Explore your study options from creative short courses and professional development through to Foundation, Diploma and Masters degrees. Students achieve ground-breaking work in visual arts or deploy their skills in the conservation of our national and international cultural heritage.

Study at West Dean College

You can expect a creative environment with a forward thinking approach, strong professional connections and a rich heritage of creativity.

Small classes, talented tutors, exceptional studios and facilities offer a rich study experience. Our postgraduate and Masters degrees are awarded by the University of Sussex.

The college is set in historic West Dean House in Sussex, former home of Edward James, poet, artist, designer and patron of the Surrealist Movement. It offers an inspirational setting for focused study, creativity and innovation.

Studying at West Dean College, whether on a short course or full-time, can be life-changing. Alumni can be found in prestigious heritage organisations worldwide or pursuing their creative practice.

Explore your study options

College Blog

J is for Jane Austen

Posted on 19th October 2016

In 2014 student conservators in the Books Conservation department at West Dean College worked on a rare piece of manuscript. Written in Jane Austen's own hand in 1814, and making comments in relation to her brother's sermons, it was revealed at the college for the first time in over one hundred and twenty years. It is known that Jane Austen often assisted her brother, The Revd. James Austen in copying his sermons.

Read article

School of Conservation Blog

Library Stacks vs. Data Stacks: The impact of digitization on the objects we conserve.

Posted on 27th September 2016

In our digital age, the very nature of the collection is changing. In light of rapid advances in technology and the rise of the internet, how we access, view and interpret a collection of objects is no longer as restricted as it once was. Yet it strikes me that there may be a price to pay for this new-found digital freedom and that its impact on the role of the conservator may be profound.

Read article

Help preserve our future

West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

Find out how you can help support us