Are you applying to study in the UK? Please check if the course you’ve chosen requires the preparation of a portfolio. If so, we have some advice for you that will help you create a portfolio that will become your ticket to your dream studies in the UK.
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is simply a collection of your previous work. With it, you can showcase your creativity, talent, and skills to the admissions committee. And above all, your potential. The portfolio, along with the personal statement and references, serves as your bargaining card when applying for your dream studies in the UK. If you carefully select works for your portfolio, the admissions committee will have no doubt that you are a perfect fit for the chosen university in England.
What directions should a portfolio be prepared for?
The requirement to prepare a portfolio primarily applies to artistic courses at universities in the UK, such as acting, animation, architecture, design, fashion, film, music production, journalism, art, theater, photography, or writing. In each of these cases, you will be asked to prepare several dozen works that showcase your creativity and existing skills.
Depending on the course, you may be asked to provide a portfolio that will consist of:
– photographs and images showing how you prepare for taking photographs,
– illustrations, paintings, scrapbooks,
– sketches, projects, photographs of designed clothing,
– stories, screenplay,
– music recordings,
– short film,
– article, essay, sample reportage recording,
– technical drawings, freehand drawings,
– dance recordings.
And many, many other types of projects. It all depends on the requirements of the university in the UK. Therefore, carefully familiarize yourself with the guidelines regarding your chosen course and adhere to them. If the university in England requests 20 works, submit 20 of them. If you have to submit your portfolio by a specific date, treat it as sacred. Moreover, be mindful not only of the number of works but also the file size you are sending to the admissions committee. Also, pay attention to the format in which your document should be saved. Make sure to submit your portfolio in the required format and ensure that all files can be easily opened and accessed by the admissions committee. It would be a shame if technical issues hindered them from seeing your talent and potential.
How to create the perfect portfolio?
The portfolio prepared you can determine whether you will be admitted to a particular university in the United Kingdom or if your application will be rejected. However, it doesn’t mean that your portfolio must only contain perfect works. No one expects perfection or masterful skills from you. After all, the main purpose of going to university is to deepen and refine your skills and develop the potential within you. And the admissions committee is well aware of that. So don’t worry if the works in your portfolio are not perfect.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can include just any random projects in your portfolio. Instead, make sure that your portfolio is diverse and creative. Demonstrate various techniques and methods. Try to make the topic of each work different. Show that you are open to new opportunities to develop your skills. Let yourself be known through your works. Do you have a favorite photographer? Attach a photo taken in his style and describe why you value it so much. Love the way a particular journalist writes? Not only create an article in his style but also include a note highlighting which elements inspired you. Remember that the admissions committee is interested not only in what you can do but also in your creative process.
What’s important, is do not wait until the last minute to prepare your portfolio. It’s hard to be creative and diverse when you only have 1-2 weeks to prepare 20 works. Ideally, it would be best if you already had several ready-made works when applying to a university in the UK.
And don’t we need to add that each of the works in the portfolio must be original? Even one case of plagiarism can ruin your chances of studying in the UK!
Look into the eyes of the admission committee and defend your portfolio with confidence.
Depending on the university in the UK, you will need to submit your portfolio either electronically or deliver it in person. In some cases, candidates for studies may have an interview with a panel of lecturers from the respective faculty. It can be either an in-person interview or conducted through the Internet. Much less frequently, such interviews take place via email.
Before such an interview, carefully review your portfolio and personal statement once again. Prepare yourself to fluently discuss both your work and yourself.
Creating an excellent portfolio requires a lot of work. However, it will certainly overshadow any imperfections on your high school transcript, so it’s worth dedicating time to it. If you truly aspire to develop your abilities in the UK, preparing a diverse and original portfolio will help you fulfill that dream.