Excellence in conservation education

Students gain extensive practical experience of conservation on high quality objects, underpinned by a thorough grounding in theoretical and contextual knowledge. Complementing the full-time programmes is a range of conservation short courses, including a programme in partnership with The British Library.

Academic staff are respected in their field and have extensive connections with employers in the heritage sector. Students gain an understanding of and the ability to apply Icon's Professional Standards in Conservation. Alumni are among the most sought-after in their field, nationally and internationally.

The School of Conservation's active links in the heritage sector include:

The British Library, The British Museum, Historic England, The V&A, National Maritime Museum, The National Archives, Fitzwilliam Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, Royal Swedish Palaces, Lincei Library in Rome, Plowden and Smith Ltd and Richard Rogers Conservation.

School of Conservation Degree and Diploma Courses

Conservation students at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Our internationally respected diploma and degree study paths enable you to specialise in Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Furniture, Metalwork, Collections Care or Historic Buildings.

Study in a rich collaborative environment that fosters cross-discipline study.

Books and Library Materials - With a reputation for producing top class book conservators, there is no equal to this course anywhere in the world. Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies leading to MA Conservation Studies.

Ceramics and Related Materials - One of the few specialist postgraduate ceramics programmes worldwide. Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies leading to MA Conservation Studies.

Metalwork - Esteemed by the profession as the only postgraduate metalwork programme of its kind. Students can start at Foundation level on the FdA Historic Craft Practices - Metalwork, or Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies leading to MA Conservation Studies.

Furniture and Related Objects - An internationally recognised programme on which students can develop specialist craft and conservation skills. FdA Historic Craft Practices - Furniture or Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies leading to MA Conservation Studies.

Clocks and Related Objects - The only programme of its kind for the study of clock conservation and making. FdA Historic Craft Practices - Clocks or Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies leading to MA Conservation Studies.

Professional Development Diploma Historic Building Conservation and Repair (PDD)
Building Conservation Masterclasses (BCM)

Designed and delivered in association with Historic England, the PDD and BCM short courses offer a unique blend of practical and technical training delivered by expert practitioners.

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Conservation of Masonry Ruins at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Conservation CPD

For those working in the sector, conservation short courses deliver continuing professional development. Courses are taught by experts in their specialist fields, typically incorporating the latest knowledge and developments in craft, technology and science.

Building Conservation Masterclasses are recognised and delivered in association with Historic England and a number of the West Dean College courses meet the CPD criteria of the RIBA, RICS, and other professional bodies.

Object and Materials Conservation courses are offered in collaboration with partner organisations, and we offer specialist short courses at the British Library.

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Conservaton of Clocks programme at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

You will work in well-equipped professional workshops and studios with access seven days a week, 8.30am to 10pm. Workshops includes specialist equipment and facilities such as the forge, pottery and photography areas.

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Student Case Studies

Students share their experiences, talk about the projects they have worked on and what it is like to study conservation at West Dean College.

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School of Conservation Blog

School of Conservation Blog West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Read stories from our conservation students about their exciting projects.

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Conservation Consultancy

Our Conservation Consultancy service is widely used by museums, heritage organisations, institutions, antiques trade, family owners and collectors. We can advise you on the options available and carry out appropriate treatment, as well as future care of the piece. Every object is unique, as is its use and context, so every treatment proposal is fully discussed with the owner and approved in advance.

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Open Day - register today

Come and find out what makes West Dean College of Arts and Conservation such an amazing place to study. Explore the studios, take a tour with students, discuss your study options, and find out about funding at our next Open Day on:

Friday 6 December 2019

Register your place and find out more