Student Funding

We know it's not easy funding your studies and we work hard to provide as many opportunities as possible for you to apply for additional support when you're accepted to study for a degree or diploma here.

There are three ways to apply for support:

  1. Apply for a scholarship or bursary that West Dean College awards on behalf of a third party funder. These each have different criteria which is set by the funder so you will need to check if you are eligible using the guidance in the tables below. You should not approach these organisations directly.
  2. Apply to a fund which encourages students to apply directly. Find those you are eligible to apply to, and follow the links to their website to submit your application.
  3. Apply to The Edward James Bursary Fund. This fund is open to anyone who is offered a place to study at West Dean College.

There are also funding opportunities for international students.

"I know that I couldn't have achieved all I have in my time here without the fantastic support I have received from the funding team and the organisations that have helped fund my studies. To have been awarded a scholarship from the Sidney Sanders Charitable Trust has taken the financial stress away from studying and has allowed me to make the most of my time at West Dean College."
Dale Sardeson, MA Conservation Studies, specialising in Clocks

Conservation scholarships and bursaries 2020-21

Scholarships Books Ceramics Clocks Furniture Metalwork CCCM
Worshipful Company of Cutlers Langdon Dowsett Scholarship £500                  
The South Square Trust £12,000 (for up to two students)                  
Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers £1,000                    
Britain Australia Society Trust Endeavour Award (for an Australian student) £10,000  


Bursaries Books Ceramics Clocks Furniture Metalwork CCCM
The Skinners' Company, Lawrence Atwell's Charity Awards for Excellence £15,000 (for up to three students age 28 and under)
The Stationers Foundation £6,000
(for applicants aged 30 and under)
The Horology Bursary Up to £20,000                   
Edward James Foundation Bursary Fund Based on individual need


Read the full scholarship and funding information for 2020-21

Arts scholarships and bursaries 2020-21

Scholarships Historic Craft Practices FDAD DACC Fine Art Creative Writing and Publishing
Clocks Furniture Metalwork Musical Instruments
  Value FdA FdA FdA FdA     GD MA MA
Worshipful Company of Cutlers Langdon Dowsett £500                
The South Square Trust £12,000 (for up to two students)                

Britain Australia Society Trust Endeavour Award (for an Australian student)



Bursaries Historic Craft Practices FDAD DACC Fine Art Creative Writing and Publishing
Clocks Furniture Metalwork Musical Instruments
  Value FdA FdA FdA FdA     GD MA MA
The Horology Bursary Up to £20,000                
Derek Hill Foundation £3,000 (up to three students)              
The Skinners' Company, Lawrence Atwell's Charity Awards For Excellence £15,000 (up to three students)          
Frances Lowe Bursary TBC              
Edward James Foundation Based on individual need
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Bursary Up to £2,000                
Read the full scholarship and funding information for 2020-21

Short Course Student Bursaries

Several bursaries are available to support students who would like to develop their creative skills on a short course, but are unable to afford the full fees. As well as short courses, specialist bursaries are also available for help with study on conservation short courses, music summer schools, textiles courses, and the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Find out more about short course bursaries

Funding for International Students

If you are looking to find help with funding your studies in the UK it is a good idea to send out funding applications as soon as possible. It may be more difficult to make arrangements for financial support once you have left your own country.

If you are applying from Australia, note the BASET Endeavour Award in the tables above.

You can also enquire with your own Ministry or Department of Education, as they may have details of scholarship opportunities for students wishing to study overseas.

The British Council can provide you with a basic guide for possible sources of funding for international students who want to study in the UK.

Council for International Student Affairs provides guidance for international students looking for loans, welfare benefits and scholarships.

See also:

The Anglo-Danish Society 

Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund

Commonwealth Scholarships

The Elizabeth Greenshields Award

Britain Australia Society Education Trust

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship

The George Alexander Foundation Scholarship

Download the bursary application form for international students

Other Sources of Funding

There are a number of further funders who share our passion for conservation and creativity. Students should apply to these funders directly:

School of Conservation

The Anna Plowden Trust offers bursaries towards the fees for attending a full-time UK training course in the conservation of the movable heritage, such as paintings, textiles, archaeological objects. It also offers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Grants to enable practising conservators to take advantage of CPD opportunities by contributing towards the cost of short courses and attending conferences. The Trust does not offer bursaries or grants for courses on the conservation of the built heritage.

Sussex Heritage Trust Bursary Scheme is 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. 

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) funds the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-on-one training with masters.

The Furniture Makers's Company provide bursaries to MA students on a furniture related course. For more information, email

The George Daniels' Educational Trust aims to encourage and financially assist students with grants and bursaries for training in all aspects of horology.

The Stationers' Company offers a number of scholarships and awards to those whose courses relate to the Communications and Content industries.

York Foundation for Conservation and Craftsmanship bursaries are available to craftspeople and conservators who would like assistance to further their skills and knowledge as well as to organisations who would like to take on trainees.

The Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship is a charity giving financial help to individual students and apprentices to broaden their understanding of conservation worldwide. The students travel to relevant countries of interest, studying regional heritage craft and conservation techniques, and bring these skills back to the UK. 

School of Arts

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) as above, makes awards to craftsmen and women of all ages to help them further their careers.

The Eaton Fund provides funding for artists (not performing) e.g. painters, potters, sculptors and photographers. Funding given for materials and equipment.

RAB Trust (Rowan Armour-Brown) offers a number of annual awards to students of violin making at UK Colleges. Their financial grants typically help to fund the purchase of woods or tools, or underwrite the cost of a specific project. The Trust does not cover tuition fees or normal living expenses. 

The Terence Pamplin Award is made every other year to encourage excellence in research in organology (the science and history of the development and construction of all acoustic musical instruments and their use) and musicology as it links to acoustic music instrument technology. It consists of a cheque and certificate confirming the award. The next Award will be made in 2021.

The Textile Society  is committed to supporting and developing the study of textiles in the UK and awards bursaries supporting internships or apprenticeships and BA or MA final year projects or dissertations. Students undertaking any UK educational textile/fashion or related course are eligible.

The following websites may also be useful when searching for funding:

Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education offers education awards to women.

Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services (ELCAS) is the MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC), an initiative to promote lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The ELC scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an approved supplier (ELC no. 3280). Up to £2,000 per ELC claim available.

Student Cashpoint has information and advice about budgeting and applying for funding.

Turn 2 Us provides information and advice about grants and benefits.

Student Loans

If you are a UK/EU student applying for the Foundation Degree or a Graduate Diploma you may be eligible to apply for a Student Loan (tuition fees and/or maintenance loans) from the Student Loans Company as long as you haven't previously received a Student Loan. Visit GOV.UK Student finance.

Postgraduate loans: If you are a UK/EU student you may be able to get a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 to help with postgraduate course fees and living costs. Visit GOV.UK Funding for postgraduate study.

Please note that the availability of all student funding is subject to annual approval in line with the conditions for course designation set by the Department for Education.

Helpful tips for applying for funding

  • Identify a list of potential funders who are interested in your area of work and whose criteria you meet. Funds are competitive so you should apply to as many of them as possible.
  • Read the guidance carefully and provide all the information they require. Submit your application in good time before any deadline.
  • Where requested, provide clear information about your financial need. Most funders want to be sure that you need their support and to see what effort you have made to raise at least part of the cost of your fees yourself. This underlines your commitment to your studies.
  • Make it easy for the funder to get to know you in your personal statement. It's you they will be investing in, so let them get to know about you, your passions and your goals and ambitions.
  • Your application must be typed, the Grants Committee cannot accept handwritten forms.
  • Always proof-read and spell-check your application!

Apply for funding at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation by downloading the completed form/s. Once completed, send to Charlotte Pede, Admissions Officer, e-mail

Student Experiences

"Studying a second year at West Dean would not have been possible without the funding I have received, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my funders […] the backing you provide makes a real impact. Being able to study conservation full time for two years before working means that knowledge and skills which may be very time intensive to acquire, can be learnt and honed without the worry of also trying to make sure they are being practiced in a profitable way at the same time."
Kate (MA Conservation Studies)

"The funding that has [been] provided has been such an extraordinary gift. To help enable someone to study, and practice something that they love, [is] lighting the way to […] a future career that couldn't be seen before."
Jane (Fine Art)

Apply now for Degree and Diploma study

Applications open for 2020 entry

Register for Open Day now.


Find out about funding opportunities