Come and find out what makes West Dean College of Arts and Conservation such a unique place to study with an international reputation.Find out more
Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects
There is significant emphasis placed on developing hand skills through practical work. Your application of treatments to historic objects will be underpinned through understanding both structural and decorative materials, their properties, identification, degradation and stabilisation. Learn about interventive treatment, structural and surface stabilisation, cleaning, consolidation, restoration of losses, materials and techniques, theory and practice.
Develop an understanding and appreciation of the history and cultural context of furniture and related objects and the architectural interiors they were created to be part of. Study wood and other decorative art materials associated with furniture including surface coatings: transparent, gilded, painted or lacquered.
You can expect
The specialist furniture workshop is equipped with a full range of power and hand tools and individual workspaces for each student. There is a dedicated finishing area, and a separate machine shop. You will also have access to facilities shared with other departments, including:
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.Find out more about the facilities
On the Graduate Diploma you typically have around 24 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study for approximately 13-14 hours per week. Typically, this will involve:
Graduate Diploma: 60% of your time is spent in
scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 720 hours
Independent learning: 480 hours
|Semester 1 (18 weeks)|
|Study block 1 (12 weeks)||Christmas vacation||Study block 2 (6 weeks)|
Introducing Professional Practice (40 credits)
Introducing Conservation Science (10 credits)
Contextual and Professional Studies 1 (10 credits)
|Semester 2 (18 weeks)|
|Study block 3 (6 weeks)||Easter vacation||Study block 4 (12 weeks)|
Developing Professional Practice (10 credits)
Research Through Practice (30 credits)
Conservation Science: Development and Applications (10 credits)
Contextual and Professional Studies 2 (10 credits)
Degree or qualification at equivalent level to a second year of undergraduate study (e.g. HND. FdA or DipHE) and an interest or experience in object conservation and cultural heritage. Alternatively, accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be considered for those who have been out of formal education for some years and are over 21, who do not meet the general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate their capacity for degree-level work in other ways.
International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.
If you fulfil the entry requirements you will be invited to
visit the College for an interview with the
programme tutor and another senior member of academic staff, and undertake a practical test if
Course fees are the same for UK and international students
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
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. There are also a variety of Scholarship and Bursary awards available for students who have accepted an offer to study here. Applicants for a scholarship should show outstanding potential and a commitment to their studies and future career in their chosen subject. Applicants for a bursary award are required to demonstrate financial need.
Graduates of the programme often progress to the
MA Conservation Studies or can typically go on to work as
conservators within the heritage sector, nationally and
internationally, with conservation
businesses or as independent conservators, furnituremakers, designers or restorers. Alumni can be found in institutions including The Royal Collection Trust and the Science Museum.
"This has been an intensive year of great visits to museums with behind-the-scenes experiences, instruction from expert furniture conservation professionals, and my own workbench and projects including 18th and 19th century chairs, clocks, a gate-leg table, tea-caddie, and much more. West Dean's comprehensive approach to conservation studies combines both academic studies and intensive practical skills development by working on authentic historical objects. I've gained a greater appreciation of cultural heritage and the confidence to carefully work on a variety of objects."
"It has given me the opportunity to learn about the very different approach to craft in England with its long historical tradition, and to work on historically important objects"Franciszek de Sage, Graduate Diploma, Conservation of Furniture and Related Objects
Subject Leader, Furniture and Related Objects
Associate Fellow of the HEA
Norbert is a furniture maker - conservator with almost two decades of tutoring experience, who has also worked extensively as a fine antique furniture conservator- restorer.
Subject Tutor, Furniture and Related Objects
Tristram works as a contract furniture conservator at the V&A and in private practice. He has lectured in conservation at the City and Guilds of London and at Camberwell College of Art.