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Advice for Applicants

As part of the application process we may invite you to an interview and ask you to bring a portfolio of work with you. Below are some hints and tips on how to create a successful portfolio and prepare for your interview.

Preparing Your Portfolio

What is a portfolio?

A collection of drawings, images and documents that represent your work.

What should your portfolio contain?

A well presented collection of work that is creative and imaginative.

Should I include my sketchbooks?

Sketchbooks, ideas sheets and samples should be included to show how your ideas developed into your final pieces.

Should I bring three dimensional objects?

Large three dimensional objects should be displayed in your portfolio photographically.

What will staff be looking for in my portfolio?

A good range of work that demonstrates your subject area. We will be looking for both finished and work in progress which shows:

  • Craft skills, such as drawing, working with materials, photography or writing.
  • Artistic scope, for example use of colour, form, shape or space.
  • Imagination.
  • Engagement with your chosen subject area.

How many pieces should my portfolio contain?

You don't need to bring all of your work, just a good representative collection. Remember - you have to carry it to your interview!

Interview Tips

Before your interview

Before you attend your interview, it is important to prepare. This could involve:

Reading through and reminding yourself what you put on your application form and your Digital Portfolio (where required).

Looking through your portfolio and thinking about why you included those pieces of work – what inspired you, what research you did, etc. Perhaps you could talk through your portfolio with a friend or family member as this is something you might have to do at your interview.

As well as finding out about your work and what inspires you, we might want to find out why you applied for your course and why you want to study at Manchester School of Art.

If you have things you want to find out about the course or Manchester School of Art, the interview is the perfect place to ask them. Make a note of any questions and take them with you.

Getting to your interview

There is nothing worse than getting lost and being late! Make sure you have found out the location of where you are going before the day of the interview and try to arrive a little bit early.

During the Interview

In the interview we are trying to get the best out of you, we're not trying to catch you out! Try to remain relaxed and when you are asked a question take a moment to think about your answer. If you haven't understood the question or don't know the answer, don't be afraid to say so.

After the interview

Decisions are based on all the information you provide, including your portfolio and application, so if you make a small mistake or say something that you think afterwards was a bit daft, don't worry, these are only small aspects that won't affect our decision or lessen your chances.