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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 Interaction Design at Northumbria. We really want to find out about you and your interests.

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?

Interviewers will be looking for you to demonstrate how you met the criteria advertised in the prospectus and UCAS entry profiles, but will not always ask you about them directly.

Some examples of criteria include:

  • Interest, motivation and commitment to the subject
  • The ability to study independently
  • The ability to work with others
  • The ability to manage time effectively
  • An interest in the university.  

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.

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. 

Websites, Books and Magazines

Below you will find a list of useful websites, books and magazines that you may find interesting and helpful whilst preparing your portfolio or visual CV.

Trev's Files - specifically for interaction design students
Design Week - for the latest design news
The Vignelli Canon PDF – 96-page PDF to better understanding typography
Pentagram: What Type are You? - fun test to discover your type face
Type Matters! (2012), Williams. J., Merrell Publishers Ltd
A Smile in the Mind (1998), McAlhone. B. & Stuart. D., Phaidon Press Ltd
Interaction Design Foundation – contains a range of open educational resources, research and tools on Interaction Design 
Interaction Design Sketching Resources

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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