Accommodation and Student Life

If you choose to live on campus, accommodation includes purpose-built student lodgings and refurbished houses, all within a five minute walk of each other and the College.

The College is within walking distance of several country pubs and the Georgian city of Chichester is a short drive or bus ride. West Dean Stores, the local village shop has all your daily essentials, and for larger weekly shops there is a choice of supermarkets in Chichester.


Full-time residential students are accommodated in furnished single bedrooms with en-suite facilities. The rooms all have their own desk, storage facilities for clothes and a large pinboard.

The Dower House is a beautiful 19th-century two-storey building, steeped in history and surrounded by a maintained grass area. It holds 15 bedrooms and a large entrance hall leading to the common room and contains its own laundry room.

Peachey House is a modern two-storey development, containing ten good sized bedrooms with access to a common room and kitchen facilities. It also has a large laundry room which is shared with the Stables and Church Lane House.

The Stables is a welcoming two-storey building, wholly refurbished in 2018, with a well equipped communal kitchen/common room.

Church Lane House is a two-storey development with 12 bedrooms. It shares its common room and kitchen with Peachey House.

Foresters Cottage is one of the newest renovations, consisting of an impressive original exterior with a modernised interior. It contains five bedrooms, a large common room, a well-equipped kitchen area and its own laundry area. Outside is a moderately-sized grass area with a set of table and chairs.

Ivy Cottage is one of our latest renovations. A characterful property wholly refurbished in 2018 it now comprises nine bedrooms, a well equipped kitchen, common room and laundry room. This building is nestled behind the Walled Kitchen Gardens with an enclosed private garden for students to enjoy during the warmer months.

Useful information

Sheets, blankets and towels are provided by the college, however, you can also bring your own. Laundry facilities are provided for all residential students and can be used from 7am to 10pm each day.

Kitchens in residential accommodation are fully stocked but you may want to bring a mug, plate, bowl and kettle for your room. All meals are included for residential students on full board accommodation. If you are paying for accommodation only, breakfast and dinner can be bought on an ad-hoc basis. Food can be purchased in Chichester, where you can find a range of supermarket chains and independent food shops. Most supermarkets will deliver to your accommodation.

TV: all rooms are equipped with a TV aerial. If you are planning to bring a TV, please make sure you apply for a TV licence. TVs are provided in common rooms.

WiFi: Wireless internet connections are provided in all student accommodation. Internet access is monitored and a 'fair usage cap' is in place to ensure that the bandwidth is evenly shared. Computers are available in the IT suite in the main college.

Furniture: students should not bring any big furniture pieces but you are welcome to bring smaller items that will make your room more homely, such as posters and pictures.

Heating and hot water: all of the heating and hot water needs of the College and student accommodation are met entirely by our biomass heating system which uses wood fuel sustainably sourced within four miles.

Accommodation and living costs
Food Hall. West Dean College. Image by Chris Ison


Many students choose full board accommodation, with all meals served in the College dining room. If you choose to stay on a room-only basis, shared student kitchens are fully equipped and food can be purchased at the West Dean Village Shop or in nearby supermarkets in Chichester. Part-time students also have the option of having lunch on campus. See our living costs for more information.

The catering team offer a menu based on our values of wholesome, sustainable, local. We provide a plated service with a selection of meals, including non gluten containing and vegan options. Students can start the day with tempting hot and cold options for breakfast as well as a continental selection. There is a new menu each day, for lunch and dinner there will always be a selection of hot meals, plated fresh salads, hot and cold desserts. Where possible we use local ingredients, including venison from the Estate, vegetables fresh from the gardens and local artisan producers.

As well as using local suppliers we have also implemented a food waste system, which is turned into renewable energy and bio-compost, we have reduced the amount of plastic packaging from our suppliers and are continually working on ways to improve sustainability.

Hot and cold drinks are available to students throughout the day from the atrium where we have added a milk fridge to reduce the use of plastic milk cartons, alternative milks are also available.

Special diets

Students with special medical or religious dietary concerns should contact our Head Chef before their programme starts.

Accommodation Accreditation

We know how important it is to have a safe, comfortable living space while studying. We also know that it can be daunting process when moving away from home. That's why all annexes of our halls of residence are accredited by ANUK/Unipol National Codes for assured accommodation. 

What do these codes mean? They protect your rights and allow you to have peace of mind that a management team are in place to support you throughout your studies. The codes include:

  • a healthy, safe environment
  • timely repairs and maintenance
  • a clean, pleasant living environment
  • a formal, contractual relationship with your landlord
  • access to health and wellbeing services
  • a living environment free from anti-social behaviour

Read more about the ANUK/Unipol National Codes.


Steward's Bar

Our Steward's Bar with friendly staff is open every evening for students to unwind and socialise.

Other relaxation and study areas

Other facilities in the main house include the Oak Hall, with a large fireplace where students can relax with a book or go for a quiet chat with friends. The extensive library is available for students' use seven days a week along with the IT suite.

Swimming pool

Students have free access to our heated open-air swimming pool at the Vicarage, from the 4th May to the end of September, and two hard tennis courts in the gardens. 

Sports, games and outdoor pursuits

We provide a range of sports equipment to all students. 

Students also have the opportunity to use our extensive 6,000-acre grounds and award-winning gardens.

Enjoy windsurfing at West Wittering and dinghy sailing from Chichester Marina and other local clubs. Local tennis clubs include Chichester Lawn and Squash club. Students keen on athletics should contact David Dorning, who will introduce them to the local athletics club and can provide information on running routes.

Cycling and walking

The Centurion Way, a former railway line, is a seven-mile route for cyclists and pedestrians. Starting in West Dean village, by the A286, it ends in Westgate, Chichester, where it joins the South Coast cycle route. There are also many beautiful walks both on the West Dean Estate and within the wider South Downs National Park.

Outdoor Theatre

The Pergola Theatre performs outdoors in West Dean Gardens for two weeks every year.

Things to do and places to go

Weald & Downland Museum -
Pallant House Gallery -
National Trust - 
Arundel -
Bignor Roman Villa -
Goodwood -
Chichester Cathedral -
Chichester Festival Theatre -
Chichester Harbour -
Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre -
Bosham Harbour -
West Witterings -

Student on watercolour course with tutor Brian Smith at West Dean College

Short courses

Students can choose from a variety of short courses in art, photography, craft, food, gardening, music and much more, run by the College throughout the year.

If there are short courses places available at weekends during term time, students are encouraged to attend free of charge, just paying for material costs. Learn more about short courses.

Student Welcome Team

Located at the front of the College, available for general day-to-day queries about campus and estate facilities. On site 24 hours a day, and are always available for any emergencies, or general out of hours enquiries.

Student Services Team 

Dedicated team responsible for student services for residential and day students. First point of contact for all questions or concerns unrelated to your studies. Service support includes maintenance and repairs, cleaning and supplies, catering questions, allocations, complaints.  

Student Association

The Student Association is run by students for students. To ensure the student community has representation at the College and to organise events and social activities for students.

The Student President oversees the running of the Student Association along with the programme representatives and sub-committees.

Student Representatives include: Programme representatives, Welfare, International, Events and IT.

All full time students are automatically part of the Student Association.

A Student Forum meeting is held every term and is a chance for students to discuss any concerns and ideas. The meeting is for the programme student representatives and sub-committees. The forum is chaired by the Student President.

The Forum is for discussion of all academic and non-academic issues relating to the overall student experience, including services and resources provided to support the student body. It provides a direct link between students' views and the College's decision-making processes, and to advise the Director of Education on the strategic direction of student support. Students can make recommendations to enhance the student experience and to ensure that students are aware of actions being taken. The forum contributes to the development of the student community by initiating and organising social events, clubs and other activities


Students are welcome to set up their own clubs or societies. There must be three students or more involved. A form must be filled out and returned to the Student President. Finance can be granted to fund part of the society on the President's approval. Previous societies have included yoga, Chinese calligraphy, book binding and environmentalism.


Student representatives organise official events including the Christmas party and Graduation party. Previous events have included a fancy dress Halloween party and pumpkin carving competition, Thanksgiving dinner, quiz night and pizza night. Events can include student parties, trips out and open workshops/studios.

Student Support


We are very committed to providing you with the support you need to achieve a successful student life at West Dean College. We understand that your mental health and wellbeing are very important to your success.

Service aims

The Counselling Service at West Dean aims to offer the following:

  • Regular, professional and relevant counselling to students.
  • Routes to good mental health and wellbeing resources to support the College’s community.
  • Meetings with students and staff across the College to establish what is needed from a counselling provision.
  • Developing creative, healthy and innovative approaches to counselling that complement our unique and specialist environment.

Read tips for looking after your mental health here.

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, we share tips for managing feelings of loneliness.

Referral and appointments

Appointments are available two days per week throughout the year. Currently appointments are held on Mondays and Wednesdays. Afternoon and early evening sessions are available to accommodate your timetables.

Student support services

Study Skills support is available for all our students during term time. These sessions will mostly be on a one-to-one basis so that we will be able to focus on individual areas with which you would like some help. Support includes: general study skills, language support, research and reading and writing skills.

Registry Office

Our registry office is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm to help with students' academic queries.

Student Welcome Team

Located at the front of the College, available for general day-to-day queries about campus and estate facilities. On site 24 hours a day, and are always available for any emergencies, or general out of hours enquiries.

Student Services Team 

Dedicated team responsible for student services for residential and day students. First point of contact for all questions or concerns unrelated to your studies. Service support includes maintenance and repairs, cleaning and supplies, catering questions, allocations, complaints.

Student Resources

This section is for current students and staff at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. To view the links below you will need a West Dean College login and password.

Canvas VLE
Access to the programme resources and calendars.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation Library
Access to the College library online catalogue.
Login using your reader code to view your current items on loan.

Student Email and Storage 
Access to student email and OneDrive storage.

Please contact the Registry Office for further information 01243 818291

If you have any technical issues with these resources, or your College login and password please contact the IT Department by calling 01243 818297.

Transport and Travel

Transport and Travel

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is 6 miles north of Chichester and 6 miles south of Midhurst on the A286. We are only 12 miles from the coast and a 30 minute car journey from Portsmouth cross-channel ferries. There is easy road access to London (65 miles) and Heathrow and Gatwick.

Students are welcome to keep cars at the College.

Bicycles are useful for students to have to get around the local area. Bike racks are available outside the annex accommodation and around the main college building.


A regular train service runs between Chichester and London, Victoria Station. There is a fast rail service from London Waterloo to Haslemere, only a 25 minute taxi journey away.
National rail enquiries: 03457 484950

Buses and coaches

There is a free mini bus service from the college to Chichester train station at 3:40pm on Fridays and Sundays. Spaces can be booked at the Student Welcome desk.

Stagecoach run a regular bus service between Chichester and Midhurst which passes the College gates. The nearest bus stop to get off for West Dean College is The Selsey Arms; the College is a short walk up the road. The number 60 bus leaves Chichester, Westgate every half hour Mondays to Saturdays (every hour Sundays and bank holidays). 
Visit for full timetable information.

London Travel information

There is a taxi rank at Chichester railway station.

Central Cars
01243 789432

Starline Taxis 
01243 531666

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