Craft Practices

Foundation Degree Arts - Clocks

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Duration: Two academic years (36 weeks each year) full time
Applications open for 2021/22

Scholarships and bursaries are available from £500 to £10,000. Find out about funding opportunities

Equip yourself for a career in clock making and working with dynamic objects, by acquiring the practical and technical skills, the theory, principles and techniques used in historic horological manufacture. This foundation degree programme begins with practical exercises to help you establish hand and machine tool skills relating to historic craft practices in clock making.

You will make your own clock before working on a range of historic clocks; this bench-based activity is integrated with theory and professional practice. Learn how to combine and use this knowledge when making treatment decisions as a professional practitioner.

You can expect

  • To develop excellent practical skills through object-based treatments
  • To learn the principles and techniques of historical horological manufacture and repair
  • To work on historic objects

Learning environment

  • Low student: tutor ratio
  • Workshop access: 8.30am -9pm, seven days a week*
  • A stimulating and interdisciplinary environment
  • Visits of specialists from the heritage and private sectors
  • Active links with heritage bodies

Read more about studying horology, clocks and related objects.

How to apply

All applications to our full time undergraduate courses should be made through UCAS. If you only wish to apply to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation we might be able to process your UCAS application for you. Please contact us at admissions@westdean.ac.uk.

If you would like further information please contact our admissions team. Email admission@westdean.ac.uk or call +44 (0)7771 505 666.

Apply through UCAS

Facilities

You will work in our specialist clocks workshop, with access to a well-equipped analytical laboratory,  8.30am-9pm, 7 days a week*. Collaboration with other craft practices specialisms makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment. Facilities include:

  • Individual work benches for each student
  • Access to the full range of metalworking and woodworking facilities in the adjacent departments
  • Digital photography facilities for the production of photographic records and documentation
  • Area for cleaning and testing completed work

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.

* Coronavirus update: Workshops may need to close outside teaching hours for thorough cleaning

Find out more about the facilities

Contact Hours

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, external trips and visits*, and workshop practicals. In addition, you will have personal tutorials with your subject tutor.

At level 4 you typically have around 18-19 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:

  • 4-5 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour of seminars
  • 8 hours of supervised workshop practicals
  • 4 hours of external trips and visits (on average)
  • 1 hour of one-to-one meetings/tutorials

At level 5 you typically have around 16-17 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:

  • 3-4 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour of seminars
  • 7 hours of supervised workshop practicals
  • 4 hours of external trips & visits (on average)
  • 1 hour of one-to-one meetings/tutorials

Independent learning

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.

Overall workload

Level 4: 53% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 633 hours
Independent learning: 567 hours

Level 5: 50% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 600 hours
Independent learning: 600 hours

Coronavirus update: International study trips have been suspended inline with current guidelines. We aim to recommence UK field trips and visits in the second semester.

term dates for 2021-22

Programme structure

Year 1 / Semester 1 (18 weeks)
  Christmas vacation  

HC-M1
Materials Technology
delivered in pathway workshop and cross-curricular

  10 credits
(common)
HC-D1
Drawing and Aesthetics
 

10 credits

(common)

HC-R1
Study/Research Skills
  10 credits
(common)
MID-YEAR ASSESSMENT
Year 1 / Semester 2 (18 weeks)
  Easter vacation  

HC-M2
Materials Technology (Metal/Wood)
delivered in pathway workshop and cross-curricular

10 credits

(common)

HC-H2
History of Craft
20 credits
(common)
HC-C2M1/C/F/ME
Craft Skills
2-20 credits
(subject specific)
SUMMER ASSESSMENT
Year 2 / Semester 1 (18 weeks)
  Christmas vacation  

HC-P3
Professional Skills incl. work placement

20 credits
(common)

HC-R1
Study/Research Skills

HC-C1M1/C/ME
Craft Skills

10 credits
(common)

1-30 credits

(subject specific)

MID-YEAR ASSESSMENT
Year 2 / Semester 2 (18 weeks)
  Easter vacation  

HC-P4
Professional Portfolio
student led

60 credits

(common)

FINAL ASSESSMENT

 

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points: 120 Completion of a level 3 qualification, for example: A-Levels, BTEC or Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Applicants can be considered if they can provide evidence of prior learning and should provide a digital portfolio. You will be invited to a portfolio interview. The portfolio should evidence commitment to the discipline. It could include sketchbooks, technical and material exploration, design work, project development from start to finish, detailed images of finished work. Where possible, applicants are encouraged to include a video of working on a practical exercise as part of the portfolio, of which the College can provide guidance if required (see below). If applicants cannot provide a portfolio, the College will provide a practical exercise that can be done remotely to asses mental agility and dexterity and suitability for this skills based programme.

To guide you through the process of putting together your digital portfolio, we've put together our 6 top tips; including how to select projects for inclusion, and formatting your portfolio. Read more here

International students must provide evidence of English language ability to Level B2 (IELTS 6.0), as well as equivalent level 3 qualifications.

Fees and funding

Course fees are the same for UK and international students

  • £4,230 per term (£12,690 per year)

Included is mandatory study trip costs of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study. Lunch, accommodation and other living expenses are additional. Find out more

Funding

If you are a UK/EU student you may be eligible to apply for a Student Loan (tuition fees and/or maintenance loans) from the Student Loans Company.

Student scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries are available from £500 to £10,000. 

Find out more about funding opportunities

Careers

Graduates go on to work as clockmakers and designers, repairers, restorers, sellers or advisors. There are many areas of specialism within the profession and interest nationally and internationally in clocks.

Student Comment

"For me one of the best things about studying at West Dean College is the inter-disciplinary nature of the place. The fact that as a 1st year student with relatively little experience I'm getting to work alongside MA students and learn from what they're doing. I can experience the things that they are experiencing and also the fact that I can augment my research by speaking to students from entirely different disciplines."

Dale, FdA Historic Craft Practices - Clocks

FAQs

What level of qualification is the Foundation Degree?

The Foundation Degree Arts is equivalent to a Level 5 qualification.

Entry requirements ask for a portfolio. What is this and what should be included?

Students need to prepare a digital portfolio to evidence their manual dexterity and their interest in the area of craft practice they have chosen. It could include sketches, images of finished work, videos of them working with their hands. Read more tips on preparing a digital portfolio.

I have no experience and therefore no portfolio – can I still apply?

If applicants cannot provide a portfolio, we will ask you to complete a practical exercise to assess mental agility and dexterity and suitability for this skills-based programme. Assessments take place onsite at the college workshops or remotely when it is not possible to come into college.

What do students do after their Foundation degree?

This course is designed to give you well-rounded theory and craft skills. You can set up as a self-employed maker or find employment in this or a creative industry sector. The Foundation degree is also an excellent first step before progressing on to the Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies if you wish to pursue a career in Conservation.

Commendations

Commendations from the University of Sussex include:

"The high quality student experience and strength of student representation within the College."

"The introduction of a “maker-in-residence” scheme to the FdA."

"Responding to employer and student feedback in extending the work placement from 2 weeks to 4 weeks to support employability after graduation."

"The range of tailored study trips to suit different student cohorts."

 

Alumni

Alumnus George de Fossard - creator of The Solar Time Clock - shares his career path

"I came to West Dean to study the conservation and restoration of antique clocks, my dad was a clockmaker and when I was growing up, I used to spend hours tinkering in his workshop and making things on his lathe.

I studied for two years at West Dean and in my second year, I spent my evenings and weekends designing and building my first clock. It was a busy year, but it made me realise that clock making, rather than restoration, was what I really wanted to do with my career."

Read the full alumni interview

Tutors

Malcolm Archer FBHI

Subject Leader, Clocks (and Related Objects)

Malcolm's extensive experience in private practice, as well as the heritage sector/museums, lies behind his in-depth understanding of the profession. He brings a comprehensive knowledge of traditional craft skills, theory and contextual history. He also has an interest in new and innovative ways of applying conservation to mechanical objects.

Tim Hughes

Subject Tutor, Clocks (and Related Objects)

Tim Hughes MBHI, clock maker, trained at West Dean College and works as a clockmaker and scientific instrument restorer, and as external consultant at Bellmans Auctioneers. He has received several awards, including the Trustees' Prize while at West Dean College and a QEST Scholarship. 

Program advisors

Geoff Allnutt - J E Allnutt & Son

Tobias Birch - Tobias Birch Antique Clocks

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.