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Become a Conservator

Study the conservation of Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Furniture or Metalwork at West Dean and enjoy the following:

  • Access to historic artefacts from the public and private sectors
  • Fully equipped studios and personal workspace
  • Theoretical, scientific and analytical study of artefacts and materials
  • An international reputation for excellence
  • Low student to tutor ratio, 8:1 on average
  • Hands-on bench skills and object-based treatments
  • Historical research and interpretation of the objects you work on
  • Skills to report on objects, their condition and conservation treatment
  • Inter-disciplinary working
  • Tutors with vast and varied experience
  • Visiting lecturers and visits to top studios, workshops and collections
  • Help securing work placements in a museum or a commercial setting

West Dean graduates are highly sought after
Our conservation graduates have gone on to work at: the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, Cambridge University Library, Columbia University Library, Huntington Library in California, University of Aberdeen, Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, the National Archives, Iowa University, Bodleian Library, Lambeth Palace, National Museums Liverpool, National Art Gallery at Yale University, Conservation Centre Liverpool, Cliveden Conservation, Richard Rogers Conservation, Plowden Smith Ltd, Charles Frodsham Ltd, Boerhaave Museum in Holland, Royal Swedish Palaces, Gold Museum in Bogota Colombia, the British Museum and Imperial War Museum. Others run their own private practice.

“We work on old things, pretty things, ugly things, rare things, historically important things. We use technology and tools borrowed from other professions to solve problems you might not have thought about. We balance the value of the object as a historical artefact against the requirements for its use. We study chemistry, physics, art history, craft, conservation theory and ethics, in addition to practical work.”
Abigail Uhteg, Books and Library Materials.

Read about each our Conservation programmes

Books and Library Materials
Ceramics and Related Materials
Clocks and Related Objects
Furniture and Related Objects

To find out more call our Academic Office + 44 (0)1243 818 291. Email us at

How to Find Us

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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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