Skip to main content

First Year Art & Design - Portfolio Information

This assessment is to determine your artistic/creative suitability and will consist of a review of your portfolio and a written assignment which helps to determine your comprehension of contemporary art and design practice.
The portfolio will be scored out of 600 with a minimum score of 240 required. Only those who are successful at this stage will be considered for places. As the number of applicants who are successful after the Portfolio Assessment is normally greater than the number of places available, the system of final selection is done on the basis of points. The portfolio score will be added to the Leaving Certificate score to rank you for entry.

A successful portfolio should adhere to the following guidelines
  • Make it Exciting: Make your Portfolio reflect how enthusiastic you are about the prospect of studying Art & Design. Choose only your best work; work that expresses your skills, your abilities, your interests, your personality.
  • Careful Presentation: You don't have to spend lots of money on expensive presentation boards, mounts and sleeves, but all work will look better if it is carefully presented. Take time to order your portfolio into a neat, tidy and well-presented representation of your work. Order your work logically, you can do this chronologically, by theme, or by medium, for example.
  • Be selective: Don't put everything in. We will only look at a maximum of 15 sheets. These sheets may, however, contain more than one image, drawing or photograph of 3D work. (If your portfolio contains more than 15 sheets you may be asked to withdraw work. Please avoid the embarrassment, by adhering to the 15 sheet limit.)
  • Sketchbooks: Please include a maximum of three sketchbooks. These should contain analytical studies which explore and investigate aspects of your environment.
  • Don't forget unfinished work or work-in-progress. If relevant, these can be worth including. It's a good idea to attach sketches or plans to the finished work, (with a paper clip) to show that they are part of the same work.
  • Don't leave out large work or 3D work: If you want us to see large work or 3D work, which you have made, just include a good quality photograph of it.
  • Label it. Make sure your name is on the front of your closed portfolio, and neatly label all the work inside, on the reverse side, with titles, where relevant, and approximate dates.
  • Your Assignment: Be sure to include your portfolio assignment. This forms part of your portfolio assessment and must be included in your portfolio.

Download Portfolio Assignment Information PDF

Download Mature Applicant Suitability Form PDF


Application forms are available from the Central Application Office (CAO) in Galway, or register online at All applications to Art & Design must be sent to the CAO prior to 1st May of the year of application.
Portfolio Assessments usually take place early March. Applicants will receive an email providing them with a link to book a date/time on-line. Assessments will be held in LSAD, Clare Street, Limerick.

Mature Students (any EU National over the age of 23 before 1st January of the year of application) must indicate such on their application to CAO; only mature student applications made before 1st of May will be considered.

All mature applicants must present work for portfolio assessment and complete a Mature Applicant suitability form. Portfolio assessments look at the level of commitment, creativity, competence, comprehension, investigation, efficiency in the portfolio of work submitted, where the Mature Applicant suitability form evaluates applicant ability to successfully complete the academic subjects of the course.