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

Awarded by University of Sussex

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

Develop well-rounded metalworking theory and skills that will enhance your employment prospects or allow you to continue your studies in higher education. Projects become more challenging as the course progresses and encompasses both silversmithing and blacksmithing. You will be encouraged to understand historic craft practice in order to place your own work in a broader context and gain a keen understanding of the time needed for a piece of work in a creative, problem solving environment.

You can expect

To develop excellent practical skills
To learn how material properties influence practice and making
To learn historic metalwork techniques

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 further education or work as makers, repairers, restorers, teachers or advisors. There are many areas of specialism within the profession.


You will work in our well-equipped metals workshop with areas for photography, analysis, chemicals, hot work (casting, soldering, and welding) and a machine shop. Adjacent to the workshop is the newly-built forge to which you will have access. Collaboration with other conservation specialisms makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment.

A well-equipped analytical laboratory is also available to students. The computer suite and on-site Art and Conservation Library puts thousands of specialist books, journals and databases within your reach.

Entry requirements

An interest in metalwork and a 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).

Funding available - find out more.

Application deadline for 2017 entry: 1 March 2017.


Jon Privett

Jon's wide ranging conservation experience means he has a deep appreciation and understanding of what drives the profession as well as the students he teaches. He worked in commercial, museum, and private practice before joining West Dean College as the Programme Tutor for Metalwork Conservation in 2007.

Belinda Hager (MA)

Belinda studied Metalwork Conservation at West Dean College, graduating with an MA in Conservation Studies. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Practice and Management from the University of Ulster. She works in private practice as a metalwork conservator/restorer

Program advisors

Hazel Newey: former Head of Conservation at the Science Museum.
Richard Rogers: Richard Rogers Conservation.
Alistair Dickenson: specialist in precious metalwork.

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