Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions that we receive here in the Admissions Office regarding portfolios. Hopefully these will help you if you have any concerns. If not, just drop us a line, at, where we will be happy to get back to you with any answers you need.

The information supplied here is for applicants to first year on an undergraduate degree course at NCAD. Please refer to the relevant pages for International, Advanced Entry, Postgraduate and Part Time portfolio submission and application.

Do all programmes at NCAD require a portfolio submission?

A portfolio submission is required for all studio degrees at NCAD: 

SPECIAL NOTE: A portfolio is NOT required for AD215 Visual Culture – history and theory of contemporary art & design (portfolio not required).

What should I include in my portfolio for NCAD?

An entrance portfolio is a collection of visual work that shows your potential to study art and design at third level. The NCAD Portfolio Submission Guidelines are designed help you put your portfolio together whether you are starting from scratch or using work you have developed in another context.  We want to see your Research and Observation your Ideas Development  and your Developed Creative Work. You should also  include at least one Notebook, remember the best portfolios will show all your processes. For more information on what you could include, please CLICK HERE 

When should I bring my portfolio to NCAD?

The deadline for Portfolio submission for First Year entry September 2020 is Friday 7th February 2020. We will accept portfolios any time in the two weeks before the deadline. If you need to submit your portfolio earlier please contact the Admissions Office:  Please note it is your responsibility to submit your portfolio on time, we do not send reminders about this date. The address for portfolio submission is:

The Admissions Office,
NCAD, 100 Thomas Street,
Dublin 8, Ireland.

Can I get an extension on the deadline for Portfolio Submission?

It is not possible to get an extension on the submission deadline – all portfolios must be presented by the published closing date.

When can I collect my portfolio?

Portfolios can be collected from NCAD for up to 3 weeks after the end of the portfolio assessment. You will be given information on collection dates and times. If you need to collect your portfolio early please let us know and we will arrange to have your portfolio assessed and ready for collection.

How will my portfolio be assessed?

Details on the assesment criteria for the portfolio submissions can be found in the Portfolio Submission Guidelines. Please see more information HERE

When will I be told the outcome of my portfolio assessment?

We will write to you by the end of March with the result of your portfolio assessment. This letter will tell you if you have achieved the necessary score for a conditional offer. A conditional offer is an offer that is dependent on you meeting the minimum academic entry requirements through your Leaving Certificate, QQI FE Award or other. If you do not get a conditional offer we will tell you if you are on a waiting list for an offer. Each year we make a number of offers to applicants from the waiting list.

Offers are made in August through the CAO. All applicants are placed on a ranked list based on portfolio score. Offers are made in descending order from this list to applicants who have met the minimum academic entry requirements.

Can I carry my Portfolio Score forward to the next year?

We recognise that our applicants put a lot of work into the preparation of their admissions portfolios.  If you have passed the porftolio review stage but not received an official offer from the CAO, NCAD will allow you to carry forward your portfolio socre  to the application process the following year.

Once you have told us you wish to carry forward your portfolio score and you have given us your new CAO number you will be eligible for an offer based on your original portfolio score and subject to the normal entry requirements and any portfolio cut off points in the year that you are now applying into.  

An example of where a Portfolio Carry Forward might apply is when an applicant fails to meet  the minimum academic entry requirements in the first year of application.  

More information can be found at Study-at-NCAD.

I am applying from outside the Republic of Ireland. How can I submit my portfolio?

Applicants from outside the Republic of Ireland can submit their portfolio digitally. You can submit your portfolio as a .pdf, or as shared files on, for example, Google Drive or Dropbox. Please see our Internation Application page for more information.