Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Historic glass and glazing conservation

Learn about the physical nature of historic glass and glazing, its significance in Scotland's historic buildings and how it interacts with these structures.



Our Advanced Diploma prospectus contains information about all our short courses:

download our prospectus


2 weeks


25 March - 8 April 2020

Study time

Taught:5 days


As a stand-alone short course:£420


Looking for a related qualification? Learn about our Accredited Diploma that can be taken part-time or full time.

Explore Diploma Course
A historic, stained glass window


This course will explore a range of issues associated with the manufacture, use and conservation of plain and decorative glass, and traditional glazing systems, in Scotland’s historic built environment.

You will get a historic overview of these materials, for their early beginnings in the Roman period and early 17th-century glassmaking industries, to technological advancements and innovation in their manufacture today.

What you will learn

In attending this short course, you will study the science of glass manufacture, its composition, and its physical properties. You will learn how to carry out archival research in order to identify the artist, craftsman or studio responsible for the original work and thereby establishing the cultural significance of the work or site.

This course will also teach you current conservation principles and how to undertake appropriate repairs, from an initial survey, through to specification, procurement and on-site repair of existing or installation of new material – all according to best current principles of best conservation practice.

Topics covered

  • History of architectural glass, characteristics and properties
  • Traditional fenestration
  • An introduction to stained glass design
  • An introduction to stained glass materials
  • Problems encountered with stained glass
  • Cutting and painting glass
  • Restoration and conservation of stained glass
  • An introduction to conservation materials
  • Leading and cementing glass
  • Health and safety and sitework
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Course content

Short courses offer the opportunity to learn about building conservation through lectures, workshops and site visits.

Classes, lectures and presentations

Students benefit from attending classes and lectures taught by national and international experts. Forthcoming lectures are to be confirmed.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Robin Murdoch (Harlaw Heritage)
  • Linda Cannon, stained glass artist and conservator

Hands-on workshop/lab activities

Students are often offered the opportunity to take part in hands-on workshops or lab activities as part some short courses.

On this short course, you can participate in workshops on:

  • glass painting
  • glass cutting
  • glass lead work

Potential site visits

Students have the opportunity to participate in site visits. These vary from one year to another.

Previous site visits for this course have included:


Although our short courses are not formally assessed, students will be awarded a certificate upon successfully completing this course.

A formal qualification can be obtained by studying our Advanced Professional Diploma on Technical Building Conservation.

What our students say