Taught course

Conservation of Metalwork

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation · West Dean College of Arts and Conservation
PGDipFdA Historic Craft Practices MAProfDevDip

Entry requirements

POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA/MA CONSERVATION STUDIES 1 CALENDAR YEAR (University of Sussex award) To join the PGDip/MA programme you will need to have a good first degree in Conservation or a closely related field; or have completed a Graduate Diploma in a closely related subject (see above); or demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in basic conservation science, academic skills (research, writing and critical analysis) and practical hand skills, including manual sensitivity and dexterity. Progression to the MA is subject to the successful completion of the first semester and the identification of an appropriate MA project. Students may choose to exit the programme at the Postgraduate Diploma stage. English language: CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIPLOMA 1 ACADEMIC YEAR (West Dean College award) By mutual agreement of a project proposal and/or research project. This programme is supported by BADA.

Months of entry


Course content

Programmes in metalwork encompass both
making and conservation. You can expect a
strong emphasis on developing good hand skills
underpinned by theoretical study. Students on all
courses are encouraged to understand historic
craft practice in order to place their own work
in a broader context.
Delivered in a purpose-designed workshop, we provide
areas for photography, analysis (microscopes, metallurgy),
chemicals, hot work (including casting, soldering, welding)
and machining. You will also have access to on-site
silversmiths and blacksmithing studios.
You will learn the language, ethics and philosophy of your
new profession alongside practical techniques and gain
a keen understanding of estimating time needed for a
piece of work in a creative, problem-solving environment.
Theory and Practice
Practical work is supported by studying the history,
conservation theory and material science of objects,
enhanced by visiting lecturers, group visits to collections,
studios and workshops.
Professional Practice
You will help organise and undertake work for clients, learn
to estimate and tender for work. Seminars, lectures and case
studies all add to producing a competitive portfolio of treated
objects and workplace skills.
Previous students have gone on to work in organisations
including The British Museum, National Maritime Museum,
Fitzwilliam Museum, the V&A, and businesses including
Plowden and Smith Ltd, Arabesque and Richard
Rogers Conservation.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and Bursarys are available. Please view the website for further information.

Qualification and course duration


full time
10 months

FdA Historic Craft Practices

full time
10 months


full time
12 months


full time
10 months

Course contact details

Registry Office
+44(0) 1243 811301