First things first:
Please read this carefully!
A portfolio is essentially a ‘package’ of your work. It can be a physical object – maybe A2 or A3 – with pages. Alternatively, if applying from outside of the UK, it can be a pdf with work arranged on different pages within the same document.
Care should be taken with the presentation, demonstrating a breadth of work. A creative portfolio should show originality, depth of learning, evidence of engagement with the subject and a clear understanding of work that has been produced in relation to briefs undertaken.
Think (for example) about your best ten pieces of work. Try not to be repetitive.
Order work carefully, to show off different ideas, skills and approaches. Examples of photography, life drawing, painting, etc, are just as valid as work that is more obviously ‘graphic’. Starting and ending with something impressive is always a good idea. Simple labelling/captioning of work can help those viewing to understand your ideas or the context of the work.
Sketches and work in progress might be included within the main portfolio, or you may want to present notebooks and sketchbooks as separate items.
These need to demonstrate your ability to pursue a creative process – research, idea generation, experimentation, development and final solution.
Three dimensional objects can be displayed in your portfolio by representing them photographically. Moving image work can be shown on a laptop or as a storyboard.
At interview you will be expected to talk through your work, explaining the processes involved and reasons behind decisions made. You will want to practice doing this in advance.
A portfolio may well show hand/making/software skills, but it should definitely show how you think.
Rehearse the presentation of your work. Know the briefs you have been set!
Ensure you are able to discuss and explain each item. Find out as much about the course, University and city as you possibly can. The more you know before your interview, the more confident you'll feel and look. Think through some of the questions you're likely to be asked and work out possible responses. Ask your tutors and peers to run through a pretend interview with you and give you honest feedback.
Although we make every effort to meet with you personally and talk about your work, in some circumstances your portfolio may be viewed without you being present. Ensure your work is ordered carefully. Simple labelling/captioning of work can only help our understanding.
During your interview you will be asked questions about your work, aspirations and interests as well as your opinion about aspects of design in our contemporary world. We are trying to find out about you, but it is also an opportunity for you to find out about us. Please do ask questions! Your interview is not a test. Please relax and try to enjoy the process.