MA Design - applicant portfolio advice

YOUR PORTFOLIO TELLS US ABOUT YOU...

What is it?

A portfolio is a record of your creative potential. Be selective and include only the things that will make an impression: 

  • Think creatively (this should be shown with examples of the ideas and interests underlying your work).
  • Use relevant graphic and written communication techniques and skills (this should be demonstrated in the techniques you use in your work).
  • Think critically (this should be shown in the work you select and how you have put it together as a coherent package).

Some suggestions

For general guidance, we have prepared some notes and suggestions for you.

Demonstrate your abilities by including as wide a range of work as possible. This might include (note - you are not required to show all of the following):

Graphic work:

  • Drawings; for example, freehand sketches, life drawing, orthographic drawings (plans, sections and elevations, such as typically used in architectural drawings), and /or 3D architectural drawings (perspectives or axonometrics)
  • Collages / montages
  • Flyers
  • Graphic design
  • Photographs of models / 3D work
  • Pages from sketchbooks
  • Paintings
  • Poster designs
  • Sketch studies of designs
  • Photography; this may include both art-based work and photographs taken whilst visiting buildings or places.
  • Precedent studies (i.e. studies using annotated sketches, diagrams or photographs to analyse buildings or artefacts, such as artwork).

Written work:

  • Creative writing; for example, poetry and stories
  • Research studies.

It’s very important that the portfolio contains work illustrating your creativity and not just your technical ability.

In your graphic work show evidence of your ability to use a wide range of materials and media, this might include: acrylics, charcoal, collage, ink, oil, pencil, and photography.

You should include a minimum of ten pieces of work (ten images as digital files), up to a maximum of 15 pieces of work (15 images as digital files).

There should be a balance of both graphic and written work, although we would expect to see a minimum of at least five pieces of graphic work. These can be anything you wish to include from the above list.

Submitting

  • Submit your work as digital images only, taken from either original digitally-based work, scans of flat work, or photographs of three-dimensional work. Note that other formats such as large portfolio cases will not be accepted (this restriction also recognises that some of your work might be either submitted for A level examinations or may be three-dimensional work).
  • Your portfolio should be a collection of JPEG images saved as either a single compressed file, if JPEG format, OR as a single compressed file or single combined file, if PDF format.
  • Acceptable digital formats are limited to only JPEG or PDF files; we cannot guarantee that we will be able to view work sent in other formats, so please adhere to the guidelines.
  • Total email size should be no more than 5MB.
  • Please email your portfolio to us at pg-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk. The email should include your NAME (and UCAS number if you are a UK home student). Please note, portfolios will not be returned, so please keep a copy.

If you have any more questions regarding your portfolio or application please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to receiving your portfolio, and good luck!