Overall 1/5. Beautiful setting. House staff and students are all lovely. Faculty staff are so so. Don’t do the Postgraduate/ Masters course it will kill you. If I was given the same opportunity again I wouldn’t have gone to West Dean College, what a huge waste of money and time!
Practical work education is great, however, no one is going to employ you even with a MA if you don’t know your stuff... scientific leactures were great, conservation ethics was very repetitive and dull most people stopped going after about 6 weeks. We didn’t learn anything to do with what is probably the most important theoretical element of historic object conservation after science which is how to date the object in question. Over 18 months many of the students begged for this to be included into the curriculum but to no avail. It may be taught now (haven’t been back since I left) but it’s too late for those who attended during the years that element of the course was missing. In fact tutors would normally date the object for you and when you asked them how they dated it (hoping for a little education on the subject) you were told ‘it’s obvious’ a reply that is not helpful or educational at all. The course is so intensive that it doesn’t leave much time for background reading so that wasn’t an option. I have been turned down for multiple jobs after leaving on the basis that my dating ability is not up to scratch or at the level that they would expect from a Postgraduate level candidate.
The work load needs to be better understood and the tutors need to communicate between themselves the work load they give their students. Especially as the department heads seem to expect different quantities of work from their students both in the workshops and out (written work). Some tutors believe in a healthy work/life balance others believe you should eat/live/breathe work 24/7 whether you are a day student or live in site in the accommodation. I was a day student living locally and yet I was expected to stay after 6pm and come in on weekends. 16
Great facilities overall. Workshops facilities were wonderful overall a bit too hot during the heat of the summer and poorly ventilated. General facilities can’t really fault them although dunno g room would be very crowded and there wouldn’t always be a seat if short course students were there.
Not exactly any city life as West dean is a tiny village with a great and very handy little village store and tea room and an over priced pub on the main road. There is a West Dean College bus on the weekend if you wish to releave your self of the bubbled living. Chichester is a nice place not great night life though.
Pretty much non-existent. They have a ‘chat’ with you if you are struggling and ‘advise’ you to seek outside tutoring at your own expense on top of the very pricey fees. If you are dyslexic steer clear and do yourself a huge favour!