Date of entry

September 2023

This information is for applicants to Art & Philosophy 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.

In addition, we’d like to see an example of writing, in the form a short report (not more than 500 words) on one of the following topics:

  • an exhibition or artwork that challenges or inspires you
  • a philosophical question that interests you

This should be submitted at the same time as your digital portfolio in a separate document.

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


Explore themes thoroughly and contextualise your ideas by looking at relevant artworks.


Test your ideas through experimentation in your sketchbook, modifying them towards a final outcome.


Demonstrate how your initial ideas develop through research in your sketchbooks.

Creativity and originality


Demonstrate a willingness to explore a range of media.


Be aware of other artists already working with themes you are engaged with and avoid pastiche.

Develop a sense of ownership so that your own voice comes through.

Practical competence and application of skills

Practical competence

Include examples of work that demonstrate your skills across a range of media.

Application of skills

Demonstrate that you can apply organisational skills to develop an initial idea into a final outcome successful.

Quality, presentation and selection of work


Ensure that your examples of final outcomes are of a high standard.


Include sketchbooks that demonstrate the development of your ideas towards final outcomes.

Selection of work

Include a variety of artworks that demonstrate your skills across a range of media.

Engagement with the subject

Outline the themes running through your work in a short statement.

Reference other artists’ work in relation to your themes.

Include other cultural references that have influenced your practice.

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 digital portfolio as soon as possible after you receive the email invitation. The final deadline is 1 March 2023 by 18:00 (UK Time).


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 on-line 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 on-line 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 digital portfolio

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

Remember to upload both your portfolio and your short report at the same time.


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).

Any questions?

Portfolio guidance

Help with My Applications