These portfolio guidelines are designed to help you with your preparation for applying to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD).

We hope that you will find them useful. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

Portfolio Guidelines 

All work should be contained within a portfolio, which should not be larger than 850 x 635mm (35 x 25 ins). It must open and close easily. Envelopes, paper, parcels, boxes and additional packages are not acceptable. Drawings must not be rolled up. Computer generated material should be printed out and not submitted in electronic format (disk / CD/ DVD). We reserve the right to refuse acceptance of work that does not conform to these specifications. 

Three-dimensional objects must be represented by good quality photographs taken from more than one viewpoint. Paintings submitted must not be framed or glazed.

Examples of work should, if possible, be mounted, no matter how inexpensively. Small pieces should be mounted in groups or on larger sheets. When mounting, it would be helpful if images did not overlap.

All pieces of work must be clearly marked on the back with the applicant’s name and address.

The portfolio must bear the applicant’s name and address.

As a guideline you should show examples of:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture

Photography portfolios can contain examples of one or more of these disciplines.

An awareness and use of various media or combinations of media – this could be evident in either the sketchbooks or finished works.


The interview panel will pay particular attention to sketchbooks, especially with regard to the extent to which they reflect the range of your interests and experience. Sketchbooks are regarded as being of great value in recording images, exploring ideas and developing concepts. 

The interview panel regard a portfolio as providing evidence of a candidate’s judgement and discrimination. You are strongly advised to seek guidance from your Principal teacher/Head of Art and Design or other appropriate professionals in compiling and presenting your portfolio.

Interview and Assessment of Creative Work

When you are invited to attend interview you will be asked to produce evidence of ‘creative ability’ and demonstrate ‘intellectual ability and philosophical interest’. What do we mean by that?

The degree course for which you are applying requires a wide range of abilities including a developed visual understanding and a certain degree of ability in theoretical reflection and critical thinking. Furthermore, skills in expressing your ideas visually as well as verbally and in writing are very important.

Based on the information provided within your UCAS application form and the digital portfolio submission, selected candidates will be invited to attend interview in person to present a comprehensive portfolio or if this is not suitable due to distance or cost, we can arrange an interview via Skype at a mutually suitable time.  However, where possible we would strongly encourage you to attend interview in person to give you the opportunity to view departmental facilities, meet staff/students and of course experience life on campus.

The interview and portfolio presentation is intended as a means for the academic staff team to assess whether you are likely to benefit from/contribute to the course.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

Please submit 15 images (or film clips) that best describe your work. Your selection should be drawn from a range of projects that demonstrate the quality and diversity of practical skills and creative conceptual development in your work.

Context and Research

We are interested in seeing a sample of your contextual and background research. This is often located in your sketchbooks or development sheets. Please scan or photograph some examples (keeping to a maximum of 2-3 pages), to demonstrate your research and development process.

Creative Process

We would like you to demonstrate your creativity within your portfolio. We are looking to see how you, as an individual, develop a project and visualise creative ideas.

This could be evidenced by samples from your sketchbook, or you could provide a sample of writing.

Note: Please provide a short description and sizes with each work.

Practical Skills

At this stage in your education we are looking for a broad range of media handling skills e.g. drawing, printmaking, sculpture, painting, digital processes (digital or traditional collage, photography, film), and any combination of these.

Digital Folio Submission Format

We accept the following:

  • jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, pdf, png and bmp file types are allowed and each file size limit of 5Mb
  • Movie files can be submitted providing links to YouTube/Vimeo or QuickTime movies


Early school work that has been superseded by later, more mature work, need not be submitted – please select quality examples that best represent you. Work made out with school or college may be of particular interest.

Digital Portfolio Submission

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

These portfolio guidelines are designed to help you with your preparation for applying to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD).

We hope that you will find them useful. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.