Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the latest guidance we have put in place a number of changes to ensure a safe, healthy and welcoming campus environment, whether you are a student, visitor or member of staff. 

Degree and Diploma courses

Face-to-face teaching has resumed for all practical workshop sessions, following the principles for ensuring a safe campus set out below. Online delivery will continue to be used for theory components and sessions which do not require workshop use. 

Covid-19 testing – Regular testing helps keep us all safe. All degree and diploma students are encouraged to collect self-testing kits available at the College.
Short courses

Health and safety protocols are in place to ensure a safe campus, so that you can relax and get back to making and creating. Read more about these measures below and in our short course FAQs here.

For those not ready to return to the College yet, new live and self-paced online courses will continue to be available with more subject options to be released soon.

Home testing – recommendation for short course students - In line with other educational establishments, we strongly encourage all short course students to take a Covid-19 home test (lateral flow) shortly before coming to the College, to help us ensure there is no Covid-19 outbreak at the College.  It only takes two connected cases to make an outbreak and the College would have to close if this were to happen.

Campus safety

The College aims to follow best practice in terms of restricting transmission of Covid-19. Our Coronavirus (Covid-19) Health And Safety Management Policy sets out the framework for how we are intending to ensure a safe environment on campus. We will keep this policy under review in line with changing Government advice and guidelines and update our policy accordingly.

We ask that all students respect each other’s space when using communal areas. West Dean staff will be asked to wear face coverings in these areas and you may wish to consider doing this too

The College has appropriate policies, risk assessments and guidance to make it Covid-secure.  All students attending courses will receive prior information and guidance.  All our teaching spaces have been risk assessed and suitable measures put in place where required. Once at the College further information will be given to you by our staff and your course tutor.

Cleaning and hygiene

Access to good hygiene facilities has been increased and sanitising stations installed where required. Our staff have received extra training and the frequency of washroom checks and cleaning has also increased. Workshop and studio spaces are subject to a thorough clean in-between courses. College tools will be quarantined, cleaned and sanitised and hard surfaces cleaned and sanitised.

We ask that all students wash their hands regularly, and use the hand sanitising stations when entering and leaving common areas.

Face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We continue to encourage you to wear face coverings when using communal areas such as corridors, the craft shop and washrooms. Our workshops and studios are set up so that once you are in your workspace face coverings can be safely removed. We have a supply of face coverings and you can obtain these free of charge from the Technical Resources department.

Workshops, studios and teaching facilities

To ensure social distancing the layout and use of some workshops and studios have been changed. We have introduced one way systems for access where possible and visitor access to workshops and studios will be limited. New cleaning regimes have been introduced for shared tools and machinery. Workshops and studios might also have to be closed out of teaching hours for regular thorough cleaning. 

Induction, shared units and lectures

General College inductions are being delivered through the VLE, Canvas whilst programme and workshop/studio inductions will be delivered face-to-face in the workshop or studio. Lecture based content will be delivered, where possible, digitally, supplemented by small group seminars in order to comply with current social distancing requirements. Some visiting lecturers will also be delivering lectures and seminars/tutorials digitally. It is our aim that practice based delivery and demonstrations will be delivered face to face as usual but at a safe distance, which may necessitate some changes. The number of students at one time within small spaces such as the Science Lab will be limited. This will mean that timetabling of these facilities will be stricter than in previous years.

Trips and visits

The College continues to monitor travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with regards to any international travel. At this time, and in line with the College’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Health And Safety Management Policy, all international travel which includes study trips and visits have been suspended. 

Work-based learning

Where students are required to undertake work-based learning or placements as part of their programme, we will work closely with providers to ensure a safe working environment. Where work-based learning is not feasible, alternative arrangements for College based activities will be made. International placements will only be considered by exception.

Access to resources

Digital library resources remain available to all students on award-bearing courses and staff are working to increase the digital collection. A “click and collect” service has been introduced to enable access to physical items. Limited browsing time is also available to degree and diploma students. Returned items will be quarantined and access to library and reading room spaces are restricted. Staff will continue to offer a remote online enquiry service.

IT Suite: To maintain social distancing the number of workstations has reduced. There will be regular cleaning and sanitising of the room and equipment.


Changes have been introduced in accommodation for students on award-bearing courses including arrangements for accessing kitchens and common rooms. All students must adhere to the current rules on social distancing. More information on the changes to accommodation arrangements can be found in the Accommodation Handbook and on notice boards within each Student Annex.


Our catering facilities have been risk assessed and adapted for our students’ safety. We have changed how we prepare and serve meals as well as manage access to shared facilities such as the cafeteria. In re-shaping our food services delivery, we have set ourselves the target of maintaining the quality of our food even though how we deliver this has changed. We will endeavour to deliver as wide and as varied a choice as possible whilst still catering for dietary needs and allergies.

Other facilities

The Gardens Shop and Restaurant are open to pre-booked ticket holders.  West Dean Stores and Tearoom are open.  Please wear a mask or face covering.  There will be clear signage and information where needed.

NHS Test and Trace

The College and Gardens are supporting the NHS Test and Trace service. By providing us with your name and telephone number or using the QR code, you are helping keep all of us safe. Details are kept for 21 days.

For health advice, please visit
For the government's latest updates please visit