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Interview and Portfolio Guides

Your interview provides us with the chance to meet you, see your portfolio of work and discuss your interest in studying Graphic Design at Northumbria. We really want to find out about you and your interests in design alongside other interests you may have.

It’s also a great opportunity for you to see an additional presentation on the course, take a tour of the facilities, and ask any questions you may have. You'll also meet current students and be able to ask them any questions regarding the course and their experiences of living in our great city. 

You will receive your interview information from our Applicant Services Team. If you have any queries you can contact them via or by calling 0191 406 0901.

Where do I go when I arrive on Campus?

Upon arrival, please report to Student Central, Library Building, St Mary’s Place, City Campus West, Newcastle upon Tyne, where you will be met by a member of staff or a current student from the course (No. 25 on this Campus Map). You can also find information on how to travel to Northumbria University here.

What should I expect on the day?

Our interview days are very informal. The day is a chance for you to get more of a feel for the University and for us to get to know a little bit more about you, your passions, and why you want to study with us.

On arrival you'll be greeted by our helpful student reps who will provide you with more information about your day and a schedule of events. As well as your interview, you will also receive a tour of the facilities and be given the opportunity to go on a Campus Tour.

What will the interviewers be looking for?

We are looking for candidates that are creative, visually aware and dedicated to producing good graphic design. Some of the characteristics we are looking for are listed below:

  •  People who are creative thinkers and visual problem solvers
  •  People who can communicate visually and verbally
  •  People who are willing to work with pencil and paper
  •  People who are team players and enjoy shared learning
  •  People who can build narratives and tell stories
  •  People who are brave and will take chances
  •  People who can learn from their mistakes
  •  People who have an eye for detail
  •  People with potential

What should I include in my portfolio?

A portfolio is a way of expressing your personality, demonstrating your creativity, showing your interests, sharing your inspirations, capturing your conceptual thinking, critiquing the work of yourself and others, and providing evidence of your commitment to the subject that you have applied for.

We are looking for a portfolio of work thats shows potential in: 

  • Typography, visual problem solving, drawing and making, conceptual thinking and story telling
  • An understanding of our course and what we do
  • Enthusiasm, passion, commitment, drive and personality
When preparing your portfolio allow yourself plenty of time to put your portfolio together and make sure you are happy with it. If it helps talk it through with your teacher/tutor to ensure it’s a sufficient reflection of your creativity and personality.

A portfolio carry case that is easy to open and to leaf through is an ideal presentation style for your portfolio and be prepared to talk about the research you undertook, your creative thought process and what inspires you.

If you are showing work using your laptop, make sure the projects have been started up and are already open. There may not be any WiFi access so have an offline version of anything you would ideally show online.

Student Advice and Tips: Check out the handy '10 Portfolio Hints and Tips Guide' by our Fashion Communication student Bethany. 

What should I wear to my interview?

Smart casual is fine. There is no set dress code. We want you to feel relaxed and comfortable in what you are wearing. 

Do I need to practice my interview?

Yes this would be beneficial. Why not do a dry run interview with your tutor, a friend or your parents? This will help you feel more relaxed about the process and confident in what you want to say. You should also prepare and practise any questions that you’d like to ask the interviewers.  


Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.


Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

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