Portfolio advice

Fine art studios, UCA Farnham

A strong portfolio could be the key to getting the place you want on a degree or pre-degree course. But what should you include? We've put together some general tips that should help you make the most of your work:

  • Research the course you're applying for and make sure that you understand the emphasis of the course.
  • Demonstrate your capability in your chosen area of specialism.
  • Show visual evidence of a range of skills and understanding of a variety of media. This could include finished projects and development work, digital work, photography, paintings, drawings, three dimensional work, storyboards, films or animations.
  • Show creative thinking, investigation and your ability to develop a project.
  • Include sketchbooks, notebooks and contact sheets as well as finished work.
  • Make sure that your portfolio is logically organised - chronologically or in working groups where initial work is placed next to final pieces.
  • Large or three dimensional pieces can be shown using photographs.
  • Don't be over-selective - we will assess your potential and take into account what you have achieved so far.
  • Make sure what you do include shows a range of styles and media to demonstrate your creativity.
  • Know your work, so that you can discuss the ideas that you've developed and which pieces of work you consider to be stronger and weaker.

Not all our courses will ask to see your portfolio and some may offer you a place on your predicted results, application form and personal statement. Details of whether you are required to submit a portfolio and what it should contain will be provided once you have applied. Applicants that are required to send in their portfolio of work will be notified via the applicant portal.

We have created a video with some of our staff and students talking about what they recommend you put in your portfolio:

For further portfolio advice you could visit us at one of our open days or at a student recruitment event.

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