We’re thrilled that you’re thinking about studying at Leeds Arts University. We know that getting your place can be an exciting and nerve-racking experience, so we’ve chatted to Ben an Extended Diploma Art & Design student for some tips and tricks about the portfolio and interview.

What happens when you apply

We think it is very important that we assess your creative potential and ‘fit’ for the course. Once we receive your application form our admissions department checks your grades or predicted grades. If they meet our entry requirements we send a letter inviting you for interview. More in depth details on how to apply are available here.

Get your portfolio together

Before the interview spend some time compiling your portfolio, we recommend that you read our advice on how to put together a great portfolio. You could also consider speaking to your current teacher about which work shows off your talents.

Ben said: ’Only put in work that really interests you, that way you’ll find it easy to talk about them during the interview. If you put in a piece of written work, like an analysis of a final piece that would be really good too. I followed the University’s portfolio advice closely, it made feel confident at interview because I knew I’d done all I could to bring my portfolio up to scratch.’

Getting ready for interview

Don’t worry if you’ve never been to the University before, you can get an idea of what it’s like here by watching all the video clips on our website.

Ben said: ‘Watching the videos online I got a real sense of the passion of the tutors and students inside University.’   

Most people find interviews make them nervous, try not to let your nerves get the better of you. Our students find that the atmosphere inside University helps them leave their nerves at the door.

Ben said: ‘The staff came across as very professional and committed to the course as well as being welcoming and relaxed. I felt instantly at ease in the building.’

Double check which building your interview is in. We’ve got two main sites, further education students are interviewed in the Vernon Street building, if you go to the wrong place you could face a 10 minute walk which might make you late for your interview. See Find Us for a map and directions.

What happens during the interview

Your interview will normally be with the course leader and another course tutor in a nice quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Remember your interviewers are genuinely interested in what you have to say and want you to feel comfortable and be yourself.

Ben said: ‘The tutor warmed me up by asking a few simple questions about where I lived and my hobbies and interests. Then we looked at my portfolio. The tutor didn’t want to look at it in silence, he wanted me to talk him through it. This was my chance to show off my passion for art and design and win my place at University.’

And finally

If your interview doesn’t go as planned don’t worry. Our tutors are trained to spot raw talent, if you’ve got what it takes to do well on the course they’ll be able to see it.

Bear in mind this is general guidance for applications, portfolios and interviews at the University. Follow any specific guidance sent to you by the course.


International applicants
Applicants outside the UK can be interviewed via Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts. See the What happens next? section of the International Apply & Entry Requirements page for further details.