This information is for applicants to Art & Design (General Foundation) who have received an invitation to upload their 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 portfolio of work showcasing your development, creativity, skills, presentation and enthusiasm for your creative practice.

Portfolio format

Your 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 2021).

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

Download example portfolios

PDF Document 5.74 MB

PDF Document 1.81 MB

PDF Document 3.15 MB

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 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 the 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 release them in phases depending on when your application has been assessed by our Admissions Team.

After you have been invited

You should upload your portfolio as soon as possible after you receive the email invitation. 


  • Scottish fee status: 1 March 2024 18:00 (UK Time)
  • All other fee statuses: the deadline will be in your invitation email


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. You will then be invited to attend an online event to meet with academic staff to allow you to ask questions about the School and Courses.

If you are invited to interview

You will receive an invitation by email, but you will not be notified on UCAS. Interviews will take place online in March. You will also have the opportunity to show additional work at your interview. Full details will be included in your interview invitation.

Upload your portfolio

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


We will consider all aspects of your application including qualifications, personal statement, reference, and portfolio. It is therefore important when completing your UCAS application to include all relevant qualifications including any obtained at High School (where applicable).

Portfolio guidance

Help with My Applications