Why study here?

Students benefit from studying at a specialist college with the assurance of a university qualification, through our full partnership with the University of Sussex.

International reputation

Internationally recognised for excellence in conservation and arts education. 

Employability and skills

94% of students studying at the College* felt their programme had enhanced their skills and abilities. Alumni can be found in prestigious museums and heritage organisations worldwide and as independent conservators, makers, designers or repairers. (*from a 2019 survey of degree and diploma students).

A unique environment

The College offers a rich arts environment and a focus on craft skills with vocational application. Our 36-week academic year and extended hours of student access to workshops and studios are exceptional in Higher Education. Be inspired by the unique historic character and beautiful surroundings of West Dean Gardens

Over 500 short courses

Learn a new skill or develop your existing talents. The choice of creative short courses ranges from basketmaking to gardening and from photography to textiles. Read more about our short courses

Whether you're looking for a short course, degree or diploma, we're proud to offer:

  • Talented tutors and a low student to tutor ratio
  • Exceptional studio spaces and fully equipped workshops
  • Strong connections in the heritage and arts sectors
  • Extended studio access seven days a week
  • Bursary and scholarship opportunities
  • Degree and diploma courses validated by the University of Sussex
  • Fantastic facilities - including exhibition space, a specialist arts and conservation library, an analytical laboratory and an artist-in-residence programme

Applications are welcome from UK, EU and international students.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is a registered provider by the OfS (Office for Students).

Conservation of Furniture student Anton van der Poel in the workshop at West Dean College

School of Conservation

The School of Conservation offers a dynamic, internationally connected and respected learning environment. Conservation graduates from the College are amongst the most sought-after in their field.

You will have the opportunity to engage in your chosen specialism: Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Furniture, Metals or Collections Care and study up to MA level. For those already working in the sector, our conservation CPD courses deliver continuing professional development. A close proximity to other programmes and an increasing focus on research allows for cross-discipline study and support in a rich collaborative environment.

Learn more about the School of Conservation

Agata Bogacka and George Charman in the art studio at West Dean College

School of Arts

A rich, immersive environment awaits you in the School of Arts. Study options range from art and craft short courses for beginners and advanced creatives to Foundation and Graduate Diplomas, and MFA.

You will develop advanced making and craft skills and nurture your creative talent in specialist workshops and studios. Full-time students will also undertake original theoretical research to inform their practice, benefitting from the heritage of founder and Surrealist patron, Edward James.

Learn more about the School of Arts

Student funding

Two students Dale Sardeson and Agata Bogacka talk about how they funded their studies here.

Read more about funding