Information and how to book

Please see our latest information on coronavirus here and read our FAQs below

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 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. 

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. 


Does the 'rule of six' apply to Short Courses?

The current Government legislation allows for an exemption to the ‘rule of six’ for educational establishments and purposes. This is because we have put in place measures to prevent the possible spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus. As such, the College has appropriate policies, risk assessments and guidance to make it Covid-secure. All students attending courses will receive prior information and guidance. All our teaching spaces have been risk assessed and suitable measures put in place where required including the wearing of protection when needed. Once at the College further information will be given to you by our staff and your course tutor.

How will social distancing operate at the College? 
The College is working to the principle of two metres as the best means of reducing transmission. This will be reflected in how we set up classrooms and workshops. In many cases student numbers have been reduced to facilitate this. There will be signage and advice throughout the College and the operation of one-way systems where this can be achieved. Break times will be set to reduce congestion within the common areas.

Do I have to wear a face covering around the building?
These can reduce the risk of transmission particularly in areas where social distancing of two metres is compromised albeit temporarily such as in corridors or washrooms. All West Dean staff have been instructed to wear face coverings in these areas and we are asking that students do too:

  • Please put on a face covering before entering any College building, whilst traversing corridors where other students and staff may be present and while using the Craft Shop.
  • Please wear a face covering in communal areas unless social distancing can be maintained (such as once seated in the refectory or restaurant).
  • They may be removed once you are in a workshop or studio where social distancing or other measures are in place. But they must be redonned upon leaving these areas.
  • They can be removed once in open air if social distancing is maintained.
  • We would recommend that you bring with you some that you are comfortable wearing.

What personal sanitisation measures will be in place?
The College has invested in extra washroom facilities as well as sanitising stations where appropriate. Most workshop and studio spaces will have sinks and appropriate handwashing materials as well as paper towels and bins. We would ask that all students wash their hands regularly in line with national guidance. This is particularly important before and after breaks and visiting washrooms. Regular sanitising is also recommended especially before entering and upon leaving common areas.

What will arrival look like? 
Entry and Exit is through the main College door. Our check-in and welcome procedures have been revised to allow a speedier experience to minimise time in public areas, and Reception has a clear screen installed. 

Will I be temperature checked?  
It is our policy that everyone entering the College (staff, contractors and students) has a daily temperature check. This will be carried out using the latest equipment that involves no physical contact. We hope you will understand that this helps ensure a safer environment for all.

What happens if I’m unable to attend the course due to result of the temperature check? 
We will let the tutor know you are unable to join and we will hold all your monies in credit for 1 year for you to use on another course. 

What happens to my booking if I’m unable to attend due to having to self-isolate or I’m traveling from somewhere that is now in lockdown?
We will hold all your monies in credit for 1 year for you to use on another course.

Read more FAQs relating to coronavirus

What will happen to my booking if there’s a lockdown that effects the College and the course is cancelled?
Our bookings team would get in contact with you as soon as possible and advise on the situation. If we have to cancel a course, as per our terms and conditions, you will be entitled to a full refund. 

Will I be given a safety induction before my course? 
Yes. The tutor will give a course induction once you’ve reached the workshop. Each workshop has its own safe method of working, this is based on equipment, the nature of the course and the facilities in the workshop. Your tutor will explain these as part of the course induction along with other safety matters. 

Have there been adjustments made to teaching? 
To reduce the need for ‘close contact’ in the teaching environment (such as tutor demonstrations) the College has invested in cameras and screens where viable. Other IT driven teaching aids may also be used depending on the subject matter.

Will the class sizes be smaller?
All workshops have been risk assessed and student course numbers reduced accordingly to allow social distancing. 

Has cleaning been increased throughout the building? 
Cleaning and housekeeping staff have received extra training and access to appropriate materials such as cleaning fluids to keep surfaces clean and safe. Workshop and studio spaces are subject to a thorough clean in-between courses. College tools will be quarantined, cleaned and sanitised. Course tutors will be issued with cleaning packs for sanitising shared items such as machines. Hard surfaces particularly in common areas will be regularly sanitised. The regularity of washroom checks and cleaning has also been increased.

If I’m staying at the college, will my room be serviced?
For all courses three days or more we will be offering a service midway through your stay. Please let us know if you would like this upon booking.

What can I expect lunch service to be?
At present students will be seated at individual tables with their choices brought to them. We will endeavour to deliver as wide and varied a choice that is possible and are still catering for dietary needs and allergies. In re-shaping our food services delivery, we aim to maintain the quality of our food. As food legislation is constantly changing we will adapt the service to meet guidelines.  

Will catering times be different? 
You tutor will advise you of your tea breaks and lunch upon the start of the course. 

What should I do if I feel unwell throughout my course? 
Let our friendly duty house officers know at the front desk as soon as possible, and they will be able to assist you with the next steps. 

Are you supporting the Government’s Track and Trace scheme?
Yes. The Government track and trace scheme requires that the names and telephone numbers of visitors are made available to help isolate the spread of Covid-19. If you do not wish your information to be available to the service, please email

Will the craft shop be open?
Yes. In line with how other retail outlets are operating there will be some changes to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. These will be detailed at the course induction. There will also be clear signage and information.

Will the minibus service from Chichester station still be in operation?
Yes we will still be offering this service however face covering must be worn at all time, please contact to book this. 

If I need to book a mobility scooter will this option still be available? 
Yes, we will still be offering this service. If you’d like to request to book one of our mobility scooter please request this at the time of booking. 

Can I get accommodation for my course? 
We will be welcoming back residential students from October once our Autumn Winter courses commence. 

When will the pool reopen? 
This will remain temporarily closed due to the latest government and public body guidelines.

Can I still walk round the Gardens during my visit? 
Yes, we hope you get time to visit the Gardens during your course. As you walk round please be aware of social distancing practices and our one way systems implement in certain areas of the gardens. 

Will the library be open?
Students wishing to use the library should ask at the reception desk for details. 

Will the IT suite be open?
To maintain social distancing the College will be reducing the number of workstations. We will also be introducing regular cleaning and sanitising of the room and equipment.

Will the Bar be open?
The Bar is still closed at present.

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 Short Course 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.

Vouchers are available to buy online and can be used for full or part payment of a Short Course*. Vouchers can also be purchased by calling our bookings team on 01243 818300. You can buy £10, £25, £50 or £100 vouchers. 

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.

* No change is given when paying for a course with gift vouchers.

Buy gift vouchers