Built-heritage conservation is now recognised worldwide as an important component of sustainable development, particularly in cities undergoing rapid development. There is increasing demand and scope for conservation research and practice as cities around the world recognise the need for more rigorous professional requirements based on international best practice specified in international charters and conventions.
The Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes (ACP) was first established in 2000 in the Faculty of Architecture as an academic unit offering two integrated, self-funded postgraduate programmes, the MSc(Conservation) and PDip(Conservation). The unit, then known as the "Architectural Conservation Programme" or "ACP", heralded the first conservation-dedicated postgraduate programme among all universities in China, and anticipated the strong demand for qualified conservation professionals in Asia.
In 2012, to address and support the growing conservation field, ACP was expanded to incorporate a UGC-funded undergraduate programme, the BA(Conservation), and a materials-based conservation laboratory for teaching and research, known as the Architectural Conservation Laboratory (ACLab). In 2015, the expanded ACP became the Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes, maintaining its established brand name of "ACP".
Today, ACP has become internationally recognised for its academic excellence through its active educational, professional practice and research collaborations with inter-governmental organisations (such as, UNESCO), government agencies, and professional institutes. It is also recognised as the driving force behind the education and professionalisation of built-heritage conservation as well as the shaping of conservation policies in Hong Kong.