Date of entry

September 2020

This information is for applicants to Art & Design (General Foundation) who have received an invitation to upload their digital portfolio for assessment

About your portfolio

As part of your application to study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, you need to submit a digital portfolio of work showcasing your development, creativity, skills, presentation and enthusiasm for your creative practice.

Portfolio format

Your digital portfolio should consist of one PDF file showing of up to 15 pages of work.

File format

  • One PDF document with up to 15 pages of work and one contents page
  • No more than 50MB
  • Named using your full name and student ID number for example MaryAnnBaxter_1234567.pdf

Including text and image

Each page should contain high quality images of your work - you can have more than 1 image on each page.

You should include a brief description of each piece of work indicating media, size and date produced (for example Image 1 – Acrylic paint, 30cmx15cm, November 2019).

Some example pages are provided below. This is just one example - your layout, type of work and style may be totally different, but you should aim for a similar balance of text and image.

Including video content (optional)

You can include up to 5 minutes of video content by sharing a link to a video hosting service (like YouTube or Vimeo) or cloud storage (like Dropbox or OneDrive) in your digital portfolio.

Make sure your link is publicly accessible (or provide a password if your video is password protected). Do not provide us with your personal login details.


  • Demonstrate your creative ideas, skills, abilities and personality
  • Show examples of your thinking and developmental process (usually in the form of pages from your sketchbook)
  • Carefully consider the order of the content displayed in your portfolio. You may wish to arrange your work by a particular theme or by specific projects undertaken.
  • Make sure your images are clear, bright and at a scale suitable to view online
  • Use typography that is legible for online viewing

What we expect

Your portfolio will be assessed across five criteria:

  • research, development and sketchbooks
  • creativity and originality
  • practical competence and application of skills
  • quality, presentation and selection of work
  • engagement with the subject

You should keep these criteria in mind when deciding what to include in your portfolio. Demonstrating your journey from inspiration to outcome and showing the range and quality of your creative skills, is as important as polished, final pieces of work.

Research, development and sketchbooks


Demonstrate some knowledge of a range of artists’ and designers’ work. How has this perhaps influenced your thinking and the development of your ideas?


How do you develop and progress your idea from start to finish? Can you show this in a visual form? This could take many approaches, including drawn or painted studies or experimentation with colour, surface, scale and form.


Your sketchbooks should be a key component of your portfolio. They offer the opportunity to express yourself visually, including your ability to explore ideas and develop concepts. They allow individualism and provide insight into your own interests and personal inspiration.

Creativity and originality


Informed and inspired by a broad range of sources and stimuli, how able are you to express and translate your thoughts, ideas and creativity into visual outputs?


What choices have you made in topic, subject or theme as a basis for your work? These choices – particularly if developed with innovation, inquisitiveness and creative thinking – can add interest to your work.

Practical competence and application of skills

Observational drawing

Show us your ability to record visual information through drawing directly from a source rather than solely from photographs.

Media and techniques

While we do not expect you have expertise in all types of media and techniques, demonstrating some knowledge of a range of materials and processes is necessary to show us your aptitude, handling skills and understanding.


What is the relationship between:

  • your ability to select and explore processes, media and techniques and what you,
  • what you are trying to express in your art or design work?

Quality, presentation and selection of work


We want to evaluate the quality of your work overall, particularly in fully resolved, finished pieces that combine innovation with good material handling skills as appropriate to the work.


We’d like to see evidence of the care and attention that you give to the presentation of your portfolio – whether in digital or physical format – and that it conforms to our instructions for submission.

Selection of work

Does your selection of work reflect what you want to communicate about you (as an individual), your interests and your enthusiasm for your subject? Have you edited your portfolio confidently, demonstrating a concise presentation of your strongest work?

Engagement with the subject

Independent thinking

Does your work show you have the capability, aptitude, motivation and readiness to undertake an Art & Design course at degree level?


Are you able to work independently? You can show this in the development of personal projects or through attendance at extra-curricular classes.

Subject knowledge

We’d like to see evidence of your real engagement with the study of art and design, including a broad cultural and contextual awareness that adds depth to your overall portfolio submission.

Applied for more than one Art & Design course?

You need to upload a portfolio for each course you have applied for.

You may choose to include different work in each portfolio to showcase your strengths, but this is not a requirement.


Receiving your invitation

When you are invited to upload your portfolio, we will email your invitation to both your personal and email address. You will not be notified of an invitation via UCAS.

Rather than issuing all invitations at once, we released them in phases depending on when your application has been assessed by our Admissions Team.

After you have been invited

You will have fourteen days to upload your portfolio.


If you are unsuccessful

We will let you know the outcome of your application via UCAS and by email to both your personal and email address.

If you are made an offer

You will receive an offer (conditional or unconditional) via UCAS and by email to both your personal and email address.

Scottish applicants (portfolio hand in)

You will no longer be asked to hand in your physical portfolio in April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, we will make our decisions based on a mix of academic qualifications and your existing digital portfolio upload. To ensure fairness and consistency we cannot assess any additionally uploaded work.

Upload your digital portfolio

You need to upload your digital portfolio to My Applications on eVision.

Any questions?

Portfolio guidance

Help with My Applications