West Dean College

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Sussex

Conservation Studies, specialising in Furniture and Related Objects

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Study at a specialist college with the assurance of a university qualification. Develop your passions and reach your potential in a small, welcoming environment within a community of like-minded people. Why choose West Dean? An international reputation for excellence in conservation and arts education 94% of students studying at the College* felt the programme had enhanced their skills and abilities (*2019 student survey) A rich arts environment and a focus on craft skills with vocational application Be inspired by the unique historic character and beautiful South Downs setting Located close to Chichester and the South Coast, with easy access to London The Course There is significant emphasis placed on developing hand skills through practical work. Your application of treatments to historic objects will be underpinned through understanding both structural and decorative materials, their properties, identification, degradation and stabilisation. Learn about interventive treatment, structural and surface stabilisation, cleaning, consolidation, restoration of losses, materials and techniques, theory and practice. Develop an understanding and appreciation of the history and cultural context of furniture and related objects and the architectural interiors they were created to be part of. Study wood and other decorative art materials associated with furniture including surface coatings: transparent, gilded, painted or lacquered. You can expect To develop excellent practical skills To learn historic making techniques To study preventative conservation Learning environment Well-equipped workshop with access 8.30am-9pm, 7 days a week Individual work benches for each student Dedicated finishing area and separate machine shop High tutor: student ratio Interdisciplinary environment Teaches students to understand and apply Icon's Professional Standards in Conservation Visits from specialists from the heritage and private sectors Visits to museums and active links with heritage bodies Work placement in a professional studio Exceptional facilities The specialist furniture workshop is equipped with a full range of power and hand tools and individual work spaces for each student. There is a dedicated finishing area, and a separate machine shop. You will also have access to facilities shared with other departments, including: Analytical laboratory Photography space IT suite with specialist databases On-site Art and Conservation Library with thousands of specialist books and journals Teaching On the Graduate Diploma you typically have around 24 contact hours per week. Independent learning When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study for approximately 13-14 hours per week. Typically, this will involve: Reading journal articles and books Working on individual and group projects Undertaking research in the library Preparing coursework assignments and presentations Overall workload Graduate Diploma: 60% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity Scheduled teaching and learning: 720 hours Independent learning: 480 hours


Unit G1A Introducing Professional Practice, Unit G1B Introducing Conservation Science, Unit G1C Contextual and Professional Studies 1, Unit G2A Developing Professional Practice, Unit G2B Conservation Science: Development and Applications, Unit G2C Contextual and Professional Studies 2, Unit G3A Research Through Practice. Modules correct at October 2019, they may be subject to change.

How to apply

Application codes

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West Dean College
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

The Graduate Diploma is accessible to students from both humanities and science backgrounds. You need to have a degree or qualification at equivalent level to a second year of undergraduate study, e.g. HND, FdA, DipHE. Alternatively, accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will be considered for those who have been out of formal education for some years and are over 21, who do not meet the general (minimum) entrance requirements, but who can demonstrate their capacity for degree-level work in other ways.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course


Additional entry requirements



Applicants should provide a digital portfolio.


Applicants are to participate in a practical test day.

English language requirements

International students will require English language CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.

Find out more about the English language requirements at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £13320 Whole course
EU £13320 Whole course
International £13320 Whole course
England £13320 Whole course
Northern Ireland £13320 Whole course
Scotland £13320 Whole course
Wales £13320 Whole course
Channel Islands £13320 Whole course

Additional fee information

Course fees are the same for UK and international students. Included is mandatory study trip costs of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study. Lunch, accommodation and other living expenses are additional. To find out more visit: https://www.westdean.ac.uk/degrees-and-diplomas/admissions#living-costs

Sponsorship information

Funding opportunities are available to students applying to study at West Dean and we encourage students to explore funding options. In 2019 up to 60% of students received bursary/scholarship support. For more information visit: https://www.westdean.ac.uk/degrees-and-diplomas/funding

Conservation Studies, specialising in Furniture and Related Objects at West Dean College - UCAS