No matter what course or what country you’re planning on studying in, there are a few things students applying to creative courses all over the world should know.
It’s no walk in the park. Like any other discipline, you’ll need the right amount of gumption and dedication to ace the arts. But it’ll be well worth the hard work as the journey itself is going to be the most exciting, creative, and rewarding experiences of your life.
Whether you choose illustration, performing arts, photography, fashion, creative writing, or any other of the many courses that fall into the creative arts field, keep these things in mind when putting in your application…
Put a lot of passion into your application
For a number of courses, if you want to be accepted you’ll need good grades. Generally speaking for creative courses, while grades can certainly be important, the real clincher is passion.
No one wants a creative student on their course who isn’t remotely interested in art. If you aren’t prepared to give the course your all then there’s little point applying. And if it doesn’t come through in your application, you’re unlikely to get an offer.
Think about what you love about the course and why it’s something you’re willing to work hard at and showcase this in any way you can. If you’re applying directly to a university, put it in your cover letter, or if you’re applying to a UK university through UCAS, be sure to put it in your personal statement.
It can be a surprisingly tough application process for creatives and competition is fierce. You want to stand out for your passion and dedication.
You’ll likely need a portfolio
For the majority of creative courses, you’ll need a portfolio at the ready to show off all your incredible talent. You might be able to do this digitally through a blog, website or online or USB storage device or, more traditionally, in a physical format.
The university is likely to detail on its website exactly what will be expected of you, but if it’s still early days or you’re not sure, then send an email across and ask.
If you’re an aspiring photographer, get together your best shots and present them in glossy print or build an online portfolio. If you’re a fashion designer, gather up your designs, working process and photographs of your finished products.
Aspiring authors might have pages and pages of novels-in-progress to go through or a collection of poems to put together. Artists will likely want to fashion a sketchbook, taking great care to ensure all of it is your best work. Drama students may need to provide short video clips of their performances.
There may be strict rules on the number of images, words, or pages you’re allowed to include in your portfolio, or a time limit on videos, so be sure to check the regulations carefully. If there aren’t any limits, then have a bit of fun with it. This is your chance to show off you and your work, so be unique!
You may need to attend an interview or audition
Many courses will be happy to rely on students’ grades and application package to determine whether or not to offer them a place, however, creative students are seldom so lucky.
You may be invited to interview or audition in order to win your spot on the course. Here is usually where you will present your portfolio too.
For international students, however, you may be allowed to do this over Skype but bear in mind you may need to be there in person so make sure you check long in advance.
Whether you’re conducting your interview or audition online or in person what you wear for it is very important. You want to look smart but as a student of the arts, you might want something that sets you apart from your average guy or girl in your basic grey, black or navy blue suit.
Wear something comfortable yet smart, a professional outfit that doesn’t strip away your identity.
If it’s an audition you’re going for, bear in mind you may need to be able to move around freely in your clothing for dance or drama performances. It may be best to value comfort and convenience over style on this one but be sure not to look too under-dressed. It’s one thing to dress comfortably and another to look like you’ve just crawled out of bed and are wearing the clothes you’ve slept in!
If you’re participating in a group workshop or interview, be sure to talk to other people – you are likely to be assessed from the moment you step into the room. Be confident but not overbearing, take control but don’t dismiss other ideas or talk over people, be enthusiastic but don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
In a nutshell, be the best version of yourself. Plus, if you’re already passionate about your subject, that’s half the battle won!
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