Press Release: West Dean College Visual Arts student wins QEST Award

Talented Visual Arts student, Kate Boucher has been awarded a significant Queen Elizabeth Scholarship (QEST) to continue her studies on the full time Master of Fine Arts programme at the internationally renowned West Dean College. The QEST Award is for full accommodation costs for the academic year which, in conjunction with the Edward James Anniversary Scholarship, will enable Kate to study for a further year on the MFA programme at the College.

"West Dean is an amazing place to live and study and I can't recommend the Visual Arts programme highly enough. There are very few colleges where I could combine large scale drawing, feltmaking and blacksmithing during an MFA," says Kate. "I feel that I have really developed my work, way beyond where I thought I was capable of, resulting in my being awarded a prestigious Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholarship. I would encourage prospective students not to be overly concerned about raising funds for postgraduate courses because there are funding options out there."

Kate previously studied at Chelsea College of Art and believes the freedom to work across disciplines, incorporating traditional and experimental techniques from tapestry to blacksmithing, is rare in Higher Education and has served to expand her studio practice, develop her portfolio and professional profile, as well as enhancing her theoretical and contextual knowledge.

"Kate was an ideal candidate for a QEST Scholarship given her commitment to her craft and ambitions to develop ground-breaking methods of making in textiles," says Nick Farrow, QEST Chairman.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) fund the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-to-one training with master craftspeople. QEST was established to help support craftspeople of all ages, from backgrounds and at critical stage in their careers and thus sustain traditional British craftsmanship. As a charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, QEST was established in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Since 1990 the Trust has awarded over £2.5 million to 370 craftspeople for study, training and apprenticeships.

In recognition of the increasing difficulties in funding for postgraduate education West Dean College offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships and invests over £200,000 per year in providing scholarships for talented students who would not otherwise be able to study at West Dean.

Student Open Day 2016/17 intake

The internationally renowned West Dean College will be opening its doors to prospective students on Saturday 7 November (10 am to 2.30pm). The Student Open Day is an opportunity to see conservation in action behind the scenes in the School of Conservation and to explore the School of Creative Arts. Students who are interested in developing a career in the heritage sector and creative arts will be able to; tour the workshops and studios: talk to tutors, admissions staff and students; learn about funding; and tour the residential accommodation. Francine Norris, BA (Hons) MA FRSA, Director of Education will talk about the professional currency of the college's degrees and diplomas.

For more information on the Visual Arts programme and if you would like to attend the Student Open Day please call +44 (0)1243 818291 or email your full name and address, contact telephone number to [email protected]. To view the digital prospectus visit View a video of the Student Open Day 2014


Notes to editors:

  • West Dean College is part of the Edward James Foundation, established in1964, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • West Dean College has an international reputation for world-class teaching in Conservation and Creative Arts education.
  • For more information on QEST visit
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in viewing the college in action for news purposes, including filming at West Dean, should contact the Media Relations Team.

Media Contact Information

For further information and high-resolution digital images, please contact

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


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ