Portfolio Preparation Classes

Because Your Portfolio Matters you wont find a more instructive and intensive weekly portfolio preparation course, with highly qualified and motivated Art Teachers.  Our course is designed for students applying for a place in any third level art college for which a portfolio is mandatory.

Students will be encouraged to develop their ideas through research and working on personal projects. Subjects covered include, drawing from observation, ideas development, collage, colour work, basic printing and developing a personal project. Home work and study will be a vital and integral part of the course.

The Portfolio Team:

Course Director: Gillian Blaney Shorte
Lead Tutors: Louise Dunne, Mark Leavy
Specialist Tutors: Orla Kelleher, Louise Campbell & Liam Cousins

Gillian has 25 years experience successfully preparing students for Art College. Louise, a full-time Art Teacher with Artzone, qualified top of her year in NCAD, Education with First Class Honours.  As with all Artzone designed programmes the portfolio preparation research and support will be second to none!

The course will include direct attention to delivering the specific requirements for the NCAD Portfolio Brief (deadline 06.02.2018) but will also satisfy requirements for those targeting places in IADT, DIT, Crawford, BFCE, Stillorgan ….


  • Saturday  11.00am – 1.00pm          - This Year Applicants
  • Saturday 1.30pm – 3.30pm             – This Year Applicants
  • Wednesday 7.00pm – 9.00pm      - 5th Year Students


Artzone Studios, VFI Court, Castleside Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

6th Years & Mature Students for NCAD:

NCAD require students to work to a set brief. If your complete focus is on portfolio preparation for application to NCAD the submission date for this is quite early (usually end of week 1 February). Choosing this option will help you plan and pace yourself over 17 weeks for completion and review of your portfolio for the NCAD deadline.

Duration: 19 Week 6th Years Portfolio Preparation for NCAD
Saturdays: 9th September – 3rd February 2018;  11am – 1pm
Saturdays: 9th September – 3rd February 2018;  1.30pm – 3.30pm
Fees: €380 for 19-weeks.

6th Years & Mature Students for all other Colleges:

For students applying to all colleges we tailor your course to suit your target college(s) and submission dates but the majority (other than NCAD) have up to 27 weeks to prepare.  Choosing this option will help you plan and pace yourself over 3* 9-week terms for completion, and review, of your portfolio in time for the deadline of your chosen college.

Duration: 24 weeks
Saturdays: 9th Sept – 24th March, 11am – 1pm;

Fees: €480 for 24-weeks.

5th Years for all Colleges 2019:

This is by far the best time to begin your portfolio preparation.  We recommend starting in September but you can start anytime subject to spaces being available on the course.  As you finish the course for the year your Tutor will complete a gap analysis, set targets for the summer and plans for your final year.

Duration: 24 week Terms – start anytime subject to spaces becoming available on the course
Wednesdays: 13th Sept – 28th March, 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Fees: €480 for 24 weeks


As every student is at a different starting point we would recommend you call 01 4990614 to discuss your specific focus and needs with the team.  We will advise on course options, availability and the best choice for you.

Hi Louise, I just received an email from iadt saying that I got a perfect 600 points on my portfolio! Thank you for all of your help over the past few months. You were invaluable and I would never ever have done as well without your guidance and motivation. Your future students are very lucky to have you.
Thanks again! Carla, April ’15

My daughter Kelly received a maximum of 600 points from IADT her first choice college which without the support, guidance,encouragement and help from her tutor Louise at Artzone would not have been possible …a massive thank you from Kelly x, May ’15

39 Responses to “Portfolio Preparation Classes”

  1. Anne McGlouglin says:

    I am interested in your Saturday classes but would not be able to attend the first class. Is this a problem?

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      That wouldnt be a problem Anne. Louise will bring you up to speed once you join. The numbers are small and you will all be working at a different pace anyway. You can complete the booking form online or give us a quick call on 01 4063915 to book your place. Best wishes, Paul

  2. Marie Therese Duignan says:

    i am interested in doing these saturday classes is there still places?

  3. Anne McGlouglin says:

    I’m interested in the art class but I live in Maynooth. I haven’t booked a place yet and like Marie am wondering if there is any places left as well as if you know of any buses that go to there from Maynooth?
    Thanks for the previous reply and that won’t be an issue any more.

  4. Paula Dreelan says:

    Is it too late to join this class

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Paula, Obviously the earlier the better you join this class, but you can join now. Bring all your existing work along this Saturday. Louise will go through your work with you, identify gaps and help you make a plan. She doesnt have a huge group and they are all at different stages anyway. Hope that is helpful. Paul

  5. Sinaed says:

    Hi there,
    im doing my leaving cert this year, and im interested in art collage. i want to do a portfolio course after my leaving cert (which will be next year) and i want to apple to NCAD in Dublin and Edinburgh in Scotland and i was wondering if i will be able to my portfolio preparation course with you,for both collages ??
    Many Thanks,

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Sinead, While our primary focus is on the NCAD, IADT and DIT portfolio requirements our Teachers will help you interpret and fulfill the requirements of any art college. We have a weekly course on Saturday mornings at 11am and will run an two week intensive course next June. Best regards, Paul

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Sinead – I just re-read your comment. It sounds like you are looking for a more intensive one-year portfolio preparation course. We would recommend Ballyfermot, Stillorgan or Sallynoggin colleges for such a course. Regards, Paul

  6. pauline says:

    hi my daughter is currently preparing her art portfolio for NCAD is there anyone who would go through her work to help guide and advise her on what pieces should be included
    kind regards

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Pauline. Louise and Laura are going through the NCAD portfolios with our own portfolio preparation course students on Saturday afternoon. They might be willing to go through your daughters portfolio with her if you can make to Artzone Studios Saturday afternoon. Let me know if you can make it and that is not too late. Regards, Paul

  7. Debbie FitzGerald says:

    My daughter is presently in transition year and I was wondering at what stage should she be thinking about doing a portfolio course?
    I would be grateful for any guidance on this subject!
    Many thanks

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Debbie. Ideally your daughter would work on her portfolio through 5th and 6th year. Many of our Saturday morning portfolio class students would be in 5th year. If they build up a body of work through 5th year, it takes the pressure off 6th year – the brief for NCAD for 2015 only comes out in 6th year, but it does follow a format. As well as the Saturday morning classes we run an intensive one week kick-off course in mid/late August each year. Give Louise or Gillian a call here some morning if you wish to discuss. Best wishes. Paul

  8. Mena says:

    Hi, I’d like to ask when will the preparation classes start this year?
    Thanks a million!

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Mena, Our portfolio preparation class is in its last few weeks for this academic year. We have a bootcamp planned for the week of the 18th August ( Mon – Friday, 10am to 4pm). Our Saturday morning preparation classes will start again on Saturday 13th September 2014. Best regards, Paul

  9. lisa says:

    hi ,just wondering do you know the exact date the ncad brief comes out and will we have the whole three months over the summer to do it including up to february ? thanks

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Lisa, The brief doesn’t come out until September but it doesn’t change radically from year to year. If you want to talk to one of our Portfolio Teachers they can give you some guidance to get you started over the summer months. Our camp and/ or classes will help you hone and perfect it for submission to NCAD and/ or other Art Colleges. Best regards, Paul

  10. Emma says:

    Hi I’m a current fifth year at the moment and I will be applying
    for the portfolio submission 2015. But what I wanted to know
    is that is there availability in the portfolio course that runs from the
    18th-22nd august also what price is the course

  11. Muireann says:

    Hi, I’m going into 6th year in September and am planning on applying to do architecture for which I need a portfolio. Would your classes be suited to this?

  12. Laura O'Neill says:

    Will this course be running again this year, sept 2015? Is it suitable for fashion design course?

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Laura, The course helps you to prepare for any college requiring a structured portfolio. Places are limited so you get plenty of one on one attention. We also have a Fashion Specialist who Louise can call on to assist or assess if required. Best regards, Paul

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Yes Laura, This course is suitable for anyone who needs to produce a structured portfolio for college. Louise is a very experienced Art Teacher in her own right, and has a range of specialists (including Fashion) that she can call on to help with planning or assessment of portfolios. Best regards, Paul

  13. donna casserly says:

    hey i need help to create a portfolio to apply to got an C in art at leaving would this course help ????

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Donna, Louise will help you with any portfolio that has an objective. She will review your current portfolio and help you plan a scheme of work to produce a portfolio that will get you a result. You would need to start soon as she only has 7 more weeks to run. Best regards, Paul

  14. Henrietta Andoh says:

    Was wondering if this was just art school in general because wanted to do fashion design in college so could this course be taught in a way that would be beneficial to fashion school

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Henrietta, The course is suitable for all students applying to art colleges (including fashion). Louise has worked successfully with fashion applicants on their portfolios. The process of studying the brief, planning, creating and presenting is the same … If you wish to talk to one of the teachers call the office weekday mornings 9.30 – 12.00 on 01 4063915. Best regards, Paul

  15. Sadhbh Murphy says:

    Is it too late to join the course for this year?

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Sadhbh, The classes are full at the moment but as we split the year into three terms we often get places coming free at the end of a term. The next term starts 21/11/2015. Give us a call on 01 4063915 to register. Regards, Paul

  16. Eszter Karpati says:


    I am Eszter. I would like to study fashion design in college. I saw on your website that you have some Portfolio Preparation Classes and I would like to know how many days per week, and which days are the classes on? Do you have Saturday or Sunday classes, because I work on weekdays.

    Thank you and best regards

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Eszter, We have portfolio preparation classes on Saturdays at Artzone Studios. You would need to call the office to put your name down for next term (01 4990614). Best regards, Paul

  17. Ellen says:

    I would like to study architecture in DIT next year,I am wondering if your portfolio courses are suitable for the portfolio that I require.

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Ellen, Our students are applying for a range of Art related College Courses – Art, Education, Visual Communications, Fashion, Architecture …. Our Portfolio Preparation Course will take you through the process of studying a brief, mind maps, notebooks, drawing skills, print, photography. While our teachers don’t teach architecture specifically, they monitor and guide you towards completing your portfolio to a standard that meets your brief. This is the same wherever you go. Best regards, Paul

  18. Graham Dow says:

    Hi can you please send me details about this years portfolio course. I finished secondary school two years ago and I wish to apply through CAO for College for Sept 2017.

    kindest regards
    Graham Dow

  19. Rosemary Cooney says:

    My daughter is going into 6th year and recently decided she is interested in Visual Communications Design and she requires a portfolio. We are based near Naas. Can you send me details about your summer courses and dates that would help her get started? Many thanks

  20. Lisa says:

    Hi I’ve recently decided that I want to study fashion design in NCAD. Is it too late to join a portfolio course ? Thanks, Lisa

    • Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

      Hi Lisa, It would be best to ring our Portfolio Preparation Lead Tutor, Louise to discuss this. She is very experienced and pragmatic. It all depends on what you have already, and the time you have to commit to working on the portfolio. The NCAD deadline Thursday 1st February 2018. We have a number of students working towards this date. Best regards, Paul

  21. Paul.Shorte@artzone.ie says:

    Yes – no problem Rachel – just ring the office or call into Louise to arrange. Paul

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