International Students

If you are from outside of the UK/EU and looking to study in the UK, West Dean College near Chichester is a welcoming and safe environment with a large international community of students.

Many students are from outside the UK, from countries such as Australia, USA, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Germany, Iceland and the West Indies, making a culturally diverse community. For most programmes, the fees are the same for national and international students. There are bursary opportunities for all.

We can help you apply for visas, open bank accounts, apply for funding and all other arrangements necessary when you are studying away from home.

Entry to the UK

European (EU and EEA) nationals

If you are an EU/EEA national and have been accepted on to a course of study, you are entitled to enter the UK freely and have the right of residence for the duration of your course. You may also wish to apply for a resident permit during your stay in the UK. To obtain a resident permit you should complete the application form EEA1 available from the UK Home Office website.

All other international students

To be able to travel to the UK as a general student (Tier 4) you must pass a points-based assessment and score 40 points before you travel.

Please refer to the Home Office website ( for the latest information and to download the application form. You may also now apply online.

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

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 Registry Office immediately of any changes in their circumstances, to attend classes regularly, and to notify the Programme Leader if unable to attend. Please contact the admission team for more details,

Check list:

  • Valid Passport
  • Read Tier 4 guide lines
  • Receive your Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), check this is correct
  • Gather necessary supporting documents
  • Apply for visa

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 UKVI standards.

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

  • You have completed an academic qualification at degree level or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country (including the UK and Ireland).
  • You have successfully completed a course as a Tier 4 (Child) student, or as a student under the rules that were in force before Tier 4 and you were granted this permission whilst under the age of 18.

Majority English-speaking countries are defined as: Antigua and Barbuda: Australia; The Bahamas; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kits and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America. UKVI will assess your nationality using your passport.

For all West Dean 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 application form. We are unable to issue you a CAS if you do not have this.

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.

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.

The Home Office has introduced a limit of five years for study in the UK by a visa national at degree level, and three years of study at below degree level. This will be extended to six years for some masters degrees.

From 6 April 2015, only IELTS and Trinity College London English language tests will be approved by the Home Office as secure English language tests (SELTS) for immigration purposes. For more information please check:

Academic Awards

Master of Arts (MA) Degrees

Our Master of Arts degrees are validated by the University of Sussex and are internationally recognised postgraduate qualifications comprising 180 credits at Level 7. They are aimed at graduates with a first degree in their subject specialism who wish to develop their professional practice through undertaking a programme of practical critical and theoretical research. Applicants may apply directly for MA or in the case of Conservation and Visual Arts may choose to continue to MA following successful completion of the first stage of the Postgraduate Diploma and subject to the agreement of an appropriate project proposal. The MA Conservation Studies and Visual Arts are one calendar year full time (46 taught weeks).

The MA Collections Care and MA Creative Writing are two academic years part time, comprising of blocks of intensive study at West Dean and extended periods of off-site working. These courses are aimed at professionals and practitioners who wish to combine work and study.

MFA (Master of Fine Art)

The MFA is an internationally recognised professional qualification in Fine Art practice. It comprises 240 credits at Level 7 and is validated by the University of Sussex. Applicants may apply directly for the MFA or may choose to extend their study by a further year following successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts.

Postgraduate Diploma

Postgraduate Diplomas are one academic year full time and are validated by the University of Sussex. They are aimed at graduates with a first degree in Conservation or the Visual Arts or those with a high level of specific professional experience. The courses provide the context to develop practical skills to an advanced level, alongside developing their application in professional contexts.

Graduate Diploma

The Graduate Diploma programmes are one academic year full time and are validated by the University of Sussex. They are aimed at graduates from a broad range of disciplines and are designed to prepare students with the practical and academic skills required for postgraduate study in conservation or visual arts.

Foundation Degree

(Formerly West Dean College Diploma)

Foundation Degrees are two academic years and are available in areas of Conservation and Making. These are aimed primarily at those who want to set up their own workshops or to work in the trade, and the Foundation Degree will appeal to those intending to pursue further study as well as international students. They offer very high levels of hands-on practical work and a variety of techniques and skills.

Professional Development Diploma

With flexible entry requirements the West Dean College award offers a negotiated course of full time study, managed and programmed between the student and tutor. Students have a dedicated studio or workshop space at West Dean, access to lecture series, taught sessions, tutorials and specialist short courses. It is available across all subject areas, following the approval of a project proposal or research project.

Residential Students

Accommodation at the college

Residential students are accommodated in one of our four annex blocks a 5 minute walk from the main building. All rooms are furnished single bedrooms with ensuite facilities. Each room has its own desk, storage facilities for clothes and a large pin board. We ask you do not to bring any big furniture pieces, but please bring anything that will make your room a home away from home for example, posters and pictures.

Accommodation includes two common room areas, fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities.


Our catering team provide all meals in a buffet style in the bright and airy dining room. You can start the day with a traditional English or continental style breakfast. For lunch and dinner there is a tempting new menu each day with two seasonal hot dishes, a delicious salad bar and enticing hot and cold puddings. We use locally sourced ingredients where possible.

Special diets

All lunch and dinner menus include salads and vegetarian options. The kitchen cannot cater for all specialised diets. If you have special medical or religious dietary concerns you should contact Dan Frowen, Head Chef before your programme starts.

What to bring

  • Passport and visa
  • Copy of your confirmed offer letter
  • Some sterling cash
  • Plug adaptors: (UK plug sockets take three rectangular pins)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sheets/blankets and towels are provided by the college, however you can also bring your own. Laundry facilities are provided for all residential students.
  • Kitchens in residential accommodation are fully stocked but you may want to bring a mug, plate, bowl and kettle for your room. All meals are included for residential students on full board accommodation. If you are paying just for accommodation, breakfast and dinner can be bought on an adhoc basis. Food can be purchased in Chichester and there are supermarkets nearby including Sainsbury's and Lidl.
  • TV: all rooms are equipped with a TV aerial. If you are planning to bring a TV please make sure you organise a TV licence. TV's are provided in both common rooms.
  • WiFi: wired internet connections are provided in all student accommodation. Internet access is monitored and a 'fair usage cap' is in place to ensure that the bandwidth is evenly shared. Computers are available in the IT suite in the main college.
  • 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.

Financial Information

Learn more about funding options.

West Dean College Bank Details

For students transferring money, our bank account details are:

The Edward James Foundation Account No. 96216948 Sort Code 60-05-24 BIC Code NWBK GB2L 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 with details of your programme, term dates and accommodation.

Take the bank reference, West Dean College 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.

Health Care


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 8 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.

Culture shock

Culture shock describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar. Many international students experience culture shock when they arrive in the UK. It includes the shock of the new environment, meeting lots of new people and learning the ways of a different country. It also includes the shock of being separated from the important people in your life.

How to help yourself:

  • Please remember you are not alone at the college and that cultural shock is a normal experience. Talk to other international students who are probably feeling the same way. We have a international student rep who is always happy to help.
  • Keep in touch with home.
  • Have familiar and personal things around you, such as photographs and ornaments.
  • Get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise.
  • Join in activities at the college, short courses, student organised events and film nights.
  • Get out and about and have fun.
  • Take advantage of the help provided at West Dean College, the Registry Office are here to help as are the programme tutors, college staff and student counsellor.

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: Tel: +44 (0)844 892 0322 London Heathrow: Tel: +44 (0) 844 335 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 bus station (opposite Chichester railway station) every half hour Mondays to Fridays and passes the college gates. The bus stops around 6.30pm each evening. 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 for Degree and Diploma courses

Applications are welcome from UK/EU and International students.

Learn more about applying and entry

Find out about Funding opportunities here