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Conservation CPD

Refresh your skills and update your knowledge of developments in materials, techniques and current practice. Ideal for conservators, our conservation short courses are made up of Building Conservation Masterclasses, Object and Materials Conservation courses and British Library courses.

  • Tuition from leading practitioners
  • Hands-on learning using 'live' artefacts or the purpose-built Ruinette
  • Collaboration with other participants and specialists
  • Stay at the College (for residential courses) during your course and network with tutors and students each evening

"West Dean always offers high-quality courses with excellent tutors. Staff are exceptional here and combined with such a beautiful setting, it makes for a wonderful experience." Claire Reed, Conservation of plastics

Ruinette Construction on the Building Conservation Masterclass

Building Conservation Masterclasses (BCM)

Gain technical and practical skills in the repair and maintenance of historic structures. These intensive short courses including the Professional Development Diploma, are the result of an ongoing collaboration with Historic England. All courses are recognised by Historic England and adhere to its guidelines and standards aimed at improving practice.

You will learn the latest knowledge and developments in technology, craft and science applicable to historic buildings, archaeological sites and monuments. The courses follow the Practical Building Conservation series, which represents Historic England's current advice and guidance.

Courses are relevant whether you need to develop practical skills or and need to understand, specify and supervise these skills. Past course attendees have included craftspeople, conservators, conservation officers, architects, surveyors, planners, construction managers, specifiers, specialist contractors and archaeologists.

The Drake Trust generously provides a number of bursaries for students who will be attending a Masterclass at their own expense. To apply for a bursary please contact [email protected].

See all conservation short courses

Professional Development Diploma: Historic Building Conservation and Repair

Recognised by Historic England (formerly English Heritage)

Study the technical and practical skills relevant to the repair and maintenance of historic structures. Improve your skills and up-to-date knowledge of developments in materials, techniques and current practice.

This Professional Development Diploma is ideal for conservators, conservation officers, architects, engineers, surveyors, craftspeople and specialist contractors. It is achieved through the successful completion of 10 Building Conservation Masterclasses and the submission of an illustrated portfolio of approximately 3,000 words. Bursaries are available from the Drake Trust (contact [email protected]).

Find out more about the PDD

Object and Materials Conservation (OMC)

Refresh your skills and knowledge of developments in materials and techniques. Collaboration with relevant organisations and specialists has resulted in an outstanding range of expertise on each course. Some courses are practical and workshop based while others are conference-style events.

See all conservation short courses
British Library courses at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

British Library courses

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world.

Preservation and collection care for libraries delivered by West Dean College in collaboration with the British Library. If you are a professional, conservation student or are interested in continuing professional development in this area these courses offer access to relevant training and expertise.

Most courses are half a day or a full day and take place at the British Library in London.

See All Conservation Short Courses

Bespoke courses

We can create bespoke conservation courses. Whether you are a contractor who wants training for your employees or an organisation wanting to learn the basics, we can help.

Organisations that have run events here include Historic England, the National Heritage Training Group, the National Trust and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Find out about our conference facilities.

For more information contact CPD course organiser 01243 818232 or [email protected]


Stay with us and wake up to the characterful charm of this period property set in acres of parkland. Your room may be traditional or one of our more modern rooms. Rooms are in the main house or in the delightful old Vicarage onsite. In summer, annexes in the grounds are also used. At the end of each day relax in the historic Oak Hall or in the Steward's Bar with a book, drink or other participants.

How to book

Book online: Go to your chosen course page, and click 'Book now'.

By post: Download the booking form here

By email: Contact the Bookings Office: [email protected]
Or the CPD Coordinator: [email protected]

Full terms and conditions

  • If paying by debit or credit card this includes authorisation of the final payment six weeks before the start of the course.
  • If an organisation is paying by invoice, final payment is required six weeks before the start of the course.
  • If booking within six weeks of the start of the course, full payment is required.
  • If booking within six weeks of the start of the course, and an organisation is paying by invoice, guarantee of payment must be made by debit or credit card.

Overseas students

UK immigration rules state that if you plan to engage in any kind of study while in the UK you should enter as a student and not as a tourist.

If you are studying in this country for less than six months and are a non-visa national, you may apply for a Student Visitor Visa in advance or for entry clearance as a Student Visitor when you arrive at a UK airport.

There are conditions for both these methods. We recommend that you consult the UK Border Agency for full details and a list of the documents and evidence you will need to confirm your student and financial status.

For further guidance see the UK Council for International Student Affairs -