West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies, specialising in Clocks 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 offers you the opportunity to develop the skills and competences to work towards becoming a professional horologist or horological conservator, or to undertake further professional development in horology. You will learn professional standards of conservation practice as you develop practical, theoretical and professional conservation skills. The course provides a context for the analysis, assessment and treatment of historic objects.

You can expect

To develop excellent practical skills establishing and developing hand and machine tool skills
To learn the principles and techniques of historical horological manufacture and repair
To work on historic objects

Learning environment

High tutor: student ratio
Workshop access 8.30am-10pm, 7 days a week
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

Exceptional facilities

You will work in our specialist clocks workshop equipped with a professional standard range of hand and machine tools for the production and treatment of clocks. Facilities include:

Individual work benches for each student
Access to the full range of metalworking and woodworking facilities in the adjacent departments
Digital photography facilities for the production of photographic records and documentation
Area for cleaning and testing completed work
IT suite with specialist databases
On-site Art and Conservation Library with thousands of specialist books and journals


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.

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 code GCL1
Institution code W31
Campus name West Dean College
Campus code -

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further 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

Channel Islands £12,690 Whole course
EU £12,690 Whole course
International £12,690 Whole course
England £12,690 Whole course
Northern Ireland £12,690 Whole course
Scotland £12,690 Whole course
Wales £12,690 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

Provider information

Visit our website

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation
West Dean
PO18 0QZ

Course contact details

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Main Contact