different literature sources. The student receives written feedback on this assignment, which contributes (20%) to the final course grade.

Assignment 3: Data collection methods group lecture

25The third assignment is a small-group formal oral lecture of a data collection method. During the fifth session, students are divided into groups with each group being randomly assigned a data collection method (e.g., survey, interview, experimental, documentary sources). The groups are free to select delivery method(s) (e.g., interactive, video clips, PowerPoint) of their choice. The lectures are delivered in the sixth session held the following week. The task for each group is to deliver a 30-minute classroom lecture on the topic of their collection method, preferably ‘how to’ oriented.

26To ensure that each group’s work is collaborative and that there are no “free-riders”, each student in a group is asked to evaluate their fellow group members’ contributions to the group’s assignment. This is done by each student filling out a specially tailored assessment rubric. Furthermore, following each group presentation, all students are asked to evaluate the oral presentation of the other groups. A purposely-designed rubric is used for this peer evaluation as well. Each group member’s peer assessment is kept confidential; whereas, the mean score of the aggregate peer marks for a group’s oral presentation forms the grade (20%) for the assignment for each group and, consequentially, each member. The course tutor does not contribute to the grading of this assignment.

Assignment 4: Proposed data collection strategy

27The fourth assignment is an individual written assignment in which students are asked to design a detailed data collection strategy for their proposed Master’s project. The student receives written feedback on this assignment, which contributes (20%) to the final course grade.

Assignment 5: The research project proposal

28The final, and major, course assignment consists of a detailed written research proposal, its oral presentation to the class, and the oral peer-review of a classmate’s written proposal and oral presentation. This assignment is assessed by the course tutor and contributes (40%) to the final course grade. A purpose-designed assessment rubric covers the written proposal, its oral presentation, its oral defence, and the student’s oral review of a classmate’s presentation. Following the oral presentation, each student is given the opportunity to revise their written proposal based upon the peer assessment and class discussion. It is this version that receives written feedback, and is assessed for the final course grade.

Student Response to the Course

29The course is subject to the University of Gothenburg standard on-line course survey each year. It is an anonymous self-administered on-line questionnaire that in format is a combination of close-ended rating scale questions and open-ended freeform comment questions. The comments provide for reflection and the raising of specific points.

  • 6  Course evaluations are available on the University of Gothenburg’s website; however, they are avai (...)
  • 7  The 2013 student evaluation has not been included in the summary due to a poor response rate (41%)

30The design and content of the 2013-2015 courses was the same with the exception of the guest lecturers who delivered the research design and statistics modules. The course evaluation survey was completed by the 2013-20156 classes. Evaluations from the 2014 and 2015 courses have been compared.7 For the 2014 class, 7 out of 11 (63%) students completed the survey; whereas, 10 out of 16 (62%) of the 2015 class responded. This information needs to be interpreted cautiously as the two classes are not directly comparable in terms of size or student cohort.

31Based on the mean student evaluations for 2014 and 2015, the overall impression of the course was ‘good’ (42%) to ‘great’ (58%). Students found the design and content of the course corresponded to the objectives stated in the syllabus to a ‘large’ (58%) and ‘very large’ (42%) extent. Students reported that they achieved the learning outcomes to a ‘large’ (54%) and ‘very large’ (46%) extent. The level of difficulty compared to other courses was rated as ‘quite difficult’ by all (100%). The majority (63%) felt the instructor’s use of teaching aids (whiteboard, computer, projector, etc.) was ‘very good’. They reported (56%) that the teaching methods contributed to the achievement of the learning outcomes to a ‘large’ (44%) and ‘very large’ (56%) extent. Students reported (71%) that the course was administered ‘very well’. The mix of types of instruction (lectures, laboratory sessions, exercises) used in the course was found to be ‘good’ (42%) to ‘very good’ (58%). Finally, the examination (i.e. assignments) was relevant in relation to the course content ‘to a very large extent’ (76%).

  • 8  The students were non-native English speakers. The responses have not been corrected for language.

32Insight has also been gained through qualitative data from the students’ individual critiques. As Barraket (2005) found in her student-centred case study, given the limitations of comparatively analysing ratings responses where class sizes are different and extraneous factors have not been controlled for, the qualitative evidence in the form of comments is of particular interest. The themes that emerged strongly from qualitative comments from the Gothenburg course included:8

  • “The course was helpful in making me think about my Master’s thesis topic and the practicalities about actually completing it. I appreciated that it was ‘hands on’ and the group assignments also helped to make the material engaging.”

  • “It was good with such a mixture of people with different backgrounds. It was good doing groups works to understand different approaches to questions.”

  • “I found the assignments as very useful to achieve the learning outcomes – you had to think and work with your own research ideas.”

  • “I liked that there was a room for students to participate in grading, which giving evaluation to classmates’ works gave me objective and critical view to my own work too.”

  • “I really enjoyed the course; it was hectic but the exploring a potential research subject was very useful and valuable for the future.”

  • “It was well organized to develop both the individual skills and co-working skills.”

  •  “Delivering presentations were also helpful in making us understand the topic, because you can’t explain something well unless you understand the material yourself.”

33The students identified some areas for improvement as well:

  • “Maybe better if the course would be divided to two different terms. One now in the beginning and one before writing your Master’s.”

  • “The statistics part should have a longer time. It was hard to learn and understand it, because the so short time, would like to know more about how to actually use statistics and how to apply it to your own research project.”

34Students appreciated the benefits of the practical student-oriented leaning approach, particularly working in groups. They continued to place value on more formal teaching methods. This was the experience of Barreket (2005) also, who reported that the value of student-centred techniques rested in the way in which they were integrated with more didactic teaching practice.

35The statistics module and the research design module, to some extent, stand out as topics with which the students (and course tutor) are particularly not satisfied. Problematic statistics modules is a common theme amongst other research methods courses (Diab, 2006; Edwards and Thatcher, 2004; Dunn et al., 2007; Sproken-Smith, 2005). In its first two years, student evaluations have resulted in a number of changes, in particular, to the teaching of the statistics module.

Course tutor reflections

36One aspect of introducing a redesigned research methods course that the course tutor had not anticipated and was unprepared for, was that it might be met with hostility by some students. The course is quite different regarding teaching methods and style in relation to the students’ other studies in the department. Sproken-Smith (2005) points out the introduction of teaching innovations has to be handled carefully, particularly when these challenge the traditional roles of tutor and students. Misgivings on the part of some students made the running of the first course difficult; however, this was not the case for the second and third cohorts, an experience reported by Bensen and Blackman (2003).

37The statistics and research design modules do not perform well. The problem lies in their presentation. Two ‘statistics savvy’ guest lecturers have delivered these interactive lecture modules; however, these have been complicated, disorganized, and delivered too hastily with the result that the diverse student group ‘tuned out’ early on. Moreover, those who came into the course uneasy about statistics have been scared off. Additionally, the guest lecturers gave homework assignments without prior discussion with the course tutor.

38The time constraints of the present 4 ½ week-long course have numerous ramifications. Careful planning is needed to decide what is to go into the limited time available for course topics. Thus far, it has precluded team teaching and coordinating numerous guest lecturers. Student feedback has requested research case studies by guest lecturers. The course lacks sufficient time to address all the stages of a meaningful research project culminating in a convincing report (i.e. a problem-based learning approach) either on an individual or less-time-consuming group basis. Edwards and Thatcher (2004) comment that in such courses with insufficient time, the taught element has an important role to play. Limited time compromises written feedback on assignments.

39Another consequence of the one-term course is that it is rigorous and intense. Student feedback strongly urges for a two-term course, either back-to-back or in two parts. The students who struggle are the ones earliest in their postgraduate career who are not focused and have not reached the stage of determining a research area. In each course more than one student has been prompted by the course assignments to seriously re-evaluate their planned research direction and make significant changes; whereas two or three other students conclude that this degree is not appropriate for them. Unlike its predecessor, the redesigned course has the same format each year giving students the possibility to take a pause and pick it up again the following year.

40A significant issue is when the course is offered. The typical full-time student takes it in either their first or third term; although, the third term is rather late in the four-term MSc programme. For any student, the first term could be viewed as too early, since they usually are not prepared to dive into making the decisions about their research project required by many of the assignments. It could be too early for the assignments to encourage and support their research progress. The timing dilemma is a common concern, and after trying a second-term offering instead, Shaffer (2006) concluded that getting students started earlier is an overriding consideration.

41Peer assessment between students is an assessment method used in several instances in the course: collection methods lecture group work; group work lecture presentation; written research proposal; and, oral peer-review of classmate’s research proposal and oral presentation. All peer assessments take place during in-class time with the exception of the out-of-class time peer-review of a classmate’s research proposal. Topping (1998) reviewed student peer assessment in higher education and reported that it is of adequate reliability and validity in a wide variety of applications. In this case study, for the group lectures, the 2013 student cohort over-marked their peers; while, the 2014 and 2015 classes under-marked their peers. Both Longmore et al. (1996) and Ball and Pelco (2006) had positive results employing peer-assessment in their courses.

42Peer assessment can make available swifter feedback in greater quantity. In this course, in the case of the oral group lecture (Assignment 2), it functions as a substitute for course tutor assessment and contributes to each student’s final course grade. The other peer assessments do not contribute to any grade. Peer assessment occurs between students in the same course and, given the diverse student cohort, it cuts across year of study, ages, and life experiences. Yet, this potential source of complaint has never been raised either in the course evaluation or otherwise. In fact, word has gotten round and PhD students in the department are requesting to take the course.

43Compiling a course reading list is problematic. There are many excellent introductory textbooks in research methods, and these follow a fairly consistent organisation; however, there is no text specifically aimed at heritage conservation. Student feedback was critical of the literature list lacking suggestions specific for their individual research interest. In the future, readings from a specific textbook or textbooks will not be assigned for each class session; instead, a list of recommended introductory texts in research methods will be provided. The burden of selecting relevant readings falls onto the student. Ball and Pelco (2006) dispensed with assigned textbooks(s), with the result that this was not missed.


44For a number of years, the theory-led Master’s Research Methods course in the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg had not been performing well. This article presents a reflective case study analysis of the course redesign undertaken with the aim to improve the student learning experience of research methods, and presents a model for research methods education in cultural heritage conservation. It is one classroom-based option, with many possible variations. Overall, introducing student-oriented learning methods to the classroom appears to have a positive effect on student performance, satisfaction and learning experiences in this case. Redesigning the course was interesting and challenging especially given the diverse student cohort and time and resource constraints. In a review of research methods course work for business and technical communication Campbell (2000) concurs with the difficulties of serving the needs of diverse groups of students in a single research methods course.

45Utilizing an action research approach provided a framework in which to carry out the redesign work. Moreover, it highlighted and emphasized the value of systematic reflection over the implemented course redesign in order to improve upon it and make appropriate changes. The student evaluations of the course are very positive, especially the student-oriented approach, small-group work, timely formative feedback, oral presentations, and learning from fellow classmates. Time constraints and an unsuccessful statistics module are areas for improvement. Reworking the course is an ongoing cyclical process. It has yet to reach the point where changes are largely cosmetic, and maybe it never will, or should.

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1  Studies indicate that two of the most widely used teaching strategies – lectures and textbook reading – are rated as least effective by students (Strayhorn, 2012).

2  The students are non-native English speakers.

3  Implementing the changes in the first year (2013) of the redesigned course was met with hostility by several students. Bensen and Blackman (2003) comment that difficulties arising from such misgivings should not be underestimated.

4  The flipchart papers appear once again in the concluding session of the course; whereupon, they are reviewed as a reminder of what students had hoped to get from the course – and how successful this was.

5  There are numerous designs of paper airplanes. Each design is unique and alters the plane's flight. The paper airplane experiment is a simple lab in which a range of designs of paper airplanes are tested with respect to flight time, distance, and accuracy.

6  Course evaluations are available on the University of Gothenburg’s website; however, they are available only to staff and students.

7  The 2013 student evaluation has not been included in the summary due to a poor response rate (41%).

8  The students were non-native English speakers. The responses have not been corrected for language.

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Electronic reference

Elizabeth E. Peacock, “The Postgraduate Research Methods Course in Conservation: The Practical Approach Taken at the University of Gothenburg”CeROArt [Online], HS | 2017, Online since 19 June 2017, connection on 23 September 2021. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Elizabeth E. Peacock

Elizabeth E Peacock is Professor of Conservation at the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and the NTNU University Museum, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. She is an academically trained conservator and conservation scientist with extensive practical experience working with organic archaeological materials. This has been combined with conservation research and the training of future conservators. Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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