Short Courses

A centre of excellence, creativity and tranquillity

Learn new skills or nurture existing talents under the guidance of expert tutors. Choose from over 700 engaging subjects tailored for your ability, from beginner to advanced.

Take advantage of our fully equipped workshops and studios, with a pottery, forge, fine-metals workshop, light and airy art studios, a sculpture courtyard and a stone carving workshop. The country house setting and award-winning gardens offer a wealth of stimulating views and inspiration.

Immerse yourself in creativity for a day, week or weekend.

First-time students can collect a 10% discount on phone bookings - call 01243 818300.

Plan your autumn course now or browse late availability


Late availability - Catch a last minute place on an art and craft course.

Plan your autumn course now - Give yourself something to look foward to.

One day courses - You'll be amazed at what you can achieve in just one day.

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD)

Develop your portfolio of art and design skills for entry onto a related degree programme. The FDAD includes 10 short courses during which you will create a rich and varied portfolio of work. The course will help you ensure your portfolio reflects your talents and areas of interest and focus on your future career aspirations.

Turn your passion into a career path

"The excellent teaching pushed us beyond expectations; individual advice was very helpful as was being in such a beautiful setting."

Kathy Attawell, Beginners watercolours

Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (DACC)

The West Dean College Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts is a two year part-time programme delivered through intensive study blocks throughout the year, through attending short courses to develop skills and through independent study outside attendance at the College. The programme is focused on developing skills essential to the successful development of a sustainable studio practice, both practical and contextual.

Learn more

Residential accommodation

Stay and dine with us

Make your creative experience truly immersive by staying with us during your course. As a residential student you can choose a traditional or more modern room, and wake up to the characterful charm of this period property set in acres of parkland.

Start the day with a traditional English or continental breakfast in the bright and airy dining room. For lunch and dinner, you will find a tempting new menu each day, with two seasonal hot dishes, salad bar and a range of puddings. Lunch is included with your course. Dinner and breakfast are included in your stay.

Escape to West Dean College

Developing Skills and Creative Language in Tapestry Weaving

Course Tutor: Philip Sanderson, master weaver designer, West Dean Tapestry Studio and Associate Tutor West Dean Visual Arts programme

This two year programme offers tapestry weavers a broad insight into the technical and creative techniques of tapestry weaving, necessary for developing skills alongside building your own creative language.

It is aimed at weavers who have completed a beginners' course at West Dean College or elsewhere, and are looking to commit to extended and intensive programme of study.

View the application form and further information.

The 2016 course is now full with a waiting list. If you would like your name added to this list or would like to apply to start the course in 2017, please email valerie.mccolgan@westdean.org.uk

Gift vouchers

Give the gift of creativity with a West Dean College gift voucher

Treat a friend or loved one and give them chance to learn a new skill while making something to wear, use or display proudly in the home or garden.

You can buy £10, £25, £50 or £100 vouchers, which can be used for full or part payment of a course.

Find out how to book and redeem your vouchers

Events and Talks

Escape the everyday

Listen to a concert or recital, pick up some top tips at a garden talk or enjoy a day out for the whole family.

View the complete event calendar

Upcoming events

Apple Affair
1 - 2 October 2016
Whisky Tasting Evening
14 October 2016, 7pm

Conservation short courses

Refresh your skills and update your knowledge of developments in materials, techniques and current practice through continuing professional development in conservation. Ideal for conservators, our conservation short courses are made up of Building Conservation Masterclasses and Object and Materials Conservation courses.

Learn more about Conservation CPD

School of Creative Arts

Short courses are part of the School of Creative Arts, which also offers full-time programmes in Visual Arts from Foundation to Postgraduate Diplomas, MA and MFA. Within this rich, immersive environment the vision of founder and Surrealist patron Edward James connects today's students with a rich heritage of art.

Learn more about the School of Creative Arts

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Help preserve our future

West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

Find out how you can help support us