BA Fine Art - How to Apply

Robin Livsey BA Drawing

We welcome applications from students from a wide variety of backgrounds who can show the motivation and potential for university study.

All applications are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

How to apply

After we receive your application form we will ask you to submit a portfolio of examples of your practical work. We look at your portfolio and if we feel you are suited to our course we will interview you - we interview about 150 candidates. Following interview we draw up a list of those students to whom we wish to offer a place. You hear formally of the outcome from UCAS.

Guidelines for the submission of your portfolio

This is an extremely important part of your application, and time must be spent in carefully selecting the work that you wish us to see.

What are we looking for? The portfolio may include coursework, for example from A level or Foundation, but must also include self-initiated work.

We are looking for a real sense of engagement and interest in making art. We are looking for work which shows you have the ability to study through looking, an aptitude for visual inquiry, and evidence of the ability to generate ideas and explore them creatively. We want to see how the subject or themes you choose are used as a vehicle for careful study or as a springboard for the development of visual ideas. This might come in a number of forms and media. As well as invention and individuality, the particular quality that we would expect from a portfolio is that of sustained engagement -

investigating a subject or idea in a number of different ways:
developing an idea through a number of stages:
exploratory drawing:

forming links from one piece of work to another.
This means spending a considerable amount of time and thought on your work.

Your portfolio should show that you have attempted to explore some formal principles, for example:

organising colour,
articulating form and space,

observational drawing,

use of materials.

Student Work, Landscape DrawingNot all work needs be resolved or even finished; we are interested in seeing how your ideas develop and the information you collect as part of both completed and incomplete studies.

You can include sketchbooks and photographs alongside more resolved drawings and paintings. Large paintings/drawings, three dimensional work or video should be documented and photographs (preferably) or on CD as individual images or as a Power Point Presentation or a Mac compatible video and submitted with details of size and media.

How should the work be submitted?

Work should be sent in a sturdy portfolio which should not measure more than 30" x 40". It should be well wrapped where necessary and the packing material should be such that as can be used for the return of work. Work which includes hazardous material should not be sent, photographic documentation should be provided instead. The portfolio should be clearly marked on the inside with your name, return address and telephone number. Each piece of work in the folder should be marked on the back with your name and address. Send to:

Fine Art General Office
School of Arts and Cultures
The Quadrangle
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne

International students can submit their portfolio of images electronically by CD to the above address or by email to In the subject box of the email please write Fine Art BA portfolio.

Is there a handling fee?

A handling fee of £18 is required with each entry. Please make cheques payable to 'The University of Newcastle upon Tyne'.

When will the portfolio be returned?

Your portfolio will be returned to you as soon as possible after inspection, normally within 10 working days.

The interview

If we feel you would be suited to us we invite you for interview and request you to bring your folder with you. We encourage you to bring to the interview any additional work made after submitting the portfolio for inspection.

What happens at the interview?

The interview lasts approximately 20 minutes and offers you the opportunity to discuss your work and interests with two members of Fine Art staff. We are interested to find out about your previous learning experience as well as about your interests and the work you have brought to show us. We may ask you to talk about particular pieces of work or a project which has been very important to you. You will also have plenty of opportunity to ask us questions about us, the course and about the city.

At the interview we are keen to find out if you are likely to benefit from the course and whether we offer you the kind of environment in which you can thrive. You will have the opportunity to have a good look around Fine Art and to talk with the students here, so that you can decide whether this is the right course for you.

Any further Fine Art undergraduate application enquiries can be made to