International Students

Join us at one of our upcoming Virtual Open Days

Premium quality education at UK student rates

Wherever you are from you are likely to find like-minded fellow students with a passion for conservation and/or arts. The College is a culturally diverse community with around 30% of the student body made up of international students.

The College is known for high-quality education which makes it a premium option for UK students. As our fee structure is the same for overseas students, this makes it particularly competitive for you as an international student, which is unusual in Higher Education. There are also bursary opportunities to explore to help pay for your studies.

School of Arts

The Edward James Collection and Archive connect students to a rich arts history, which includes the first Dalí Lips Sofa and other significant artworks. College founder, Edward James, is particularly remembered for his patronage of Surrealist artists including Dalí, Magritte and Tchelitchew.

School of Conservation

Conservation students benefit from the unique opportunity to study in a working historic house, and the College has active links with the heritage sector worldwide. West Dean College alumni can be found working in conservation and restoration across the world. You will also benefit from the unique opportunity to study in a working historic house.

To find out more about West Dean College join us at one of our Open Days or email our admission team:

Academic Awards

West Dean College is formally affiliated with the University of Sussex as a Full Partner. The University awards the majority of our diploma and degree qualifications.

Study options include Graduate diplomas and Masters degrees, as well as Foundation degrees in Historic Craft Practices.

Explore your study options

Entry to the UK

European (EU and EEA) nationals

If you have pre-settled status, you can stay in the UK for five years from the date you were granted pre-settled status. With pre-settled status you can:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS for free, if you can at the moment
  • enrol in education or study in the UK
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK

If you have settled status, you can remain in the UK indefinitely and as with pre-settled status, you can:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS for free, if you can at the moment
  • enrol in education or study in the UK
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK

You can access proof of your status through the UK government’s online checking service.

You can switch to settled status as soon as you’ve had five years’ continuous residence, or sooner if you’re eligible before five years. For more information please click here.

If you have neither pre-settled status or settled status, then you will need to apply for a Student Visa, for more information please see below.

All other international students

To be able to travel to the UK as student, you must pass a points-based assessment before you travel. The UK Government has introduced a new points-based immigration for students, known as the Student Visa route, which replaces the previous Tier 4 system. The UK Government has published guidelines which you can view here.

Please refer to the website for the latest information and to download the application form. You will need to apply online.

Another source of important information is the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) which also has a student advice line, see the UKCISA website for details.

To apply for your visa, you will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number from West Dean College, before making your student visa application. The CAS is unique to each applicant and is an electronic number that you will need to quote on your visa application. You will receive your CAS once you have met the conditions of your offer and completed the pre-CAS checks.

Checklist to apply

  • Valid passport
  • Read Student visa guidelines
  • Secure English Language Test (SELT), if applicable
  • Receive your Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from our Admissions Team; check this is correct
  • Gather necessary supporting documents
  • Apply for a visa

The duties of a student visa holder

The Home Office has introduced strict rules for sponsors with regard to their sponsorship licence responsibilities.

Our records must include:

  • Copies of all students' passports
  • Copies of visas
  • Full and up to date contact details
  • Records of attendance
  • Details of authorised and unauthorised absences from the course and failure to complete the course.

We are required to report any non-compliance of these rules by a visa holder to the Home Office. The Home Office also make unannounced visits to licence holders to check student visas and college records and to interview students.

Students are obliged, under the terms and conditions of their visa, to advise the Academic Registry Office immediately of any changes in their circumstances, to attend classes regularly, and to notify the Programme Leader if they are unable to attend. Please contact the admissions team for more details,

English Language

If English is not your first language, or you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language ability to stated UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) standards. UKVI will assess your nationality using your passport.

You do not have to provide evidence of your English ability if:

  • You have completed an academic qualification equivalent to a UK degree in one of the countries or are from one of the countries as outlined on here.
  • You also do not need to prove your knowledge of English if one of the following applies:
    - you’re a national of Canada
    - you’re applying to come to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA
    - you proved your level of English in a previous visa application

NB Student Visa rules are subject to change at any time. You must consult the Home Office website to acquaint yourself with all of the changes before submitting your application.

For all West Dean College programmes we will assess your ability using a SELT (secure language test) and this must be an in-date UKVI-approved IELTS test.

Please enclose a copy of your in-date SELT certificate with your complete West Dean College application form. We are unable to issue you a CAS if you do not have this.

You must pass each section of the SELT to the required level. You should include the relevant SELT certificate with your immigration application. If you do not, your immigration application will be refused. A list of SELT is obtainable from the website.

For programmes above degree level (NQF 6 level and above) your English language ability must be at level CEFR B2 or above. This is a minimum requirement and courses may specify higher levels.

For programmes below degree level (below NQF 6 Level) your English language ability must be at level CEFR B1 or above.

Help with funding

The British Council can also provide you with a basic guide for possible sources of funding for international students who want to study in the UK, so have a look at their website at

Find out more about funding opportunities

Financial Information

Our Bank Details

For students transferring money, our bank account details are:

The Edward James Foundation
Account No. 96216948
Sort Code 60-05-24
IBAN No: GB75 NWBK 6005 2496 2169 48

NatWest Bank plc, 5 East Street, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1HH, UK

All charges are the student's responsibility. Please remember to quote your name and/or invoice number on the payment instruction.

How to open a bank account in the UK

Before opening an account, we advise you contact the bank in your own country and ask them to provide a reference in the form of a letter of introduction. This should confirm who you are, how long you have banked with them and the state of your account.

In addition you will need to obtain a student status letter from the Registry Office confirming that you are a student at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation with details of your programme, term dates and accommodation.

Take the bank reference, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation student status letter, and a least three least three forms of identification for example, EU driving licence, passport, etc. to the UK bank of your choice. If the bank is satisfied with the information provided, and has confirmed with your home bank that their letter is genuine, you should be able to open an account with a debit card.

Banks available in Chichester: Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds TSB Bank plc, NatWest Bank plc.

Accommodation and student life

Residential student accommodation is made up of six houses, which are a five minute walk from the college. Students have access to various societies and events as well as the 6,000 acre estate and award-winning West Dean Gardens.

Discover more about accommodation and student life

What to bring

  • Passport and visa
  • Copy of your confirmed offer letter
  • Some cash (sterling)
  • Plug adaptors (UK plug sockets take three rectangular pins)
  • Phone: some international mobile phones may not work in the UK. We would recommend buying a local sim card. Networks include: O2, Vodafone, EE, Talk mobile, T mobile and Orange.
  • Personal belongings: bring any belongings you feel will make your room a home away from home. There is a pin board for any posters and pictures.

Warm clothing

The weather in Britain is changeable, so make sure you have warm clothes as well as waterproofs. During the summer (June - August), the temperature can range from 10˚ to 30˚C and during the winter (December - February), average temperatures are between 1˚ and 5˚C. The college dress code is informal and relaxed. If you would like to purchase clothes on arrival our nearest town is Chichester, which has a large range of shops.



We advise all students, UK and international, to register at the following Doctors' surgery at the beginning of the first term. To ensure that you can access free NHS medical help if required:

Lavant Road Surgery: 01243 527264 Lavant Road, Chichester

To register you will need to provide a proof of address, this can be provided by the Registry office on request.

Medical Conditions

You will be asked to complete a confidential medical information form for our records. Also, if you suffer from a medical condition which the college should be aware of, or are reliant on medication, you are required to inform your tutor(s) of this in confidence (and also to the Registry Office), giving details of any action to be taken in the event of becoming ill.


It is advisable to have a full dental check-up before arriving at West Dean College as the availability of NHS dentists is very limited. There is an emergency dental service available at St. Richard's Hospital in Chichester.

"It is great to work on interdisciplinary projects with students not just from other departments, but from other cultures as well."

Fjodor van den Broek, West Dean College Alumnus

Transport and Travel

Where are we

We are situated six miles north of Chichester and six miles south of Midhurst on the A286. The college is about 12 miles from the coast and a 30 minute car journey from Portsmouth cross-channel ferries. There is easy road access to London (65 miles) and the main airports of Heathrow and Gatwick.

Air Travel

Flight and public transport enquiries/reservations

London Gatwick: 0844 892 0322

London Heathrow: 0844 335 1801


A regular train service operates to Chichester from London Victoria. There is also a fast rail service from London Waterloo to Haslemere, a 25 minute taxi journey away.

National rail enquiries: 08457 484950 from abroad: +44 (0)2072785240

Rail Europe: +44 (0)8448 484064

Buses and coaches

National Express: +44 (0)8717 818178

Stagecoach Coastline: +44 (0) 845 121 0190

London Travel information: +44 (0) 207 437 4370

Taxis from Chichester

There is a taxi rank adjacent to Chichester railway station.

Dunnaways Taxis: 0800 980 0890 Central Taxis: 01243 789 432 Helen's airport Taxis: 01243 820820

Transport local to West Dean College

The number 60 bus leaves Chichester city centre regularly seven days a week and passes the college gates, see the full timetable on the Stagecoach website. The college has our own mini bus which takes students into town every Saturday 11am - 3pm. We also run a bus to the station at 3.30pm on Friday and Sunday evenings.

You are welcome to keep a car at the college. Carparks are by the main college building and in the annex accommodation.

Bicycles are useful to get around the local area. Bike racks are available outside the annex accommodation and around the main college building.

Arrange your visit or come for our next open day

Apply now for Degree and Diploma study

Applications open for 2022 entry

Choose your subject and find out how to apply.


Find out about funding opportunities