Interviews and Portfolios

​​Interview Days

We offer places at Cardiff School of Art and Design based on an interview process. It’s not just about exam results - we want to know more about you as a person, and as an artist, designer or maker.

This helps us to ensure that both our innovative interdisciplinary curriculum and our diverse and creative community of students and staff is the right fit for you.

We’re looking for evidence of your enthusiasm, creativity and curiosity, as well as your skills and potential as a creative and critical thinker, artist, designer or maker.

The interview process varies depending on which course you have applied for, but most involve a review of your portfolio of work and a conversation with the subject team. Some of our interviews are one-to-one, while others may involve group exercises. All of our interviews are informal - we want you to feel relaxed and able to be yourself.

We are currently holding our interviews online and will request an electronic portfolio to discuss with you as part of the interview. We will then also be holding applicant days in the Spring to give you the perfect opportunity to visit our campus, see our facilities and have a full taster of your chosen course.

See our Portfolio Tips section for information on how to create a basic electronic portfolio.

Your portfolio is a collection of your work. It can include pieces you’ve worked on at school or college, and personal work that you’ve created for yourself. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your portfolio:

What to include in your portfolio

It’s a good idea to tailor your portfolio to the course you are applying for, but there are some general things that are useful to include no matter which subject you are interested in:

  • Evidence of a good range of art and design skills. This could include 2D mark-making such as drawing, painting, composition, and/or examples of 3D making – objects, sculpture, textiles, products etc. You can also include links to moving image work hosted on sites such as Vimeo or YouTube.

  • Initial ideas, sketches and development as well as finished pieces. It should give us an insight into your interests, skills and creativity.

  • Quality over quantity. Part of preparing a good portfolio is deciding what to leave out – rather than showing us everything you’ve ever done, choose your best and most relevant pieces.

  • Show us your experiments. Include examples where you tried something new, or took a risk – even if it didn’t work out. This shows us that you can work outside of your comfort zone and demonstrates curiosity.

For more ideas on what to include watch our portfolio tips video:

How to create an electronic portfolio

The most straightforward way to provide us with a portfolio is to email a PDF file to us – we will tell you where to send this when we contact you about your interview.

If your file is particularly large and cannot be sent by email, you may need to send via a file sharing website such as WeTransfer.

Watch our video guide to creating a simple PDF portfolio using Microsoft PowerPoint below, or download a text version.

While a PDF is our preferred format, we can also accept a link to a portfolio website if you have one.