How to nail your art and design portfolio

Applying for an Art and Design course at Edinburgh College requires you to submit a digital portfolio of your recent practical and contextual Art and Design work and attend an applicant session.

Your digital portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your technical skills and passion for Art & Design. Essentially we want to know more about you and what makes you ‘tick’ creatively. In order to fully gauge your creativity, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio. Here are the main things you need to know when submitting a portfolio.

Portfolios are now digital

For academic session 2021/22, we are accepting digital portfolios only. You will be asked to send your digital portfolio by email and we recommend submitting it in the format of a PowerPoint saved as a PDF. View our Application Process and Digital Portfolios guide for more information about submitting your digital portfolio.

It’s not just about your qualifications

Potential applicants should take note that the selection decision emphasis is based on the portfolio assessment and personal statement rather than specific qualification grades.

We want to see variety

Try to include a variety of work that shows creative potential and imagination as well as sound drawing skills. Strong portfolios usually include sketchbooks showing visual research and development using a wide variety of media and approaches. This can include drawings, prints, paintings, design work or photographs.

We want the context behind it

We encourage candidates to include historical and contextual references in the form of notebooks and formal essays. Strong digital portfolios usually show visual research and development of ideas using a wide variety of media and approaches.

Don’t have a portfolio?

If you do not have a portfolio of work from either school or personal study, we have introductory courses that are ideal to help you build up a portfolio that is suitable for progressing onto higher level courses the following year. Our introductory course is the UAL Level 2 Diploma and if you don’t have a full portfolio we would ask you to complete and submit five drawings of household objects. These could include jars, bottles, bowls, fruit or plants. Try to use more than one type of media like pencils, pens, crayons, charcoal, paint or ink.

Ready to apply? View our Art & Design courses.

Pencils and sketchpads on a desk.