Portfolio pointers - Undergraduate

A number of our undergraduate courses ask to see a portfolio of original work in order to assess applicants' suitability for their chosen course. A great portfolio will increase the likelihood that you will receive an offer for your chosen course. Portfolios are just as varied as the individual, so what makes a good portfolio?

Tutors are looking for:

  • Creativity;
  • Design Awareness;
  • Drawing Skills;
  • Love of colour, texture and pattern;
  • A sense of individuality and commitment to work;
  • Organisational skills.

 

Some general advice on putting together a portfolio:

  • Try not to include too many similar examples - this doesn't showcase the breadth of your talent;
  • Remember that sometimes less is more
  • Consider your audience - you may want to seek a second opinion before sharing things with us;
  • Start and end strong – don’t include all your best work at the beginning.

 

Click below on the course you're applying for more advice.

 

Foundation Degree (FdA) Art and Design

Foundation Degree (FdA) Art and Design

Portfolio requirements

As part of your application to the Foundation Degree (FdA) Art and Design, you will need to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills and aptitude to study at degree level, which could include:

  1. Observational drawings, sketches or designs;
  2. Visual research, studies and experiments (across a range of materials, techniques and processes);
  3. Resolved work, and work at developmental stages;
  4. An ability to evaluate and reflect on work produced;
  5. Actual work, or appropriate documentation of work produced;
  6. Example(s) of academic writing.

 

Submitting a digital portfolio

Emailing photos, or digital art isn't always possible due to the size of the files in question. Don't worry though, you can submit your portfolio digitally in a number of different ways, including:

  • Your own website/blog - if you have one set up already (NO need to set one up if you don't have one, try a different method below);
  • Online portfolio websites, such as: Portfoliobox, Behance, Wix or Adobe Portfolio (you may need to pay for these sites - do NOT do so unless you plan on using them regularly);
  • Generic file-sharing sites, such as: DropBox, WeTransfer, MediaFire (these are usually free to use - take care not to accidentally sign up for a trial which charges you later on);
  • Social media sites, such as: Facebook or Instagram (you may want to set up a specific page, rather than using your personal one).

 

Face-to-face interviews

Suitably qualified applicants are invited to interview. You may have submitted a portfolio, or examples of work, with your application, however you should still bring a portfolio of recent work with you to talk through with the tutor at interview.

 

BA (Hons) Art and Design

BA (Hons) Art and Design

Portfolio requirements

As part of your application for the BA (Hons) Art and Design, you will need to submit a portfolio of work and a practice-orientated research proposal to be discussed at interview. Typically, a portfolio should evidence work completed across levels 4 and 5, identifying creative motivating concerns, craft ability and the development of ideas.

You will also need to submit an example of writing, demonstrating knowledge of appropriate referencing and academic research.

 

Submitting a digital portfolio

Emailing photos, or digital art isn't always possible due to the size of the files in question. Don't worry though, you can submit your portfolio digitally in a number of different ways, including:

  • Your own website/blog - if you have one set up already (NO need to set one up if you don't have one, try a different method below);
  • Online portfolio websites, such as: Portfoliobox, Behance, Wix or Adobe Portfolio (you may need to pay for these sites - do NOT do so unless you plan on using them regularly);
  • Generic file-sharing sites, such as: DropBox, WeTransfer, MediaFire (these are usually free to use - take care not to accidentally sign up for a trial which charges you later on);
  • Social media sites, such as: Facebook or Instagram (you may want to set up a specific page, rather than using your personal one).

 

Face-to-face interviews

Suitably qualified applicants are invited to interview. You may have submitted a portfolio, or examples of work, with your application, however you should still bring a portfolio of recent work with you to talk through with the tutor at interview.

 

Additional requirements

On successful admission to the course, you will be asked to prepare a proposal for the DS6004 Research Paper module, to be submitted at the start of the academic year. It would therefore be appropriate to consider this when submitting written work at interview.

The research paper module is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to conclude an academic study through rigorous analysis, interpretation and sustained research, and should originate from practice concerns.

 

Foundation Degree (FdA) Fashion and Textiles

Foundation Degree (FdA) Fashion and Textiles

Portfolio Requirements

You should have a portfolio that includes a broad selection of creative work that demonstrates your individual experience and abilities. Evidence of engagement with research and the development of ideas is essential, and can take the form of moodboards, initial designs, design development sheets, sketchbooks and drawings as well as art and design-related project work. You could also bring a completed garment, if you have made one.

 

Submitting a digital portfolio

Emailing photos, or digital art isn't always possible due to the size of the files in question. Don't worry though, you can submit your portfolio digitally in a number of different ways, including:

  • Your own website/blog - if you have one set up already (NO need to set one up if you don't have one, try a different method below);
  • Online portfolio websites, such as: Portfoliobox, Behance, Wix or Adobe Portfolio (you may need to pay for these sites - do NOT do so unless you plan on using them regularly);
  • Generic file-sharing sites, such as: DropBox, WeTransfer, MediaFire (these are usually free to use - take care not to accidentally sign up for a trial which charges you later on);
  • Social media sites, such as: Facebook or Instagram (you may want to set up a specific page, rather than using your personal one).

 

Face-to-face interviews

Suitably qualified applicants are invited to interview. You may have submitted a portfolio, or examples of work, with your application, however you should still bring a portfolio of recent work with you to talk through with the tutor at interview.

 

HNC and HND Art and Design (Photography)

HNC and HND Art and Design (Photography)

Portfolio requirements

A photography portfolio shouldn’t just show that you know exposure and white balance. Your portfolio should also convey your style. A portfolio could be printed or online, or even both, but should include only your best work. Select your favorites, with strict standards and keep in mind the dos and don’ts below:

  1. DON'T include too many similar images, this can come across as lazy;
  2. DO include images that show off your style - if you have an image with perfect composition and exposure, but it’s not your usual style, don’t include it;
  3. DO show that you know more than just the technical aspects of photography; it should display your artistic style too;
  4. DO use images with immediate wow factor – remember the aim is to impress;
  5. DON'T use images you have to explain too much - this could work against you;
  6. DO show us if you specialise in a certain area of photography, but if you shoot in multiple subcategories, have a separate portfolio for each.

 

Submitting a digital portfolio

Emailing photos, or digital art isn't always possible due to the size of the files in question. Don't worry though, you can submit your portfolio digitally in a number of different ways, including:

  • Your own website/blog - if you have one set up already (NO need to set one up if you don't have one, try a different method below);
  • Online portfolio websites, such as: Portfoliobox, Behance, Wix or Adobe Portfolio (you may need to pay for these sites - do NOT do so unless you plan on using them regularly);
  • Generic file-sharing sites, such as: DropBox, WeTransfer, MediaFire (these are usually free to use - take care not to accidentally sign up for a trial which charges you later on);
  • Social media sites, such as: Facebook or Instagram (you may want to set up a specific page, rather than using your personal one).

 

Face-to-face interviews

Suitably qualified applicants are invited to interview. You may have submitted a portfolio, or examples of work, with your application, however you should still bring a portfolio of recent work with you to talk through with the tutor at interview.

 

 

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