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Can I apply straight from school?

Many candidates apply to the Slade from a Foundation Diploma Course in Art and Design, this is a one year, specialist course that enables students to develop a portfolio of work. Foundation courses are free of fees (if you are under the age of 19 years on the 31st August of the year you start your course).

Foundation courses introduce students to a wider range of art and design options such as fashion, illustration, 3D design and fine art, before each student goes on to chose one of these specialist areas. A Foundation course is not a requirement for application to the Slade, but the majority of our successful candidates will have undertaken a Foundation course. 

What are we looking for in your portfolio?

When you apply to the Slade you will be asked to send a digital portfolio of your work. 

A portfolio needs to tell the story of your development so far.

You can present work chronologically, or the work you value most at the front.

General tips:

  • Focus on key works, it is good practice to start with your strongest work first.
  • Show your skills and experience of working with different methods and mediums.
  • Sketchbooks can be presented online by uploading a film of the pages of your sketchbook being turned by hand.
  • If you are applying straight from school, include work you have made in your own time. We are interested in your interests and passions.
  • Work does not have to be polished, we are also interested in seeing how you make work, what your processes are and your use of different material and experimentation.

Labelling and annotation

  • Title of work
  • Year and month the work was made
  • Dimensions
  • Materials and duration, if relevant
  • Keep it concise

Digital portfolio requirements

Applicants submitting a digital portfolio should submit:

  • up to twenty images with each image no larger than 5MB;
  • applicants with time-based or performance elements to their work may include a showreel with a maximum duration time of five minutes;
  • we also encourage applicants to upload a short video featuring pages from sketchbooks;
  • the total size of your portfolio should not exceed 450MB.

Please can you give advice on how to make a successful digital portfolio, especially if I am applying straight from school?

If you are applying straight from school, your portfolio has to demonstrate ideas and a scope of work that extends your A level or your IB projects. Although your course work will form a large part of your portfolio, we would like your portfolio to show independence of thought, experimentation and in-depth investigations of ideas that really interest you.

If you decide to apply without a Foundation Course, then please be aware that A level and IB worksheets do not always reproduce well online, and it can be very difficult to understand which is the final work and which is the supporting material. We recommend that single images of final pieces make up the majority of your portfolio. 


In-person interviews for applicants based in the UK

The Slade will be returning to in-person interviews for applicants who are based in the UK.  
We have decided to do this because we have found that in-person interviews allow us to get the best out of each candidate. We value seeing actual work and its materiality and meeting candidates in person.

If invited for interview, you will be receive a tour of the studios and facilities led by a current UG student, who you can meet with and ask questions. This allows candidates to really get a feel for the course and for the ethos of the school, and to help establish if it might be the right environment for you.

This means that if selected for interview, and you are based in the UK, we will ask to see a selection of physical work that you bring to interview. We will look at the physical work alongside your application digital portfolio that we will have up on a screen in the interview room. The physical work can include original paintings and sculptures, printed out hard copy images of new large-scale works, sketchbooks, sound, maquettes, examples of materials or processes.

Please note: Whilst we appreciate the time and effort put into completing your application, regrettably due to the number of applications we receive we are not able to provide feedback to candidates who are not invited to an interview.