Application Process

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Application forms are available from the Academic Office or can be downloaded from the website. An admissions panel, including a programme tutor, will welcome your application, and if you fulfil the entry requirements you will be invited to visit West Dean for an interview with the programme tutor and another senior member of academic staff.

Interviews and practical tests can be conducted throughout the year. We encourage early application, particularly if you are applying for funding (see pages 40 – 45 of the 2014 - 2015 prospectus for deadlines). At your interview, you will be expected to provide a portfolio of work that reflects a
commitment to your chosen practice. Depending on the programme applied for, students also undertake a practical test to assess their standard of practical skills - for example, students applying for the furniture programme will be required to demonstrate their woodworking experience by completing a number of exercises including making joints; visual arts students will be asked to present and discuss their portfolio.
In cases where it is impossible for the applicant to attend an interview at West Dean, we can sometimes arrange for a long distance test to be supervised by a professional colleague at an institution in the applicant’s own country, and an interview will be conducted over the telephone or by Skype. However, whenever possible we recommend that students visit West Dean, experience the environment, explore the facilities and meet staff and other students. The selection, admissions and induction processes will ensure equitable consideration of all applicants.
Students with disabilities should contact the Academic Office and visit the College to discuss whether their needs can be met satisfactorily.

The Edward James Foundation is committed to ensuring that staff, students and volunteers are recruited, selected, trained, assessed, promoted and otherwise treated solely on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.The Edward James Foundation supports the principle of equal opportunities and therefore no student or employee will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of disability, religion, race, colour, nationality ethnic or national origins, political beliefs, age, sexual orientation, gender or marital status.

There are several levels of Diploma and Masters Degrees at West Dean and generally, for postgraduate study a good first degree in a relevant subject and related practical experience is required. Specific entry requirements are listed under each subject area in this prospectus. If you have any queries or require more information, please contact: Academic Office +44 (0) 1243 818 291 or

Many of our students are from outside the UK, from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Iceland and the West Indies, making a culturally diverse community. The fees are the same for national and international students at West Dean. There are also bursary opportunities for all. Our Academic team is experienced in helping students with applying for visas, opening bank accounts, applying for funding and all other arrangements necessary when you are studying away from home. Please look at the UK Border Agency website for latest details

If you are an EEA national and have been accepted on to a course of study, you are entitled to enter the UK freely and have the right of residence for the duration of your course. You may also wish to apply for a resident permit during your stay in the UK. To obtain a resident permit you should complete the application form EEA1 available from the UK Border Agency website.

To be able to travel to the United Kingdom as a general student (Tier 4) you must pass a points-based assessment and score 40 points before you travel. 30 POINTS for a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the licensed sponsor i.e West Dean College. This is a virtual document, valid for six months, which is submitted to and held by the UKBA and will contain the information upon which our offer of a place to you was based. A CAS statement will be sent to you by the Academic Office with details of this information in order for you to comply fully with the requirements outlined on the visa application form. Our sponsor licence number is JRGX42YC6 and we hold Highly Trusted Status.
10 POINTS if you can show that you have enough finances available to cover your course fees and monthly living expenses for up to 12 months (known as maintenance). You should contact your nearest British Embassy or High Commission in the country that you normally live, and explain that you wish to apply for entry clearance on a general student visa (Tier 4). Please note that you cannot apply for your visa until three months before the start date of your course. We strongly advise, however, that you begin to prepare your application and collate all the information and documentation well before that date. Please refer to the UKBA website for the latest information, and to download the application form and student notes. Another valuable source of important information for students is the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), their website is UKCISA also have a student advice line – please see their website
for details. NB Tier 4 visa rules are subject to change at any time. You must consult the UKBA website to acquaint yourself with all of
these changes before submitting your application.

Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand;St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and Students whose first language is not English, and who are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability to stated UKBA standards. You do not have to provide evidence of your English ability if: a) you have completed an academic qualification at degree level or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country (including the UK and Ireland) b) you have successfully completed a course as
a Tier 4 (Child) student, or as a student under the rules that were in force before Tier 4 and you were granted this permission whilst under the age of 18. Majority English-speaking countries are defined by the UKBA as: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America. UKBA will assess your nationality using your passport.
For all West Dean programmes we will assess your ability using a SELT (Secure English Language Test) and this must be an in-date UKBA approved test. Please enclose a copy of your in-date SELT certificate with your completed West Dean application forms. We are unable to issue a CAS if we do not have this. A list of SELT is obtainable from:
For programmes above degree level (NQF 6 level and above) your English language ability must be at level CEFR B2 or above. For programmes below degree level (below NQF 6 level) your English language ability must be at level CEFR B1 or above.
You must pass each section of the SELT to the required level. You should include the relevant SELT certificate with your immigration application. If you do not, your immigration application will be refused. The UKBA has also introduced an overall limit of five years for study in the UK by a visa national at degree level, and three years for a study at below degree level. This will be extended to six years for some Masters Degrees.

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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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