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The eMA Antiques course, which is taught online by distance learning, was suspended earlier this year. However, after lobbying it has been reinstated.

Jill Newsham, associate lecturer in antiques, said: “Formal education within the antiques business is a vital thing and we need as many people as possible to know that the course is now open to students once again.”

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A previous group of students from the antiques degree course run by the University of Central Lancashire.

The course has been running for the past 17 years and offers students, after the first year, the chance to specialise in a field of their choice.

Newsham said the alumni from the course include “collectors, dealers, auctioneers and curators alike”.

Students can study part time alongside work and family commitments.

Only a handful of academic institutions offer antiques-related courses. Kingston University runs an MA in Art Market & Appraisal and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation focuses on courses in conservation and traditional art and craft practices, while The Northern School of Art in Hartlepool advertised a new design history course earlier this year.

The art and antiques valuation courses held for many years at Southampton University are much missed by the trade.

According to data compiled by the Higher Education Student Statistics Agency, there was a 28.5% decrease in first-year university students studying history of art in the UK over the decade from 2008-18.

To find out more visit the University of Lancaster website

or email  Jill Newsham on JKNewsham@uclan.ac.uk.

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The eMA Antiques course run via distance learning by the University of Central Lancashire.