Portfolio advice

Compiling a great

UCA is a place for creativity, ingenuity and personality, not just good exam results. We know exams are only part of the picture, and we know there’s a far better way to see who you are and what you can do – via a portfolio or audition.

So, what is a portfolio, and what can you do to make yours stand out from the crowd?


Frequently Asked Questions

Your portfolio is a collection of your best work – the stuff that makes you shine. We want to see what inspires you, how you approach your work, your thought processes, what you create and what makes you unique - all so we can work out whether you’ll be suited to our courses.

You don’t need to submit a portfolio for every course, so check the relevant course page to find out if you need to send us one.

If your course doesn’t ask for one, but you still want to show us your work, we’d love to see it anyway.

Depending on the subject you want to study, your portfolio might contain sketches and paintings, digital art and design, photography, fabric swatches or patterns. It might also contain sound work, musical compositions, short films, or even essays and creative writing.

We’d like to see up to 12 pieces of work, and audio or video files shouldn’t be more than two minutes long.

Be bold and give us your very best. We’re excited to see it.

There are two ways for us to see your portfolio.

If you’re in the UK, we'll invite you to come to an Applicant Day - this is your opportunity to find out even more about UCA and your chosen course and meet the people you'll be working with as well as our chance to find out more about you. Bring your portfolio along, and we'll go through it together and discuss how you work and what inspires you.

If you're not in the UK currently, or you are UK-based but would prefer to upload your portfolio digitally, there's also the option to do that via the UCA Applicant Portal. We'll give you more information about that once you've applied.

There are no size limits for your uploads, and you can also link to external websites such as Flickr and YouTube.

We have a whole range of advice and tips in our recent portfolios blog – it’s aimed at clearing students needing to pull together a portfolio last-minute, but still contains all you need to know about how to make a great impression.


If you have any questions about your portfolio and applying to UCA, please get in touch through our enquiries service.