Information about coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated 3 April 2020

I hope that you are keeping safe and well during this challenging time. As the situation continues, I will be providing regular updates here.

Until we can welcome you back into the workshops and studios in person, we hope that you will connect with us on social media @westdeancollege where, throughout the week, we are sharing project updates from students as well as short film clips from some of our tutors to keep you inspired.

Following is the current status for each area of activity:

Accredited courses

  • All face to face teaching was suspended from 17 March and increased use of the VLE and remote tutorial support was introduced the following week;
  • We are currently finalising arrangements for online delivery to, and assessment of, students during next term. We will be in contact with students about the detail of these arrangements by Easter;
  • The small number of students who have been unable to return home are being accommodated on the campus.

Short Courses

  • Short courses are currently suspended to 18 May, at the earliest. We will continue to review and update the earliest restart date on a rolling basis;
  • Those who have booked on courses during this period, or beyond, are being encouraged to transfer to a future course with an enhanced credit;
  • You can find our new series of bite-sized free online tutor videos on our social media and YouTube channels – new content is going up throughout the week to help keep you inspired.


  • The Gardens, including the Shop, Restaurant and Gardener’s Cottage, remain closed to the public until further notice.

    West Dean Stores
  • The College plays an important role within its immediate community and we continue to operate West Dean Stores;
  • We have changed to cashless operation and we have introduced a delivery service to support our tenants and neighbours.

Conferences, B&B and weddings

  • No new bookings are being taken until further notice;
  • We will continue to review and update you with the earliest restart date on a rolling basis.

    Thank you on behalf of the entire team across the organisation for your continued support. Stay well and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Alexander Barron ACA FRSA
Chief Executive

For health advice, please visit the NHS
For the government's response please see Public Health England advice Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest PHE information and advice

Open Day

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is internationally recognised for conservation and arts education. Book your place at our next open day and see for yourself why 97% of students would recommend studying here. A visit to the College is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the course you are interested in, meet the tutors and see the workshops, chat to other students and find out about funding opportunities. 

Find out more and register

A Unique Historic Venue

Host your executive meeting, conference, product launch or away day in one of our beautiful state rooms rich in arts history. Whether you are planning a meeting for six or a reception for 100 delegates, let the creative atmosphere inspire your guests. 

Find out more about private dining events, special birthday or anniversary celebrations, in historic characterful rooms. Mouth-watering menus are prepared using fresh and local ingredients where possible, with wines chosen to complement your menu.

Relax and unwind in the beautiful location, staying with us as a B&B guest. Enjoy the stunning views, walks and access to West Dean Gardens.

Find out more


Escape the everyday

Come to a concert, attend a free artist or author talk or be inspired by one of our partner events.


View the complete event calendar

Upcoming events

The Chilingirian Quartet Concert
Saturday 18 April, 8pm
Fine Art Talk - Coco Crampton
Wednesday 29 April, 5:30-7pm

West Dean Gardens

Explore one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public in England. Wander through the 300ft long pergola, the restored sunken garden, walled kitchen garden and impressive collection of Victorian glasshouses, or enjoy a parkland walk with views over the South Downs.

Complete your visit with a delicious lunch or afternoon tea in the Gardens Restaurant, which has Visit England Quality Assured status, and explore the shop for unique seasonal gifts and plants.

For a stunning wedding reception venue, look no further than West Dean Gardens. Marquee/tipi receptions for up to 200 guests are held on the picnic lawn or front lawn and the features of the Gardens offer idyllic photo opportunities.

Family-friendly and dog-friendly events are held in the Gardens throughout the year - take a look at the Gardens Events Calendar and book online.

Find out more about visiting West Dean Gardens

Help preserve our future

West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

Find out how you can help support us