BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place runs 2-4 years (part-time) consisting of 10 three-day study blocks per academic year + online tutorials support. Learn more about the course structure, delivery and entry requirements.
Course structure and delivery
The BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft explores the rich intersections between Fine Art practice and contemporary craft, offering you the opportunity to develop material knowledge whilst exploring new and innovative approaches to studio practice.
The course uniquely honours conceptual and material approaches, embracing traditional techniques and experimentation, enabling you to gain an advanced, in-depth understanding of your work and its related contexts. As well as celebrating interdisciplinary approaches to making, the programme teaches an integrated approach to art and craft theory, enabling you to explore ideas within a critical framework whilst generating a rigorous professional profile.
You can work across disciplines or choose to specialise in a set of key practices, including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramics, Textiles, subjects that have a longstanding history at West Dean College. The outstanding location and rich cultural heritage of West Dean is a central feature of the programme, offering a unique setting in which to explore the crossovers between contemporary art and craft, and the role of the radical imagination in both local and global contexts.
Within the programme, students can opt to undertake the following qualifications: Certificate of Higher Education and the Diploma of Higher Education. Please get in touch to discuss options and find out which programme of study is right for you.
The curriculum is delivered through 10 three-day intensive blocks of study taken each year, attendance of short courses, and monthly tutorials with specialist tutors. Course modules cover a programme of critical, practical and theoretical studies across the broad field of contemporary arts and crafts. Visiting teaching staff from different specialisms will support you in the development of your skills. Residential modules are supported by self-directed study offsite, and written assignments.
Practical (70% of the course)
- You will attend a wide range of workshops, developing both material and contextual knowledge
- We’ll set projects that provide unique opportunity to work with the location and legacy of West Dean
- Your work will become increasing more self-directed as you move through the programme, and you’ll graduate with an independent studio practice
- You’ll receive access to six-days of the West Dean short course programme per year to help you further advance your skills
Theoretical (20% of the course)
- You will gain advanced knowledge of relevant historical and theoretical contexts to inform the development of your creative practice
- You’ll receive guidance on essay writing from academic staff and dedicated support tutors
Professional (10% of the course)
- You’ll have opportunities to display work in various contexts
- You’ll learn how you communicate your work to a range of audiences
- We’ll provide guidance on a range professional practice opportunities
- You’ll have access to a range of artists talks and the College’s residency programme
- We’ll support the development of transferable skills such as self-management, communication, collaboration, digital technology, and research skills
On the BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft you will receive around 21 contact hours during the study blocks, typically consisting of:
- 2 hours of lectures
- 5 hours of seminars
- 1 hours of one-to-one or group tutorials
- 6 hours of critique sessions or external visits
- 7 hours of practical workshops
Outside of the study blocks you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-directed study. Typically, this will involve:
- working in your studio, or equivalent
- developing supporting material and research portfolios
- undertaking research
- reading journal articles and books
- working on specific unit assignments
- preparing presentations and self-assessments
Overall workload per year
BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: 40% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 250 hours
Independent learning: 350 hours
Course structure for HE Diploma and HE Certificate
HE Diploma Art & Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making And Place
Duration: 2-4 years (part-time) consisting of 10 three-day study blocks per academic year + online tutorials support.
The HE Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft celebrates the unique setting of West Dean, with materials workshops designed to engage with the landscape, as well as a broader engagement with place in contemporary art and craft practice. The programme will advance your engagement with project-based activity and support you to move toward self-directed study.
The outstanding location and rich cultural heritage of West Dean is a central feature of the programme, offering a unique setting in which to explore the crossovers between contemporary art and craft, landscape, place, and socially engaged practice.
On completion, students can either select to receive a Diploma of Higher Education or progress on to the BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft, or the one year full-time Graduate Diploma programme.
HE Certificate Art & Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making And Place
Duration: 2 years (part-time) consisting of 10 three-day study blocks per academic year + online tutorials support.
The HE Cert is based around a series of workshops and projects designed to develop your material knowledge whilst providing a comprehensive taught programme of art and craft history and contemporary practices. It will increase your confidence, develop your contextual and conceptual knowledge, and prepare you for further study or independent practice.
The programme is designed to introduce you to a range of disciplines, including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramics, Textiles – all subjects and materials that have a longstanding history at West Dean College. The theoretical components of the course are taught through practice, with the application of the ideas explored in lectures and seminars applied in workshops and through the development of material knowledge.
On completion, students can either select to receive a Certificate of Higher Education or progress on to the Diploma of Higher Education.