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Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects
The Postgraduate Diploma brings together practical, theoretical, scientific and technical studies into a unified approach to the treatment and preservation of furniture and related objects. Further develop your specialist craft and conservation skills. Evaluate methodologies, critique and propose new hypothesis. Plan and implement technically complex projects. Completion of the first component of the course can serve as a pathway onto the MA Conservation Studies.
You can expect
To develop excellent practical skills through object-based
To work on technically complex projects
To study preventative conservation
To work on live historic projects
High tutor: student ratio
Workshop access 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
Teaches students to understand and apply Icon's Professional Standards in Conservation
Visits from specialists from the heritage and private sectors
Visits to museums and active links with heritage bodies
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, external trips and visits, work placement and workshop practicals. In addition, you have personal tutorials with your subject tutor.
On the Postgraduate Diploma you typically have around 15-16 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and preparing coursework assignments and presentations.
Postgraduate Diploma: 47% of your time is spent
in scheduled teaching and learning activity.
Scheduled teaching and learning: 565 hours, Independent learning: 635 hours.
You will work in our specialist Furniture workshop where each student has an individual workspace. The workshop is equipped with a full range of power and hand tools.
The on-site Art and Conservation Library puts thousands of specialist books and journals within your reach and you can access specialist databases in the IT suite.
To join the PGDip/MA programme you will need to have a good first degree in Conservation or a closely related field; or have completed a Graduate Diploma in a closely related subject; or demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in basic conservation science, academic skills (research, writing and critical analysis) and practical hand skills, including manual sensitivity and dexterity. Progression to the MA is subject to the successful completion of the first semester and the identification of an appropriate MA project. Students may choose to exit the programme at the Postgraduate Diploma stage.
CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.
Tuition fees include much more than is typical of universities, i.e. tuition fees plus basic materials, lunch, morning/afternoon tea/coffee. Included is mandatory study trip cost of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study. For one day study trips lunch is provided, while for residential study trips meals are not included.
Accommodation and living expenses are additional.
Currently a third of all tuition fees are met through
bursary or scholarship funding.
In 16/17 almost 60% of students were in receipt of some support. Find out about funding here.
New Postgraduate Loans
If you are a UK student and plan to take a postgraduate Master's course you may be able to get a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 to help with course fees and living costs.
The Furniture and Related Objects Conservation programme provided a diverse range of objects to work on, from the teaching collection, private clients, public institutions and through interdisciplinary projects. This year I worked collaboratively on a late 17th century Dutch marquetry mirror from Petworth House. Being a student at West Dean also enables you to secure work placements; I went to Brighton Pavillion, Knole House and the Musical Instrument Museum in Edinburgh.
I have recently been offered the permanent full-time position of Furniture Conservator at Windsor Castle, where I will be working on furniture across all the Royal residences. I could not have hoped for a better outcome, that without my experiences at West Dean would not have been possible.
Postgraduate Diploma/MA Conservation Studies
From the Postgraduate Diploma students usually progress to MA Conservation Studies.
Graduates go on to work as conservators with public and private collections within the heritage sector nationally and internationally, with conservation businesses or as independent conservators, furniture-makers, designers or restorers.
"I chose to study at West Dean as it has such a good reputation in the industry. I like having so much access to the workshops and working on quality objects, as well as the small class sizes. A highlight has been tuition in applied science from an Associate Lecturer one day a week and learning from his practical experience working at the V&A." Cathy Silverman, Postgraduate Diploma - Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects
Subject Leader, Furniture & Related Objects
Associate Fellow of the HEA
Norbert is a furniture maker - conservator with almost two decades of tutoring experience, who has also worked extensively as a fine antique furniture conservator- restorer.
Tristram works as a contract furniture conservator at the V&A and in private practice. He has lectured in conservation at the City and Guilds of London and at Camberwell College of Art.
If you are interested in applying for this course or would like further information please contact admissions either by enquiring online or calling the number below. To make your application you will need to download and fill out our application form.