Historic Craft Practices - Furniture

FdA Historic Craft Practices - Furniture

The next Open Day will take place on Friday 2 December 2016 and Saturday 4 February 2017. Learn more

Duration: 2 academic years (each 36 weeks) full time

The Foundation Degree in Historic Craft Practices is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and skills that will enhance your employment prospects or allow you to continue your studies in higher education. Furniture making projects become more challenging as the course progresses and may incorporate your own designs. In the second year students may choose to continue to develop their furniture making and finishing proficiency or begin to develop basic skills in furniture restoration/conservation.

You can expect:
• To develop excellent practical skills
• To learn how material properties influence practice and making
• To learn historic making techniques in a modern woodworking context

Learning environment:
• Low student: tutor ratio
• Workshop access 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
• Interdisciplinary environment
• Visits from specialists from the heritage and private sectors
• Visits to museums and active links with heritage bodies


Graduates go on to work in the trade as furniture makers, designers, repairers, restorers or conservators, or to pursue further education.


You will work in our specialist Furniture workshop and have access to an analytical laboratory. Collaboration with other disciplines (e.g. metals and clocks) makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment.

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.

Entry requirements

An interest in furniture, wood and decorative surfaces and good general education combined with a desire to attain an excellent level of hand skills. The FdA will appeal to you if you are aiming for employment in the trade, further study or are an international student.

English language: CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.0 or above.


UK/EU Fee: £13,140 pa

Students have the option to pay fees in instalments by term, 2 weeks in advance of term start date

Application deadline for 2017 entry: 1 March 2017.

Funding available - find out more.


Norbert Gutowski

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 Bainbridge (MA ACR)

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.

Program advisors

Christopher Claxton Stevens: Decorative Arts Scholar and Consultant

Richard Coles: Antique Furniture Dealer

Kate Gill: Textile Conservator

How to apply

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.

+44 (0)1243 818 291

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West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

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