Accommodation and Student Life


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 accommodation facilities for students include several houses all located a short walk from each other. All rooms have en-suite facilities and access to shared common rooms and laundry facilities. The accommodation is a five-minute walk from the main College building.

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.

Forester's 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.

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 and there are supermarkets nearby including Sainsbury's and Lidl.
  • 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 both common rooms.
  • WiFi: wired 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.

For information about accommodation fees and living costs, please go to Admissions and applications.


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 around the beginning of May to the end of September, and two hard tennis courts in the gardens. 

Sports, games and outdoor pursuits

We provide sports equipment to all students, including tennis and badminton rackets, basketballs and a football. Croquet mallets and balls are also popular to play on the croquet lawn in the gardens. 

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 - (We have a National Trust pass for students to visit free)
Arundel -
Bignor Roman Villa -
Goodwood -
Chichester Cathedral -
Chichester Festival Theatre -
Chichester Harbour -
Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre -
Bosham Harbour -
West Witterings -


Our catering team provide all meals in a buffet style in the bright and airy dining room. Students can start the day with a traditional English or continental style breakfast. For lunch and dinner there will be a tempting new menu each day with two seasonal hot dishes, a delicious salad bar and enticing hot and cold puddings, using locally sourced ingredients where possible.

A selection of hot and cold drinks are available to students throughout the day from the College dining room area, where we have recently added a new milk fridge to reduce the use of plastic milk cartons.

Special diets

All lunch and dinner menus include salads and vegetarian options. The kitchen does its best but cannot cater for all specialised diets. Students with special medical or religious dietary concerns should contact our Head Chef before their programme starts.

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 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 overseas 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 3 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. Societies currently include Yoga and Chinese calligraphy.


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 you the following, should you need it:

  • Free one-to-one short-term or long-term counselling, by appointment
  • Weekly drop-in sessions for students wanting to see a Counsellor at short notice and for a short time
  • Mediation between students
  • Consultations with teaching and support staff to support them in their role

Referral and appointments

Appointments are available on Wednesday during term time, either in the afternoon or evening or Students can just drop in. The times and room each week will be posted and a confirmation email will be sent weekly to all students.

Student support services

Study Skills support is available for all our students on Wednesday afternoons in 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.

Accommodation Accreditation

Our student accommodation has been awarded membership of the ANUK/Unipol National Codes for assured accommodation.

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: 08457 484950

Buses and coaches

The College has our own mini bus which takes students into town every Saturday 11am - 3pm. We also run a bus to the station at 3.30pm on Friday and Sunday evenings.

Stagecoach run a regular bus service between Chichester and Midhurst which passes the College gates. The number 60 bus leaves Chichester bus station (opposite Chichester railway station) every half hour Mondays to Saturdays (every hour Sundays and bank holidays). 
Visit for full timetable information.

London Travel information
0207 437 4370

There is a taxi rank at Chichester railway station.

Dunnaways Taxis 
0800 980 0890

Central Taxis 
01243 789 432

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.

Apply now for Degree and Diploma study

Applications open for 2020 entry

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