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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 Interior Design at Northumbria Design School. 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 and ask us any questions about what we do, the university, the staff team and what you might expect to do once you have completed your studies. You will also meet students and be able to ask them any questions regarding the course and their experiences of living in our great city. We’re also sure that you will enjoy visiting our industry standard design studios where you will hopefully be spending a large part of the next 3 years.

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

Where do I go when I arrive on campus?

Upon arrival, please report to the Design Building, City Campus East, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2SU, where you will be met by a member of staff or a current student from the course (No. 4 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.

Portfolio Advice

What we want to see

A collection of art and design project work, organised and presented in a creative and considered way that displays your current ability and also, importantly, your potential.

Order your work

Try to order your portfolio logically and group your work into projects. This will make it easier for us to understand and for you to discuss at interview. You may want to think about starting with your most recent or best work and then move through other projects and finish with another favoured project. The format? This is entirely up to you, whether that is A3 all the way through to A1. Please note digital media on CDs/ DVDs/memory sticks cannot be viewed during the interview.

Sell Yourself

Highlight your best work, show off your creativity and demonstrate a range of practical skills that can be applied to Interior Design.

What Should You Include?

Art and Design project work, 3D designs and Drawing – lots of it! As well as finished and polished projects we like to see the work you might not think we want to see – scribbles, sketches and sketchbooks. We’re keen to see raw drawing and sketching, the progression of your work from brief through to the final presentation stage and how you make connections – how you think and how you process your thoughts through your design work. If you have worked on interior or spatial design projects – great! We’d like to see what you’ve done! However, we are not expecting to see interior design work from all candidates, but it would be useful to see work that demonstrates that you are able to work in 3D. We place a lot of emphasis on drawing throughout the design process. We will be looking for candidates who either draw well or who show a commitment to developing their drawing skills. Include plenty of drawing in your portfolio – sketches, freehand and technical and any sketchbooks you may be engaged in outside of school or college work.

Prepare for Interview

Although your portfolio is very important it’s also essential that you talk through your work with confidence, show yourself off as an enthusiastic and keen student of Design and demonstrate an understanding of what interior design entails. So, take the time to prepare questions, spend time on getting your portfolio ready and think through carefully why you want to study Interior Design at Northumbria University. Please note this information applies to interviews held on the University campus and international Skype interviews.

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.  

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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.

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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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