Conservation of Ceramics and Related Materials

Graduate Diploma Conservation of Ceramics

Still accepting applications for September 2017 entry.

Duration: 1 academic year (36 weeks) full time

The Graduate Diploma is the start of your transition into conservation studies if your undergraduate degree was not in a related field. You will start with basic treatments while being introduced to a diverse range of objects, then undertake progressively more complex conservation projects.

You can expect

  • To develop excellent practical skills
  • To study ceramic technology, material culture and materials science
  • To work on artefacts from public and private collections

Learning environment

  • Low student: tutor ratio
  • Interdisciplinary environment
  • Workshop access 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
  • Icon Professional Standards in Conservation


Graduates of the programme usually transition to the MA Conservation Studies (via the Postgraduate Diploma first stage).

"I have had the opportunity to work on some truly impressive and important objects requiring varying degrees of treatment. One completed project was the conservation of a Chinese Export Hard-Paste Porcelain Blue and White 'Soldier' Vase and Lid, from the Kangxi Period (1662-1722) from the factories possibly in Jingdezhen in China.

A comprehensive programme of work included the removal and dismantling of previous restoration, cleaning, bonding and filling areas to replace lost material and retouching missing decoration. Thorough examination and research was undertaken, supported by documentary photographs, to assess the condition and to observe the extent of the previous repairs. It has been an immense pleasure to work on such a challenging, historically important and decorative piece."

Harriet Sylvester, Graduate Diploma, Conservation of Ceramics and Related Materials

Entry Requirements

Degree or qualification at equivalent level to a second year of undergraduate study (e.g. HND or DipHE). You will be able to demonstrate significant interest in conservation and ceramics

International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.


You will work in our well-equipped Ceramics workshop with access to our well-equipped analytical laboratory and on-site pottery.

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.


  • UK/EU Fee: £13,140
  • International: £13,140
    (Students have the option to pay fees in instalments by term, 2 weeks in advance of term start date)

Funding available, find out about funding here.


Lorna Calcutt (MA ACR)

Lorna has been a tutor then Programme Leader at West Dean College for fifteen years and prior to that was employed as a conservator in national institutions and in the private sector.

Program advisors

  • Reino Liefkes - Curator of Ceramics, the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • Errol Manners - BADA member; Specialist in European & English Porcelain.
  • Loretta Hogan - Senior Ceramics Conservator, the British Museum.

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

Apply for Degree and Diploma courses

Applications open for September 2017 entry for UK, EU and International students.

Learn more about applying and entry

Find out about Funding opportunities here