Arts students can expect fully equipped workshops and studios with specialist areas and plenty of natural light. All full-time Fine Art students are provided with a large individual workspace in the Edward James Studios which they have access to seven days a week, 8.30am to 9pm. A self-contained Print Room offers specialist facilities for etching, aquatint, monoprinting, woodblock and linocut.

Fine Art students benefit from the following facilities:

  • Large dedicated studios with plenty of natural light
  • Materials and tools store, photographic darkroom and print room
  • Seminar room
  • Exhibition, performance and research spaces
  • IT suite with digital editing software
  • Design and film editing software
  • Sculpture courtyard for large scale work (also suitable for stone carving)
  • Studio dedicated to interdisciplinary tapestry and textile art
  • Access to the Dye Room, a specialist facility for the dying of yarn


Students are encouraged to collaborate with other College departments - particularly the full-time programmes in the School of Conservation - making the most of the wide range of specialist knowledge, materials and equipment that is available. The Short Course programme also gives you access to a wide range of visiting tutors and specialist techniques to further enhance your studies.

Foundation Diplomas in Art

Students on the FdA courses benefit from purpose-built workshops where you will have your own workbench and storage for personal tools and equipment. Specialist facilities include a separate machine shop and varnishing room for students specialising in musical instruments and a forge for students on the metalworking course.

Art supplies for fine art students at West Dean College

Craft Shop

During your course you can pick up a variety of supplies at our on-site Craft Shop, which is open 8.30am - 2pm, 7 days a week. It is stocked with fine art supplies and craft materials as well as a variety of art and craft books and greetings cards, all from College tutors. Art materials include oil and watercolour paints, specialist brushes and papers and craft materials range from pottery tools to sewing needles and threads. You can find both major and local brands including handmade papers and sketchbooks by Khardi, made at a local paper mill in Chilgrove just minutes from the West Dean. You can also browse bespoke College notebooks and a range of aprons, stationery and ceramics by designer Sue Timney.

Arts and conservation library at West Dean College


The dedicated Art and Conservation Library gives you access to over 10,000 books, journals and DVDs. There is a local interest section and a general reference area. The online catalogue is available throughout the workshops, computer suite and the library itself.

Also available is a library homepage which provides access to a number of online databases, archives and other useful sources. An Inter-Library loan service is offered for any material that is not available in the library and students also have access to the University of Chichester Library and Chichester Library alongside other specialist libraries in the area.

World leading tapestry studio

The main house also contains West Dean Tapestry Studio, one of the world's leading producers of hand-woven tapestry. As well as having close contact with the expertise of Master Weavers and designers, students have access to the studio's Dye Rooms, a specialist facility for the dyeing of yarn. 

read more about the tapestry studio
Magritte featuring Edward James

Collections and archive

West Dean House and Estate offers students access to ambitious exhibition opportunities and unique research material. Students are able to submit site-specific proposals throughout the year. The Edward James Collection is an outstanding resource for full-time students, giving you access to a range of significant, even iconic, works of art as an ongoing source of inspiration and research.

Short Course facilities

You will benefit from a wide range of workshops and studios, including a pottery, forge, fine-metals workshop, light and airy art studios, a sculpture courtyard and a stone carving workshop. 

Tutors are practicing professionals and student numbers on each course are limited so that you benefit from individual tuition and one-to-one time. Open exchange of ideas and group sessions encourage sharing of ideas with other students and new creative possibilities. Some courses, for example Summer Schools and themed courses, include swap over sessions and talks by other tutors.

Read more about short courses