Where makers make progress
From conservation to art and design, our full and part-time degree and diploma courses help you turn an interest into a skill and an ambition into a career. Study in well-equipped workshops where the small class sizes mean you get even more time with experienced tutors. Places are limited, but the possibilities are endless.
West Dean College has an international reputation for excellence in practice-based education across its three academic Schools, Arts, Conservation and Design. Validated by the University of Sussex, our courses include Foundation Diplomas, Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters Degrees, all with a strong practical as well as academic focus. Subjects include craft practice, fine arts, creative writing, interior design and conservation alongside over 600 short courses between our two campuses and online. Our students work with the College’s unique resources and networks across the heritage, design and arts sectors, benefitting from opportunities for live projects, placements, exhibitions and research. Graduates have gone on to work with some of the world’s most acclaimed museums, collections and designers, with many becoming leading practitioners in their own right.
We are a relatively small learning community with opportunities to work individually or collaboratively but most of all our scale means we can support your individuality, enabling you to develop your passion and fulfil your potential within a community of like-minded people.
The benefits of choosing West Dean include studying at a small specialist college with low student staff ratios, and passionate tutors at high-quality facilities. Our students have extended access to workshops and studios seven days a week from 8.30am to 9pm.
The College and location
The College was founded in 1971, by poet and patron of the arts, Edward James and is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust set up to promote education in the arts and crafts. Many students benefit from bursary and scholarship funding.
The Schools of Arts and Conservation are based at the West Dean campus between Chichester and Midhurst, nestled in the beautiful South Downs, within the historic West Dean House. The West Dean campus is based between Chichester and Midhurst, nestled in the beautiful South Downs. Less than half an hour from the stunning Wittering beaches and coastline, an area of outstanding natural beauty, there is also easy access to London and nearby Brighton. Chichester and Midhurst are known for their thriving arts scene with independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
In 2021 West Dean merged with KLC School of Design offering high-level skills for successful careers in arts, design, craft and conservation.
KLC School of Design
KLC School of Design is based at the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour in London, with the campus comprising teaching studios and spaces, set within the heart of the professional interior design community. A leading provider of specialist vocational design education with close industry links, students are offered flexible and innovative ways in which they can launch their careers in interior or garden design. The current portfolio comprises full time, part time and online programmes including Bachelors Degrees, HE Diplomas, Diplomas and Certificates.
College alumni have gone on to work with some of the world’s most acclaimed museums, collections, and designers, with many exhibiting their art internationally and becoming top designers in their own right.
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Images by Thom Atkinson