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Overview

Edward James, the founder of West Dean College wrote in 1941: "I felt I could do more to alter the face of the world, more to usher in the new world, by spending in my own way – in particular, by fostering any and all creative spirits I could meet with, who had something individually to contribute to the building of that more vivid and more living future..."

Today, West Dean Collegeis still nurturing Edward’s unique legacy, using his remarkable vision as a guide.

West Dean is a small specialist College set in the heart of the 6,400 acre West Dean Estate near Chichester, West Sussex. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the slopes of the South Downs, it is a sensational setting for you to develop your skills.

Programmes of Study

MA Design

MA awarded by the University of Sussex
1 calendar year

Taken as extention to any of West Dean's existing Postgraduate Diplomas

Conservation Studies

MA awarded by the University of Sussex
1 calendar year

All Postgraduate Diplomas in Conservation disciplines can be extended to an MA in Conservation Studies

Conservation and Making programmes

Conservation of Books and Library Materials

Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year


Conservation of Ceramics and Related Materials

Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Conservation and Making of Clocks and Other Dynamic Objects

Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

West Dean College Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year

Conservation of Clocks Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma (PDD) awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year

Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year


Furniture Making/Restoration Practices

West Dean College Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Conservation of Metalwork

Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Making Fine Metalwork

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Making Stringed Musical Instruments

West Dean College Diploma awarded by West Dean College
2 academic years

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Conservation of Buildings, Interiors and Sites*

awarded by West Dean College
1 - 5 years part-time

Creative Writing

Creative Writing
PGDip/MA Creative Writing awarded by the University of Sussex

1 calendar year (full-time) or
2 years part-time (1 academic year plus 1 calendar year)

Visual Arts

Visual Arts
Graduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

MA Visual Artsawarded by the University of Sussex
1 calendar year

Master of Fine Artawarded by the University of Sussex
2 academic years


Painting and Drawing

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Sculpture

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


Tapestry and Textile Art

Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Sussex
1 academic year

Professional Development Diploma awarded by West Dean College
1 academic year


All of the above Visual Arts Postgraduate Diplomas can be extended to the MA/MFA programmes.


Foundation Diploma in Art and Design* awarded by West Dean College
2 years part-time maximum

* Note: Not a full-time course, studied part-time through attendance on 10 short courses and a final written essay.

If you are unsure as to what level you are at please complete an application and on receipt our team will contact you to discuss the options.

Advanced skills

West Dean College equips students with advanced level practical skills that are highly sought after by potential employers and for professional practice. The content of the programmes is grounded in practice firmly supported by theory. Our staff to student ratio is exceptional, allowing for high levels of individual tuition and encouraging an open exchange of ideas and information. All our tutors are engaged in research through practice and their work is carried out alongside students in specialist studio-workshops. Open discussion and debate support innovation and the marriage of practical skills with new thinking helps to ensure that our graduates are numbered among the leading practitioners in their fields throughout the world.

A network of contacts

The College has an enviable network of contacts and its reputation helps to ensure that students have the best possible chances of employment at the end of their studies. Organisations such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Centre for Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, as well as professional bodies such as the British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) help our students to understand the needs of future employers.

Our Tapestry and Textile Art students have the unique opportunity of working in close proximity to the College’s professional commission-based Tapestry Studio, the only one of its kind in England. Our highly skilled weavers are currently working on the production of interpretations of the Hunt of the Unicorntapestries that hang in the Cloisters Museum, New York, as well as innovative new work.

University of Sussex

West Dean College's MA degrees and graduate and postgraduate diplomas are validated by the University of Sussex.The Universityof Sussexreceived its Royal Charter in 1961 and has become a leading teaching and research institution, which is regularly ranked in international surveys in the top 12 – 20 universities in the UKand in the top 100 universities globally. Its academic reputation is based on research excellence, internationalism and interdisciplinarity. The University is strongly committed to expanding its local and regional role and a central part of its mission is to contribute to the enhancement of the economic, educational and cultural life of the locality. We have enjoyed a formal and fruitful partnership with the University for over a decade.

How to Find Us

Find us - West Dean aerial view

West Dean College and Gardens are situated in South East England, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 12 miles from the south coast.

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