Art & Design Courses

For people applying for BA Fine Art, Illustration, Photography, Animation, & Design (Furniture, Interior, Graphic, Games and Product)

Interview with Portfolio Day for Art and Design Courses

Candidates in receipt of a conditional offer will frequently be invited to an applicant portfolio/interview day where examples of their work can be discussed with academic staff. As a result of attending an interview with portfolio day, candidates may have their conditional offer converted to an unconditional offer prior to receiving their final exam results in the summer term. We hope that this will give security to our applicants enabling them to concentrate on their continuing studies.

What to include in your portfolio

We are looking for evidence of a range of abilities including conceptual thinking, problem solving, artistic flair and experimentation with a range of media. These qualities can be demonstrated in numerous ways and will vary greatly between individual applicants depending upon such things as educational experiences and available resources. For this reason we don't like to be too specific as to the content of a portfolio, but as a guide it could include: finished projects, sketchbooks, notebooks, digital work, paintings, photography, drawings (particularly drawings from observation), three dimensional work, storyboards, short films and animations. Digital artwork for graphics, animation or games can be brought on laptops or memory sticks.

All candidates should also bring along some written work to enable us to assess if any form of writing support is needed.

It is vital that the work in your portfolio is all your own work. Any work that is not entirely yours, such as collaborative pieces, should be made clear to the interviewer.

The portfolios should be carefully and cleanly presented in order to enhance the appearance of the work. Work does not have to be mounted. If you have large 2/3D work it is easier to bring photographs. Please ensure that your portfolio is clearly marked with your name.

In addition to discussing your portfolio, tutors may ask you about your personal statement, favorite artists, designers and exhibitions you have visited, your motivation and career aspirations. During this time you will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the course in detail.

Students who are asked to attend an interview with a portfolio will be sent an email advising them to book an interview slot on the applicant portal. There will normally be a choice of dates offered. If none of the dates are suitable to you, you should contact 

There are two interview sessions each interview day; one in the morning which starts at 09:00 and ends at around 13.00 and a second in the afternoon; starting at 12:45 and ending at around 16:45. Please note that you will be expected to attend for the whole session.

The later session is intended for applicants who live further away from the university to enable them to attend without necessitating an overnight stay in York.

The interview with portfolio days start with an introduction to the School of Art, Design and Computer Science. This will be followed by group session where applicants will have chance to discuss their portfolios with current staff and students. The remaining part of the session will include a tour of the specialist art and design studios and workshops that are available to the students here at York St John University, and a 1:1 interview with a member of art and design staff. There will also be a chance to look around the whole university and ask any questions you might have about studying here.

Individual interviews take around 15 to 20 minutes and are structured as follows:

  • One to one interview with a tutor about your portfolio.
  • An introduction to your work for the tutor.
  • A discussion around each section of your portfolio.
  • Discuss your UCAS application form.
  • Any other questions you may have - please think of preparing some in advance.

Portfolio day dates 2019

Wednesday 19 December 2018 (am & pm)

Thursday 10 January 2019 (am & pm)

Wednesday 16 January (am & pm)

Wednesday 30 January (am & pm)

Wednesday 20 February (am & pm)

Wednesday 27 February (am & pm)

Wednesday 20 March (am & pm)

Wednesday 8 May (am & pm)

Please note, if one of the dates is unavailable, the portfolio day is full. The applicant portal will offer you the three next available dates and times available.

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