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School of Arts and Media

Interview and Portfolio Guidance


What is the purpose of the selection visit?

The selection visit has two purposes. It allows you to find out more about studying with us, to meet staff and students on the course, and to view our facilities. It also provides us with the opportunity to see your portfolio and establish your suitability for the course.

How long will it take?

The selection process can last up to three hours. If you need to leave early for trains or have travelled a long distance, please let the staff know when you arrive. Refreshment facilities are normally available.

What will I be asked about in the interview?

The interview usually lasts around 15 minutes and gives you an opportunity to talk about your work and why you want to study on the course. You will have the chance to talk about your interests and ambitions and ask questions. We know that you will be nervous but try to relax as much as you can. Example questions may include:

  • Tell me about your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • Which designers/artists are you interested in and why?

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

You will normally be told the decision about your application during your selection visit. 

What happens next for successful applicants?

Once you have accepted your offer and met any conditions, you will start receiving information about registration etc. Please contact us should you have any queries during this process.


Traditional Portfolios

Producing your Creative Portfolio: Advice for Postgraduate Applicants from University Of Salford on Vimeo.

A portfolio is the folder or collection of your art and design work. It normally comprises sketchbooks, notebooks, research information, development work and final pieces. .

Above all, the portfolio should show a good level of commitment to your studies and evidence of basic skills. We are looking for:

  • enthusiasm for your chosen subject            
  • strong visual communication skills            
  • evidence of problem-solving            
  • clear working procedures showing the development of your ideas            
  • experience in a range of different media and materials - 2D and 3D            
  • an awareness of contemporary artists and designers.            

Your portfolio can include drawing, painting, photography, computer-generated work, objects and artefacts.

Make sure your work is well organised, clean and well presented.      

Online portfolios 

Sometime we ask applicants to submit an online portfolio, for example if you are out of the country. An online portfolio is a selection of your artwork, drawings, sketchbook pages, photographs, models, design work etc. that reflect the range of your abilities, your creative process, and your interest in the course that  you have applied for.    

Online portfolios are used by some programmes in order to select suitable candidates for interview.    

  • Your online portfolio should showcase approximately 15 examples of your work.                
  • Show both finished work and work in progress e.g. sketchbook work or development sheets.                
  • You can include course work, sketchbooks, photographs, drawings, paintings, models, sculptures, objects, websites, videos – anything that supports your application for the course you have chosen.                
  • You may need to digitise some of your work - use a camera or scanner as required to obtain the best digital images.                
  • Add short descriptions for each image, explaining the work, the project and your response.                

There are many websites such as BloggerFlickr, and DeviantArt where you can create your online portfolio for free. Alternatively, you can send us a link to your own personal website. Please email the information below to us, with the name of the programme you are applying for in the Subject line.    

  • Full Name                
  • Postgraduate Application ID                
  • Website address for your online portfolio                
  • Name of the programme you are applying for                
  • Contact telephone number                

Please do not submit your online portfolio unless you have been requested to do so as due to the volume we receive, we will be unable to review it.