Information and how to book

Please see our latest information on coronavirus here.

Book online
Find your course and click 'book'. If the course is full you can choose to join the waiting list.
After booking you will be sent a confirmation email, asking you to download full course details and arrival and registration information. If you have booked accommodation a separate confirmation email will be sent within three working days.

By phone
Call 01243 818300

By email or post

Download a booking form from the downloadable links below.
Post to Bookings Office, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0QZ

Courses are open to anyone 18 or over. Booking online or by phone requires payment in full.

Arrivals and registration

How to find us
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is on the A286, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 60 miles South of London.

Road: Our postcode is PO18 0QZ. Parking is free.

Rail: The nearest station is Chichester (from London Victoria), where our mini bus collects students at certain times. Further travel details will be sent with your booking confirmation letter.

Rooms are normally available from 4pm on your day of arrival.
On your last day checkout is by 10am.

Arrival day for courses more than one day in length:
4pm Arrival for residential students
Non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm
6.45pm Welcome chat
7pm Dinner
8-9pm First teaching session

Download the full arrival and registration information


As part of our commitment to provide access to creative arts education we can offer a bursary if you cannot afford to study on a short course. Bursaries come from our own funds and the support of generous donations from a number of trusts and individuals.

There are four application deadlines each year so please allow time for your application to be considered before any course date. These are March 31, June 30, Sept 30 and Dec 31

Bursaries available

Short Course   Bursary Value
Any subject The Edward James Foundation Bursary Based on individual need
Any arts related subject Creative bursaries for Arts graduates Based on individual need
One day short courses (own application form) The Young Person’s Bursary Up to £100 per student
Textile related courses Joyce Mary Harding Textile Bursary Fund £500
One day Fan Making short courses (May 2020 and September 2020) The Fan Making Bursary Fund £150 per student
Chilingirian Quartet String Ensemble Course (own application form) Music bursaries Based on individual need
International Classical Guitar Festival (own application form) Music bursaries Based on individual need
Courses relating to construction, conservation and architectural heritage; including courses on the Professional Development Diploma in Historic Building Conservation and Repair and Building Conservation Masterclasses Sussex Heritage Trust Bursary Scheme (students apply directly) Course costs and accommodation costs where applicable
Grants are given for education and training in building conservation, including courses on the Professional Development Diploma in Historic Building Conservation and Repair and Building Conservation Masterclasses Drake Trust Bursary Course costs
FDAD Bursaries for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD) Up to £2,000


The Frances Lowe Bursary TBC

To apply for a bursary please download and complete a bursary application form where applicable. (Seperate application forms are indicated above.) Send your completed application form to: Academic Registry, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ. For more information call 01243 818291 or email

Please click here to read the full bursary award terms and conditions.

Read the full short course bursary information for 2020-21

Short Course Bursaries 2020/21

All bursary-funded students are expected to agree to the terms and conditions.

Please note: we are unable to offer more than one bursary to a student within 2 years.

The Edward James Foundation Bursary Fund

If you need assistance to fund your studies, you can apply for a bursary from The Edward James Foundation Bursary Fund once you have accepted a place to study at West Dean College. The Fund is financed by donations both from The Edward James Foundation itself as part of its charitable objectives and by other organisations and individuals who have made generous donations or bequests to support students.

Applicants should demonstrate a clear financial need and preference will be given to students who show that they are pursuing all possible avenues for raising the funds they will need, including applications to other grant-making trusts, part-time or holiday work and/or student loans. Preference will also be shown to students who have the potential to make a significant contribution to their chosen field.

Grants are given based on individual need. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can finance any remaining accommodation and tuition fees not covered by their bursary award. The Grants Committee cannot consider an application without this information.

Creative bursaries for Arts graduates

For undergraduates and recent graduates of arts related subjects, made possible with funding from The Edward James Foundation.

The Young Person's Bursary 

Available for up to ten students (aged 16-18) who are studying a creative subject to enable them to undertake a one day short course to benefit their creative skills development and portfolio.

Joyce Mary Harding Textile Bursary Fund 

For people with an interest in developing their skills in working with textiles, who would benefit from assistance with funding. Funding generously provided by two individual donors.

The Fan Making Bursary Fund

These bursaries are for undergraduates and recent graduates who are interested in developing their skills and their portfolio to include fan making. 

Awards will be determined by the relevance of individuals existing practice to fan making processes, and an assessment of the student’s interest in the subject and the potential of continued engagement with fan-making. Preference will be given to those at the early stage of their career.

Funding generously provided by The Poor Fund of The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers.

Music bursaries

To help music students and young professionals attend the Chilingirian Quartet Summer School and the International Classical Guitar Festival and Summer School. Funding has been provided by several donors and a group of West Dean Friends.

Please note: The music bursaries have their own application forms.

Sussex Heritage Trust Bursary Scheme 

Open to any candidates aged 18 or over, with no upper age limit. The Trust’s Bursary Committee will consider funding the costs of one course for an individual studying on the Professional Development Diploma in Historic Building Conservation and Repair or an individual studying on a short course relating to construction, conservation and architectural heritage. 

Please note: Students should apply directly to this funder.

Drake Trust bursaries

The Drake Trust generously provides a number of bursaries for students attending a Building Conservation Masterclass or on the Professional Development Diploma in Historic Building Conservation and Repair.

Bursaries for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD)

Bursaries are available for one or more talented young students (aged 18 - 30) to study the FDAD but are unable to find the full fees. Funding has been made available through the generous support of an individual donor.

The Frances Lowe Bursary

Available to students studying arts on the FDAD and DACC programmes. Applicants should demonstrate talent and a commitment to their future career development. Applications are particularly encouraged from younger students (18-30) but all applicants will be considered.

Funding for teachers

As part of the College’s commitment to excellence in arts education we are offering a number of bursaries to art and design teachers to join a short course.

Our courses enable you to develop skills and techniques that will support your teaching, creative practice and enjoyment of learning. Both you and your students will reap the benefits.

The Teachers Short Course Bursary covers the course fee for the Summer 2020 programme. For courses lasting more than one day, dinner on the first evening and lunch is included. The bursary does not include accommodation, breakfast, other evening meals, travel or the additional course materials that students must buy/bring. Please send completed application forms by 12pm, 29 April. Email or send by post to:

Academic Registry, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, PO18 0QZ

Download the application form

Late availability offer
Throughout the year we offer art and design teachers a 50% discount on short courses, on a late availability basis. If you see a course you are interested in that still has places the Wednesday before the course starts, please call our bookings team on 01243 818300 or email us at from your school/college email address. See courses with late availability

Read testimonials from course attendees

"...The methods and skills I learned during this week have already impacted on my curriculum planning and I have incorporated it into workshops which has in turn broadened the student’s knowledge of context and experience of what fabric can do...My foundation students have broad ambitions, from architecture, interiors, modelmaking, makeup and prosthetics, to theatre design and props. The students have used these methods in a variety of ways, from creating experiments which act as starting points and inspiration to develop architecture/interiors from, or more finished pieces in makeup and theatre...This course remined me of my love of fabric and showed me new possibilities which could help me communicate my ideas in new ways...The atmosphere at West Dean College was fantastic...Having a week to focus on creating and learning was a real privilege."
Karen Sexton
Course: Manipulating Fabric

"The summer school was highly beneficial and offered me a lot of insight and developed my own confidence in using water-based mediums. I thoroughly benefitted from this opportunity to update my knowledge and work with other practitioners and teachers to share ideas and experiences (including the talks from the other tutors). It is difficult to find a focussed period of time within the teaching year, so this took place in my summer holidays and was funded by the art teacher bursary and myself."
Julie Clark
Course: Experimental Watercolour – Summer School

"I have been able to create a more indepth responses to the projects that I teach. This has given me more confidence in my own abilities and when portraying these to students. My lessons have become more interesting, allowing for student and teacher to work from each others ideas. Ultimately, this has lead to further unique outcomes to my student’s work. They have been able to think more in depth, and have produced well articulated pieces based on their original ideas. These responses are now fuller and detailed, with new outcomes being made each lesson, and students being satisfied with their own journey...An excellent course run by an excellent textile artist! Really well run and delicious food! Thank you so much for the opportunity and making my stay so enjoyable. I can’t wait to come back for more!"
Ruth Maddock
Course: Reshaping cloth - print and manipulation

download the teachers bursary application form


What measures are in place at the College in relation to coronavirus?

Please see the most up to date information here.

What level course should I book?

Beginners - If you have little or no experience
Intermediate - If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Advanced - If you want to expand your skills and develop your practice
Suitable for all - Subject focused courses, featuring a structured start followed by guided independent practice

You can find more information on the level of each course on individual course pages.

Are meals and accommodation included?

For courses longer than one day dinner on the first evening is included, plus lunch, tea and coffee throughout the course. Course prices do not include accommodation.

What materials do I need to bring? 

Please see the individual course details for a list of materials and what is available to buy at the College Craft Shop (open 8.30am-2pm). 

What is the College's access information?

The College is mainly located within West Dean House, a grade II* listed building. We do all we can within existing guidelines to ensure the House, teaching spaces, accommodation and gardens are as accessible as possible. For further information please click here or contact our Bookings Office on 01243 818300. 

Making a cancellation

To transfer to another course

  • Your request must be received at least six weeks before the start of the course on which you are booked.
  • You may transfer your booking to an alternative course, providing there is a place available.
  • A transfer fee of £30 will be charged.

Cancelling your booking
If you have to cancel your booking please notify the Bookings Office as soon as possible by telephone and confirm in writing.

  • For cancellations made more than six weeks before the start of the course, any fees paid over and above the deposit will be refunded.
  • No refunds can be made to those who cancel within six weeks of the course or fail to attend a course for its full duration.
  • All deposits are non-refundable.

Cancellation of courses by the College
If your course is cancelled you can transfer to another course at no extra charge, or receive a full refund for any course fees and deposits paid. The College reserves the right to cancel any course at short notice, in this event you will be notified as soon as possible.

Overseas students

New UK immigration rules state that if you plan to engage in any kind of study while in the UK you should enter as a student and not as a tourist. If you are studying in this country for less than six months and are a non-visa national, you may apply for a Student Visitor Visa in advance or for entry clearance as a Student Visitor when you arrive at a UK airport. There are conditions for both these methods. We recommend that you consult the UK Border Agency - Studying in the UK for full details and a list of the documents and evidence you will need to confirm your student and financial status.

For further guidance see the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Gift vouchers

Treat a creative friend or a loved one to a gift voucher. 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.

Buy your vouchers from or 01243 818300. You can also request a voucher from Reception.

How to redeem your vouchers

Enter your voucher number(s), click 'Apply Voucher' and the value will be deducted from the total amount payable.

By post
Quote your voucher number(s) on your booking form.
Post to: Bookings Office, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0QZ

By phone
Quote your voucher number(s) and the value will be deducted from the total amount payable.