How to apply
Applying to study at CSAD
The method you use to apply for courses here at CSAD depends on what it is you intend to study:
Click here to find out more about applying for a postgraduate course.
Click here if you are considering applying to study at MPhil or PhD level.
Below is some information to help you prepare if you are applying to study on one of our undergraduate (HND, BSc, BA) courses.
Making the best of your undergraduate application to Cardiff School of Art and Design.
Deciding to study art or design is a significant step and possibly a life changing decision. Being an artist or designer is much more than doing a job – it is a way of life and a way of thinking about the world. You become part of a large international community of other artists and designers, with a history stretching back many thousands of years.
We set our standards very high at Cardiff School of Art & Design. We have a reputation for creative academic research and student attainment to maintain. Our courses receive far more applications than we have places. You can expect then that we will choose the most enthusiastic, inquisitive and able to study with us.
However, it is important to know that the way we judge real ability is not based upon exam results alone. When you apply to study for a degree at Cardiff School of Art and Design, the subject team will want to know about you as a person. They will need to find out if you are serious and well informed about your choice of subject. They will also want to know whether you are equipped with the skills and attitudes that would enable you to make the best use of your studies with us.
Your initial application
Before you make a decision, book a place at a University Open Day and talk to a subject specialist and to get a flavour of the course or to get a wider view of what it might be like to study here in Cardiff. It is important when you make your application, check to see what level of academic achievement we are expecting.
If you are confident you will meet that expectation then you should apply through the usual means (UCAS in the UK) as detailed on the applications page of the Cardiff Metropolitan University website.
In your initial application, your personal statement forms a critical part of how we begin to assess potential future students.
• Make absolutely sure that your personal statement says something meaningful and real about you.
• Provide evidence of your enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
• Show that you explore ideas and are willing to take responsibility for your studies.
• Take care with the spelling and grammar.
When you apply make sure that you are clear about your potential exam results.
If you think you are unable to achieve the academic levels (the tariff points) we ask for, but believe you have an exceptional talent in your chosen subject, you should discuss your career options with one of our subject specialists.
When your application arrives a decision is made whether to invite you to an interview.
The interview will involve a review of your portfolio and a conversation with members of the subject team. The conversation will be relaxed and informal, we want to meet you at your best, not when you are stressed and nervous.
How can you make the best of the interview?
• You need to be yourself – relaxed and purposeful. We want to know you, not someone acting out a role.
• Dress comfortably and be smart, whilst remembering it’s not an interview for a job in a bank – this is art and design after all.
• Above all, you need to show how enthusiastic and passionate you are about your subject, and that you: have an enquiring mind; are ready to learn; are prepared to take risks; can play with ideas.
An artist or designer’s portfolio is one of their most critical tools for gaining the place you want. A good portfolio is not slick like a holiday brochure or a University prospectus, but neither is it a scruffy assemblages of scrappy notes.
Artists and designers use their portfolio to give other people an insight into their outlook, creative scope and particular skills. We see many thousands of portfolios, what will make yours stand out?
• Put in the best work from your course
• Put in work that you have done for yourself, outside of school or college, especially pieces that really show off your skills and concentration.
• Put in something that shows that you are open to experimentation, even if it went wrong.
• Bring your sketchbooks along too, as they provide interesting insights into your techniques and purpose.
Take care with how you present your portfolio as an assemblage or body of work; is it right for the subject you are applying to study?