Art and Design portfolio advice

Your portfolio should contain a well-presented selection of your work.

Take advice on this from your tutors but please remember that we want to see a range of work that both reflects your overall experience of art and design practice, and supports your chosen area of specialism.

You don't have to bring a paper portfolio, we also accept digital portfolios. To ensure we can view your work at its best, please bring a suitable device such as a laptop or tablet with the portfolio stored. Please do not rely on having internet access during the interview.

What to include

Your portfolio should be unique to you and represent your experience and interests in your chosen field. Broadly, we are looking for strong ideas and concepts that have been executed to a high standard. However, the development work, or 'creative journey' is as important as the final piece and will allow your interviewer to determine your research skills, commitment and aptitude.

We will also be looking for worksheets, ideas sheets, storyboards, samples as well as finished pieces, sketchbooks and notebooks that document your visual interest and thinking. Depending on your area of study, a good mixture of 2D and 3D work may be appropriate.

If you have large pieces of work to show which are not easily transportable, consider photographing these to avoid travelling with them and risking damage.

You do not have to limit your portfolio to work you have done at school. You are welcome to include work you have produced from your own interest and initiative.

Presenting your portfolio

Think carefully about the order of your portfolio. Generally, it is a good idea to start and end with your strongest pieces of work, or those about which you have the most to say. You should aim to deliver a strong first impression, then end on a high.

We are looking for evidence of:

  • Creativity and drawing
  • Practical skills
  • Research skills
  • An open-minded, enquiring and experimental approach to practical work
  • Your visual communication skills
  • The ability to develop ideas

The best portfolios take time to plan and prepare, they cannot be completed the night before the interview. Presentation is also key, it should be graphically pleasing and clearly displayed.

Subject-specific advice

Some courses have specific requirements when it comes to your portfolio. To help you prepare, please visit the links below to view subject-specific advice: