Fine Art

Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts

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Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts
Duration: 10 three-day intensive blocks of study taken each academic year

We are still accepting applications for all subjects for 2019 entry. Find out more about funding opportunities.

The West Dean College Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts is a two year part-time programme delivered through intensive study blocks throughout the year, by attending short courses to develop skills and through independent study outside attendance at the College.

The programme is focused on developing skills essential to the successful development of a sustainable studio practice, both practical and contextual.

You can work across disciplines or choose to specialise in areas such as Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Printmaking, Textiles, Ceramics, Wood, Metal and Jewellery.

This course is designed to provide further development for students completing the Foundation Diploma and wishing to progress to professional practice as an artist or to the Graduate Diploma in FineArt at West Dean College.

Programme Content

The curriculum is delivered through 10 three-day intensive blocks of study taken each year, attendance of short courses, further self-directed study blocks in the dedicated studio space and monthly tutorials with specialist tutors. Course modules cover a programme of critical, practical and theoretical studies across the broad field of contemporary arts and crafts.

Visiting tutors from different specialisms will support students in the development of their skills. Residential modules are supported by self-directed study offsite, and written assignments.

Programme Structure - Year one

Programme Structure - Year One.

Programme Structure - Year Two

Programme Structure -Year two

Contact Hours


On the DACC you will typically have between 28-56 contact hours per study block, consisting of:

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Individual an group tutorials
  • Group critiques
  • Written and oral presentations

Skills development

To develop practical skills relevant to your area of interest each year you will attend short courses equivalent to a total of 84 hours.

Independent Learning

Alongside attendance of teaching days and short courses, you will be extpected to undertake independent learning to foster self-direction and autonomy. The management of each set project provides a framework for individual study and self-motivation. You are also encouraged to visit galleries and exhibitions and to engage in group and peer collaboration and support.

Overall workload

Scheduled teaching and learning: 504 hours.

Independent learning: 1614 hours.

Entry Requirements and Fees

The following qualifications will be considered for entry to the Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts:

  • West Dean Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD), or
  • Level 3 Arts Foundation course or equivalent, or
  • A portfolio presenting a concise overview of the development and current focus of your practice, including sketchbooks, journals, documentation and an example of written work.

Tuition Fees: £4,990 per year


Sarah Dawson and Nina O'Connor at the West Dean Summer Show
Katharine Rabson Stark at the West Dean Summer Show
Ruth Heaton at the West Dean Summer Show
Phoebe Connolly at the West Dean Summer Show
Bernadette Duffy at the West Dean Summer Show
Sarah Dawson at the West Dean Summer Show
Sketchbook by Phoebe Connolly
Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts students
Found objects and photos by Sarah Dawson
Textiles and stitch by Nina O'Connor
Prints and sculptures by Phoebe Connolly
Students sketchbook
Paintings by Bernadette Duffy
Print and stitch by Katherine Rabson Stark
Sculpture by Ruth Heaton


Alison Baxter

Alison Baxter - Programme Co-ordinator

Alison Baxter gained a BA in jewellery at Middlesex University in jewellery and an MA in textiles at UCA Farnham. She is Programme tutor for the FDAD and Head of School of Arts at West Dean College.


Mark Cazalet

Mark had an eclectic training which has influenced his broad range of media and working processes. He is particularly interested in colour and markmaking which he has explored in glass, textile, printed books, murals and traditional materials.

Frances Hatch

Frances completed a post- graduate teachers' training course at Goldsmiths' College and an MA in Printmaking at Wimbledon School of Art. Frances works on location with local materials and water based paints.

Louisa Taylor

Louisa Taylor studied an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the RCA, London (2004-2006). She is based in Brighton where she produces her ceramic tableware range for shops, galleries and collectors in the UK and internationally. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and a member of the Crafts Potters Association and Contemporary Applied Arts.

Joseph Jones

Joseph Jones is an artist and lecturer based in London and Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. He has taught at the University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Art, Brighton University, Falmouth University and University Centre Hastings. His academic research focuses on modern and contemporary art, investigating in particular aspects of late nineteenth and twentieth century art that relate to the emergence of modernism.

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.

Apply now for Degree and Diploma study

Apply now: we are still accepting applications for all subjects for 2019 entry

Applications are welcome from UK/EU and International students.

Learn more about applying and entry

Find out about funding opportunities