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An International Reputation in Conservation

Conservation graduates from West Dean College are among the most sought-after in their field. Qualifications include Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and MA.

The Conservation programmes

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

Collections Care and Management (Subject to validation)


Students can expect

  • Practical hands-on bench skills and object-based treatments
  • Tutors with extensive and varied experience
  • To work on artefacts from public and private collections
  • An interdisciplinary environment
  • Visiting lecturers from public and private institutions
  • Fully-equipped studios with dedicated equipment and workspaces
  • Visits to leading studios, workshops and collections within your discipline
  • An ethical approach informed by national and international practice
  • Theoretical, scientific and analytical study of artefacts and materials
  • To perform historical research and interpretation of the objects you work on
  • Access to an analytical laboratory


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Some programmes involve work placements within museums or businesses.

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. And at West Dean, most of us work on objects that serve a function. Readers of books generally
want their books to open; owners of clocks want them to tell time. We balance the value of the object as a historical artefact against the requirements for its use."

Abigail Bainbridge
Associate Tutor and West Dean Conservation Blog Editor.


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

Related information

Download a Prospectus

Download a Prospectus

Conservation Blog

Conservation Blog