A centre of excellence and creative possibility
Be challenged and exposed to a stimulating mix of ideas and knowledge in the immersive environment of the School of Creative Arts. Study options range from short courses from beginner to advanced, to Foundation Diploma, MA and MFA.
The School has a strong practical as well as academic focus. Those on a full-time programme will develop advanced making and craft skills appropriate to their discipline and undertake original theoretical and contextual research to inform practice. Short course students will learn new skills and techniques or nurture existing talents.
The vision of founder and Surrealist patron Edward James
connects today's students with a rich heritage of art. Students
have the opportunity to engage with site-specific subjects,
individual objects or references to the College's history relating
to Edward James, surrealism and beyond.
Study in fully equipped workshops and studios, with plenty of natural light and your own dedicated workspace. All students have access to the specialist Arts and Conservation Library and the computer suite, each subject area then has specialist facilities and equipment.
View some of the work exhibited at West Dean Critical Paths Summer Show 2017.
Critical Paths showcased the work of students who graduated from the full-time Visual Arts programmes.
West Dean Tapestry Studio is one of the only professional tapestry studios in the UK.
It specialises in contemporary design and weaving using heritage techniques. The studio is known for its strong interpretive skills and artistic vision. Tracey Emin, Martin Creed and Henry Moore are among the artists our weavers have worked with.
Co-ordinated alongside the full-time Visual Arts programmes at West Dean College, the residency is designed to support contemporary practitioners in developing research projects and studio-based practices. The residencies are informed by West Dean's rich history of supporting skills-based making as well as the legacy of its founder, Edward James, renowned for his support of individual artists and avant-garde collaborations across a variety of creative fields.
The Open Call is now closed for applications
Full-time Visual Arts programmes
The full-time accredited Visual Arts programme allows you to specialise in Painting and Drawing, Sculpture or Tapestry and Textile Art.
You can gain your Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, MA or MFA. The large dedicated studios and access to art and craft short courses emphasise practical, studio-based skills, underpinned by theoretical research and contextual studies. The programme also involves making use of the historic West Dean House and extensive grounds to explore site-specific work.
Full-time Making Stringed Musical Instruments
Gain your Diploma on this internationally respected course. Learn a high level of craftsmanship and historical approach in preparation to set up an instrument-making workshop or to work in the trade.
MA Creative Writing and Publishing
Study part-time over two years to gain your MA. For committed writers the course offers immersive study in an inspiring setting and tuition from published authors.
Art and Craft Short Courses
Choose from over 700 short courses at West Dean College. Day, week and weekend courses are all taught by practising professionals. Gain hands-on experience and creative inspiration in a wide variety of art and craft subjects, ideal for both beginners and more experienced artists and makers. If you are looking to develop a strong portfolio of work, our Foundation Degree in Art and Design will prepare you to apply for an Art and Design related degree.