Short Courses

Plan your next course

Book a course to look forward to in the months ahead or choose from one of our short courses with late availability. Whether you’re a complete beginner wanting to try something new or are keen to develop your existing talents, join a group of like-minded people and try a new skill in a creative and restorative environment.

Make time to make with 500+ new arts and craft courses online and available to book now. 

Please see our latest information on coronavirus here and FAQs here.

"A renowned arts school in a beautiful 19th-century house and gardens in West Sussex." The Guardian: 20 great travel experiences

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Why West Dean College?

Hear from our students and tutors about what makes learning at West Dean College so special.

"I felt really confident that I was safe with all the Covid-19 secure measures put in place. Being able to learn new skills and be creative once again was the best part of the experience... The tutor was superb and generous with her time and personal tips.”

Sarah-Anne, Botanical painting

Online hub for learning at home

Visit the online hub for a range of resources and information to connect with the College from home. We hope these online arts and craft courses, tutorials, and exercises from the West Dean community will inspire your creativity.

Get involved with: 

  • Online courses with materials boxes - enjoy the flexibility of doing a Short Course at your own pace
  • Bite-size tutorials from the College’s expert Short Course Tutors
  • Creative writing exercises from Subject Leader Mark Radcliffe 
  • Virtual tour of the College - explore the degree and diploma studios and workspaces
online hub

Arts and Craft Summer Schools

Nurture your passion on a creative holiday away from the pressures of everyday life. Learn a new skill or hone your existing talents with intensive teaching and be inspired by the beautiful surroundings and artistic atmosphere.

"One of the 10 best creative retreats in the UK and Europe", The Guardian, January 2019


  • Spend some time on one of the other courses to learn something new
  • Extra talks by tutors 
  • Optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)
  • Optional tours of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio
  • End of week exhibitions and group reviews
See all Summer School courses
Short course textile bursary student at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation


If you are a potential student who wishes to develop your skills, but are unable to afford to study on a short course, you may be eligible for a bursary.

As part of our commitment to provide access to education in the creative arts we offer bursaries for short course in arts, music and textiles as well as to support study on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts programmes.

Read more about short course bursaries

Accommodation and Dining

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 and a range of puddings. Dinner on the first night and lunch throughout your course is included in your course price. If you are residential and staying with us breakfast and dinner are also included for the duration of your stay.

Accommodation at the College

The best course I have ever attended - challenging, supportive, well-structured and presented by a world class tutor. I have never learned so much in such as short space of time.

Caroline, Italics - basics, flourish and experimental
Work by Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft students at West Dean College

Advance your learning

Develop your skills or turn your passion into a career path with programmes from foundation level to Master of Fine Art.

Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design
Designed to fit around your day-to-day commitments, this new flexible foundation course in art and design is taught online through a mix of self-directed study, live study days and a student community hub. You will develop your skills through eight modules, two self-study courses supported by two live study days.

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD)
Develop your art and design skills for entry onto a related degree programme. Create a rich and varied portfolio of work through 10 short courses, to reflect your talents, areas of interest, and focus on your future career aspirations.

Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (DACC)
Two year part-time programme delivered through intensive study blocks. Learn skills essential to the successful development of a sustainable studio practice, both practical and contextual.

See all degree and diploma programmes

Make a silver ring short course with tutor Sarah Macrae at West Dean College

Gift vouchers

Give the gift of creativity with a Short Course gift voucher

Treat a creative friend or a loved one to a College gift voucher to redeem against any Short Course. Give the gift of creativity and the 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. Vouchers are available to buy online or by calling our bookings team

Find out more about Short Course vouchers

Buy Gift Vouchers

School of Arts

Short courses are part of the School of 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 Arts