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.

Themed courses and Summer Schools

Join a themed week and let this focused approach spark your imagination.

Chalk and Clay Week 14 - 19 February 2016
Investigate these two materials and seek inspiration from the landscape by exploring, drawing and mark-making.

Visual Arts & Crafts Summer Schools 2016
Relax with tutors and other students, exchanging ideas, insights and experiences.

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

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

Kathy Attawell, Beginners watercolours

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

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

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


From our own funds and with the support of generous donations from a number of trusts and individuals, we offer bursaries to people who cannot afford to study on a short course.

Find out about available bursaries

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

Hey Clay! – Open Pottery Workshops
Friday 4 December 2015
Visit Father Christmas
December 2015

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

Newsletter signup

Be the first to know
New courses, late availability and creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Support West Dean College

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