Admissions and Applications

West Dean provides a diverse range of study programs. The content on this page is for anyone looking at applying for one of our Degree or Diploma programs. If you are interested in applying for one of our short courses, please head to our Short course page for futher information.

How to apply

1 Choose your course
All the information you need can be found on our course pages.

2 Check the entry requirements
Specific entry requirements can be found on each course page.

3 Check the how to apply section
The application process varies from course to course. Check the details in this section on how to make your application, including any links to application forms.

4 Check the application deadines
If you are applying to one of our MFA, MA, BA, GD or FdA courses, the main application deadline for these is the UCAS equal consideration deadline (usually end of January each year). However, we do accept late applications if there are places available. You can email [email protected] for more information. 

5 Explore the funding options
Head to our Scholarships and Bursaries page for detailed information on the funding opportunities that may be available to help with your study costs.

6 After you apply
The Admissions team will confirm receipt of your application form by email within five working days. The acknowledgement provides information on the next stage of the application process. For any enquiries regarding your application once submitted, please email [email protected].

Submitting an application

When you apply, you will be required to fill out the following information on the application form:

  • Personal details
  • Fee payment information
  • Education and qualifications
  • Information on English language requirements
  • Disability declaration
  • Reasons for wishing to study chosen programme
  • Contact details of two referees

    All applicants need two referees to provide satisfactory references; one of which should be a recent academic reference, if possible.

You will need to supply the following documents with the completed application form:

  • 2 passport size photos
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of qualifications
  • Original transcripts
  • Portfolio of work, where applicable*
  • Example of academic writing, where applicable*

*Please check if this is required on the document checklist on the application form

You can find out more information about the interview process and offers in the Admissions Policy and Procedure document.

Do you need to submit a portfolio to apply for one of our courses? Read our portfolio advice to learn about the general requirements, what we look for in a good portfolio, and what it should reflect.

Admissions FAQs

What does the Equal Consideration deadline of 25 January mean? 

This is the deadline to apply for most courses starting September each year.  You can apply after this date, but your application is not guaranteed to be considered as places may already be full.  

What are the timelines from applying to accepting an offer? 

  1. Apply by the equal consideration deadline, usually end of January each year.  
  2. Applications are looked at once the deadline has passed. 
  3. Interviews are offered late February onwards – this will either be remotely, or at our West Dean/London campus. 
  4. The outcome of the interview will be communicated no later than 10 days after. 
  5. You have approximately 14 days to accept your place once an offer is made. 

More FAQs

What is required in an e-portfolio? 

A portfolio is required to evidence your interest and experience when applying for a Foundation Degree Arts or Conservation Studies course. You can use it to demonstrate experience in your chosen specialism and your manual dexterity, mental agility and problem-solving skills, and can comprise sketches, photos, video evidence of you working with your hands etc. For Foundation Degree Arts courses, if you cannot provide a portfolio don’t worry - the College will provide a practical exercise that can be completed. 

When compiling an e-portfolio for art courses, we ask for 10-20 images of artwork, as well as sketchbooks and journals. The portfolio can be submitted via weblink, PDF, or any image sharing platform. We’d encourage you to select carefully to avoid repetition – consider which aspect of your work would prompt discussion. Ensure documentation is high quality. If you are invited for interview, you are welcome to bring additional images with you – make sure you’re prepared to speak about each image/item in your portfolio! 

What is required in an academic writing sample? 

  • For Foundation courses this may be an A-level essay.  
  • For Graduate Diploma, BA (Hons) and Masters courses this might be a sample of writing from a relevant degree or dissertation. 
  • If you have none of the above, then you can submit your own piece of writing; for example, this could be about an exhibition or an artist. 1 or 2 sides of A4 paper is fine for this. 
  • For applicants to the MA Creative Writing & Publishing, we ask for around 3000 words of prose fiction. 

What happens in a practical test? 

A practical test is required for all Graduate Diploma applicants and for some Foundation Degree applicants when there is no portfolio or additional evidence is required. You are asked to complete a task using workshop tools, so that we can see you have the right level of mental agility and manual dexterity to undertake the practical elements of the course. Full instructions are given for this practical test. 

How many references are required? 

Usually two – ideally an academic and professional one. We do not require a character reference. The purpose is to evidence that you will thrive in a College environment and you have the skills to complete the course. If you have been out of academia for a while, then a professional reference is fine. 

What are the steps for applying for funding? 

  1. Apply for funding after you have sent in an application and ideally once you have been offered a place. 
  2. Refer to our funding page to research all the funding relevant to your course and see what West Dean offers. 
  3. Apply for everything you are eligible for. 
  4. Stick to deadlines – the funding application deadlines are 1 April and 1 August each year. 

Read our Securing funding for your studies 101 blog post for top tips. 

Student transfer arrangements

West Dean has in place arrangements for students wishing to transfer to another course, transfer from another provider to the College or transfer from the College to another provider. Please see our Transfer Arrangements Document for more information.

Accommodation and Living Costs

Full board - full time MA Conservation Studies - 46 weeks
£13,880 per academic year

Full board - full time GD, BA & FdA - 36 weeks
£10,890 per academic year

Room only - full time MA Conservation Studies - 46 weeks
£8,580 per academic year

Room only - full time GD, BA & FdA - 36 weeks
£6,666 per academic year

Lunch - Monday to Friday, full time, day and room only students
£2,630 per academic year (46 weeks)
£2,060 per academic year (36 weeks)

Accommodation and lunch only fees for part-time students are available on request

All fees are payable termly in advance and are reviewed annually.

Read our top tips for budgeting as a student

Read more about accommodation and student life

Term Dates 2023-24

Autumn Term
Monday 25 September to Friday 15 December, 2023

Two week Christmas break

Spring Term
Tuesday 02 January to Friday 22 March, 2024

Three-week Easter break

Summer Term
Monday 15 April to Monday 08 July, 2024

Graduation Day
Saturday 06 July 2024

MA fourth term (Conservation Studies only)
Monday 08 July to Friday 13 September, 2024

Term Dates 2024-25

Induction Week
London courses – Monday 23 September to Wednesday 25 September, 2024

West Dean courses – Wednesday 25 September to Friday 27 September, 2024

Autumn Term
Monday 30 September to Friday 20 December, 2024

Two week Christmas break

Spring Term
Monday 6 January to Friday 28 March, 2025

Three-week Easter break

Summer Term
Tuesday 22 April to Friday 11 July, 2025

West Dean Graduation Day
Saturday 12 July, 2025

London Graduation Day

MA fourth term (Conservation Studies only)
Monday 14 July to Friday 19 September, 2025

Transparency Return

The information published on this page shows:

  • The number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants.
  • The number of offers we have made in relation to those applications.
  • The number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us.
  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • the gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • their ethnicity
  • their socioeconomic background.

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances.


West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is committed to widening access and increasing participation in education in the creative and applied arts in accordance with the original charitable purpose of the College as defined by the College's founder Edward James.

The 1964 deed of trust sets out the charitable purpose of the Foundation as follows, "an educational foundation where creative talents can be discovered and developed, and where one can spread culture through the teaching of crafts and the preservation of knowledge that might otherwise be destroyed or forgotten".

To this day, the Foundation continues Edward James' tradition of supporting emerging artists and crafts people where ever they are from.

Our current vision statement states the following aim,

"To inspire learning in the creative and applied arts through West Dean College - an international centre of teaching excellence, promoting creativity and innovation, and the focus of an extended community of practice in the arts."

Through an improved and developing focus on alumni, employability and a wider advocacy role in relation to the creative and applied arts, the College seeks to maximise its impact. The College actively seeks to recruit students from a range of non-traditional backgrounds into its higher education provision and is committed to developing strategies to support this.

For more information, please see the College's Access and Participation Strategy Statement.
If you have any question about the Transparency Information please contact the Academic Registry [email protected]

Percentage of classified first degrees at grade 2:1 or above by characteristic for 2020-21 qualifiers

Read more

White N/A
EIMD 2019 QUINTILE 1 and 2 N/A
3 to 5 N/A
Male N/A
Other N/A

Table 1a: Percentage of classified first degrees at grade 2:1 or above by characteristic for 2020-21 qualifiers.

view the full transparency return

Detailed information on attainment for 2020-21 qualifiers

Read more


Headcount of classified First Degrees awarded

Percentage of classified First Degrees awarded as first class

Percentage of classified First Degrees awarded as upper second class

Percentage of classified First Degrees awarded as lower second class

Percentage of classified First Degrees awarded as third class / pass

Headcount of unclassified First Degrees awarded

Headcount of other undergraduate awards
Full time Ethnicity BAME N N N N N N/A N
White N N N N


N/A 50
EIMD 2019 Quintile 1 and 2 N N N N N N/A N
3 to 5 N N N N N N/A N
Gender Male N N N N N N/A N
Female N N N N N N/A 50
Other N N N N N N/A N
Part time Ethnicity BAME N N N N N N/A N
White N N N N N N/A N
EIMD 2019 Quintile 1 and 2 N N N N N N/A N
3 to 5 N N N N N N/A N
Gender Male N N N N N N/A N
Female N N N N N N/A 30
Other N N N N N N/A N
Apprenticeships Ethnicity BAME N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
White N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
EIMD Quintile 1 and 2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 to 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gender Male N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Female N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Other N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Table 1b: Detailed information on attainment for 2020-21 qualifiers

View the full transparency return

Access and Participation Strategy Statement

Reference Form (all programmes)