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Applying for the BA in Fine Art

Discover everything you need to know about applying for our Fine Art BA course.

As soon as we receive your application for the BA Fine Art from UCAS we will email you requesting you send us a portfolio. Each year we ask that portfolios are sent to us in January. We do accept portfolios after January, but it may take us a little longer to get back to you.

See below for advice on putting together and sending us your portfolio. You can also contact us for help and advice at

After looking at your portfolio, we will decide whether to invite you for an interview either online or in person. Invitations will be sent by email. See below for advice and information on interviews.

If you don’t receive a portfolio request email soon after applying, please check your junk/spam/promotions folder to make sure it hasn’t ended up there. If not, contact us straight away by emailing

Writing your personal statement

Our top tips for writing your Fine Art BA personal statement:

  1. Connect your statement to your portfolio
  2. Use simple and clear language
  3. Make a list of the points you want to make, then expand on them
  4. Don’t worry about word length at first

What happens next

Once we receive your application, we will email you to ask you to upload a digital portfolio to the Apply to Newcastle portal. This, along with your application, is how we decide if we wish to invite you to an interview. Our inspection of your work is a very important part of the selection process.

We will start looking at portfolios from 9 January 2023. You should aim to submit your portfolio as soon as possible from then and ideally before 31 January 2023.

Find out more about this in the Submitting your portfolio section below.

We aim to let you know if we wish to interview you within four weeks of receiving your portfolio.

If you are successful at the portfolio stage, we will invite you for interview. You can choose to have either an in person or an online interview. If it is an in person interview you will need to bring a physical portfolio with you.

If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you via UCAS.

Your portfolio

The portfolio should include coursework of any format, but also – very importantly – work you have initiated yourself.

We are looking for work that demonstrates:

  • creativity, enthusiasm, commitment and excitement about making art
  • ability to study through looking – e.g. drawings or paintings made from observation
  • sustained development and exploration of ideas or themes using different approaches and media

What we look for

We are not just looking for ‘finished’ work. We are interested in seeing where your ideas come from and how they develop.

We expect to see:

  • work in progress
  • notebooks
  • sketchbooks
  • working drawings
  • more resolved drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos
  • details of work eg close ups of sections of paintings
  • work from non 'fine art' parts of your programme: eg design, photography, fashion, media
  • work from outside of your studies: eg any extra classes/workshops you have done, work you do on your own, a video you might have for a band, stage design for a theatre company etc
  • we will look at video and listen to sound work either sent as files or as links to Vimeo etc

Don’t worry too much about making your portfolio look ‘professional’. We are only interested in the work and seeing what you are interested in. For example, a simple label beneath each work with the title, medium (i.e. ‘page from sketchbook’, ‘acrylic painting’, ‘screenprint’) and dimensions is enough.

Your portfolio should include 30-50 images of work and can include links to video. It must be saved as a PDF and uploaded to the Apply to Newcastle Portal.

Submitting your portfolio

When to submit your portfolio

We will start looking at portfolios from 9 January 2023. You should aim to submit your portfolio as soon as possible from then and ideally before 31 January 2023.

We will assess portfolios in the order we receive them. It is possible to submit later but you may have to wait longer for a decision. The sooner you submit your portfolio the sooner you find out if you have an interview. We hope to have looked at most portfolios by the end of February.

After 1 March, we will consider rejecting your application if you have not uploaded a portfolio. If you anticipate submitting a portfolio after 1 March, you need to let us know by emailing

How to submit your portfolio

Once you have created your portfolio, ideally as a PowerPoint presentation, you must save it as one PDF file. You should then upload it to the  Apply to Newcastle Portal. Please do not upload individual images to the Portal.

The PDF should be no larger than 30MB. Please download our Portfolio Size Reduction Guide (PDF: 0.8MB) to find out how to manage the file size of images in your portfolio.

Step 1. Register to access the Apply to Newcastle Portal
Step 2. Click on Upload Documents next to your application to W150 Fine Art BA Honours
Step 3. Click Upload Document
Step 4. In the Document type drop down menu, choose Portfolio. Your course should automatically populate, but if you are applying to more than one degree, please choose the Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Art in the Your course (Choice) drop down menu
Step 5. Click Choose Files and attach your file
Step 6. Click Save & Close

Your portfolio will display in the Documents Uploaded section. You can view the document by clicking View. Please note the Portfolio will take 15 minutes to disappear from the Documents Required section. Your status will then change to Awaiting Decision.

Late applications (received after 25 January 2023)

We will consider late applications for this degree programme. We will email you when we receive your application. We would expect you to upload your portfolio within two weeks of receiving the email.


If you are successful at the portfolio stage we will email to invite you to interview. You can choose to have either an in person or an online interview. If it is an in person interview you will need to bring a physical portfolio with you. Interviews in the Art School include a tour of the department. These are usually held in the Art School and include a tour of the department, but they may be online.

You will be able to choose your interview slot from a range of dates and times. The majority of interviews take place by the end of March, but we do add additional later interviews, if necessary. If for any reason you’re not able to make any of the dates offered, please email us so we can make alternative arrangements.

You can send us additional work made after you first sent us your portfolio. You can upload email us an additional PDF of images or an updated PDF of your portfolio to the Apply to Newcastle Portal, or you can send us an updated PDF of your portfolio.

If you have been inspired by recent visits to galleries or exhibitions you may wish to include material that will prompt discussion.