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Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies, specialising in Books and Library Materials

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Sussex

Course options

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 College of Arts and Conservation? 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 The Graduate Diploma provides the theoretical and practical knowledge and experience necessary to start your career as a conservator and to begin to develop an area of specialisation. The programme is designed to be accessible from both the humanities and science study backgrounds and has an international reputation for developing book conservation skills. Learn how to assess and record the condition of books to produce a complete record of work. Develop a repertoire of conservation treatments for books ranging from simple enclosure, to repair and reinstatement of the parts. You can expect To develop excellent practical skills To study the history of papermaking, materials science, storage and environmental issues, leather and image materials To perform historical research and interpretation of the objects you work on To work with materials from library and archive collections Learning environment High tutor: student ratio Well-equipped workshops Workshop access 8.30am-10pm, 7 days a week Individual work bench for each student Visiting lecturers and group visits to collections, studios and workshops Interdisciplinary environment Teaches students to understand and apply Icon's Professional Standards in Conservation visits to collections Exceptional facilities You will work in a purpose-built space for book conservation with two workshops as well as a bindery with individual student work benches and a demonstration bench. The bindery is fully equipped with sewing and forwarding equipment, board chopper, light boxes, finishing room and science lab. Students each have their own benches with storage and can access the studio from 8.30am to 10pm, allowing you to take full advantage of your time at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. You will also have access to facilities shared with other departments, including: New 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

Course details


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.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

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

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeGBO1
Institution code W31
Campus nameWest Dean College
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information

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 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.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £12690 Whole course
International £12690 Whole course
England £12690 Whole course
Northern Ireland £12690 Whole course
Scotland £12690 Whole course
Wales £12690 Whole course
Channel Islands £12690 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.org.uk/study/student-information/admissions#living-costs

Sponsorship information

Funding opportunities are available to students applying to study at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation 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.org.uk/study/student-information/funding

Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies, specialising in Books and Library Materials at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation - UCAS