Duration: 10 short courses taken over 2 years, part time

Applications open

This extended course is designed to prepare students with an existing A-level or National Diploma to apply for entry onto an Art and Design related degree programme. You will create a rich and varied portfolio of work, ensure your portfolio reflects your talents and areas of interest and focus on your future career aspirations. If you have a first degree in any subject completing the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD) will enable you to study on the Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts at West Dean College.

You can expect to:
• Receive guidance from highly qualified tutors who are practicing professionals
• Learn and develop skills in your chosen areas of art and design
• Attend an introductory course establishing the diploma ethos and programme of drawing and exploration, in January, May/June or September
• Complete a further nine short courses, including at least three from drawing, painting or printmaking
• Submit a final 2000 word essay
• Explore and refine your future career aspirations, completing the diploma with a plan for your next steps

Learning environment:
• High tutor: student ratio
• Bright and airy art studios with overhead natural light
• Fully-equipped workshops, including a pottery, forge, fine metals workshop, sculpture courtyard and stone carving workshop
• Immersive environment with connections to Surrealism and key figures in art history
• Residential accommodation is available while you complete each short course

"Undertaking the FDAD course has been a life changing experience for me. I have blossomed with the excellent tutoring at West Dean and am incredibly proud of my progress. Not only have I been taught drawing and painting skills but I have learnt to research and apply techniques to my own work and to believe in myself and my capabilities as an artist."

Bryony Adams, FDAD student

Entry requirements

The following qualifications will be considered for entry on to the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design:

  • An A level, National Diploma or City & Guilds qualification in any visual art or craft subject
  • Regular attendance of art/craft courses over a period of time (can be historical)
  • Portfolio presentation: work produced through attending Adult Education classes, Short Courses and self-directed/taught. This could include sketchbooks, exploratory work and finished art/craft work


£200 Diploma fee payable on acceptance (includes the introductory short course and two tutorials).

The minimum cost of nine non-residential weekend short courses (excluding materials and/or model charges) is £1,998.

Accommodation for a weekend, including dinner and breakfast, is available from £112.


Thanks to the support of an individual donor a FDAD bursary is available. Please apply if you are aged 18-30 and would like to complete the FDAD, but can't afford the full fee.

Interested applicants should contact Alison Baxter, Head of Creative Enterprise, 01243 818262 or Alison.baxter@westdean.org.uk

For application enquiries email: FDADadmin@westdean.org.uk

Sign up to the arts education e-newsletter

Be the first to know with ArtsMail our quarterly e-newsletter. Exhibitions, student work and creative arts news delivered straight to your inbox.


Dale Devereux Barker

Dale Devereux Barker studied printmaking at the Slade School of Fine Art. His colourful work is exhibited internationally and he has undertaken large scale public art commissions for both public and private clients. Best known as a printmaker using lino, he has pushed the boundaries of this medium into sculpture, vitreous enamel, ceramic and the artists book. He balances his time between studio practice, exhibiting, undertaking commissioned work and teaching, using each facet to feed off of the other.

His work mirrors his approach to teaching and life in general; being serious about the art of enjoying oneself.

Freya Pocklington

Freya trained at Edinburgh College of Art and UAL and teach at GOSH, V&A and as a lecturer. My drawings have been shown in the RSA, Mall Galleries, Art Below for Frieze, James Freeman Gallery and others. My work is held in the V&A, British Museum, RSA and NOA collections.

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 818 262