Press Release: Creative Writing graduate wins University of Sussex Vice Chancellor’s Prize at West Dean College

West Dean College Creative Writing MA graduate, Charlotte Beck, has won the Vice Chancellor's Prize awarded by the University of Sussex, which validates many of the postgraduate programmes at West Dean. The Prize is awarded to the most outstanding MA student. To support committed writers in developing their skills through to publishing the College recently announced a new part-time Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Publishing for the September 2015 intake. It will be delivered in 12 intensive 3-day study blocks over two years. West Dean is internationally renowned for teaching in the Creative Arts and Conservation with 89% of students citing reputation as the reason they choose to study at the College. This year nearly 30% of West Dean graduates are progressing to Master Degrees at the College.

"It's fantastic that Charlotte's exceptional hard work and talent has been rewarded with this prize. The Creative Writing team at West Dean looks forward to watching her career go from strength and strength", says Martine McDonagh, author of After Phoenix and I Have Waited, and You Have Come and Programme Leader on the new MA.

At the 2015 Awards Ceremony three College students received double awards. Clocks Conservation student Tabea Rude won the British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) Harold Davies Prize and the Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) Southern Section Clocks Prize. West Dean is the only College is the UK, USA and Europe offering a Clock Conservation programme. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers, Langdon Dowsett Scholarship was awarded to Victoria Bullard-Smith, Metalwork Conservation, who also won a BADA Harold Davies Prize.

Books Conservation student, Jessica Hyslop, won the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars' Company Bursary, a new prize award to the student who has demonstrated the most commitment and dedication to the development of their education and practice. Jessica was also awarded the Nick Johnson Prize which recognises the unique combination of interdisciplinary skills required for excellence in book conservation.

"This year has seen a strong cohort of students who have demonstrated excellence in practical skills as well as strong academic performance," says Shayne Rivers, Head of Conservation. "The awards available to our students reflect the support West Dean College receives from a wide range of organisations and individuals who are committed to supporting high quality conservation and arts education."

Awards recipients 2015

University of Sussex, Vice Chancellor's Prize - Charlotte Beck (Creative Writing)

Tom Robinson Prize - Michael Cranefield (Clocks Conservation)

Valerie Power Prize - Cathy Griffiths (Visual Arts)

Nick Johnson Prize - Jessica Hyslop (Books Conservation)

The Worshipful Company of Cutlers, Langdon Dowsett Scholarship - Victoria Bullard-Smith (Metalwork Conservation)

Sidney Sanders Trust Prize - Rupert James (Metalwork Conservation)

BADA Geoffrey Moss Prizes - Harriet Sylvester (Ceramics Conservation), Mostyn Gale (Clocks Conservation), Thomas Moore (Furniture Conservation) and Daniel Ravizza (Metalwork Conservation)

BADA Harold Davies Prizes - Jane Townsend (Ceramics Conservation), Tabea Rude (Clocks Conservation), Tamsen Dippel (Furniture Conservation) and Victoria Bullard-Smith (Metalwork Conservation)

AHS Southern Section Clocks Prize - Tabea Rude (Clocks Conservation)

The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Bursary - Connie Tang (Ceramics Conservation) and Jessica Hyslop (Books Conservation)

The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers Award - Jon Colombo (Clocks Conservation)

Conservation students gain hands-on experience working on unique and often rare objects from acclaimed collections. Many graduates go on to work in some of the world's finest institutions, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, The British Museum and Imperial War Museum, or establish their own conservation practice.

Full information and funding options are in the prospectus at View conservation in action here.

In recognition of the increasing difficulties in funding for postgraduate education West Dean College offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships for talented students who would not otherwise be able to study at West Dean College.

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Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, an educational charitable trust established in 1964, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • All photography is copyright free for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact details

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ