Apply now: Visual Arts programmes

West Dean College is still open for applications for full-time Visual Arts programmes. See below for more information on the various levels of study and details on how to apply.

Positioned within the School of Creative Arts at West Dean College, the range of diploma and postgraduate degree programmes in Visual Arts support creative specialisation - in such areas as Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Tapestry and Textiles - as well as interdisciplinary practice. The programmes offer a unique opportunity to study in an environment informed by the rich cultural history of West Dean, supporting skills-based making not only through collaboration with associated activities in the School of Conservation and an extensive provision of Short Courses, but also the legacy of its founder, Edward James, renowned for his support of individual artists and avant-garde collaborations in a variety of creative fields.

The Visual Arts programmes emphasise practical, studio-based skills during the academic year, always underpinned by theoretical research, contextual study and professional development. All Visual Arts students are provided with large individual studio spaces, access to excellent technical facilities and support, as well as various opportunities for public exhibition, in many cases making use of the historic West Dean House and Estate. The renowned West Dean Collection and Archive, holding innumerable cultural treasures associated with Edward James, for research-led and site-specific work.

The goal of the Visual Arts programmes is to support the development of an informed and sustainable creative practice for each student, encouraging a broad variety of practical and applied skills in order to better prepare graduates to be the artists they want to be. In making combining the beautiful setting of West Dean with cutting edge resources, together with unique historical legacy connections to the creative arts - from Surrealism to ballet, from West Sussex to Mexico - we hope to train individuals to develop unique perspectives on how contemporary art is informed by a vast history of tradition and skill, there to be reinterpreted and made new.

For further information and application forms, please follow the links to programme-specific pages on the West Dean website:

MFA (Master of Fine Arts) (2 year)

MA (Visual Arts) (1 year)

Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts (1 year)

Graduate Diploma Visual Arts (1 year)

All the above programmes are validated by West Dean's partner institution: