Interview and portfolio advice with BA (Hons) Fine Art

Make the most of the opportunity to excel in your portfolio – you could be eligible for an unconditional offer.

We want to acknowledge your potential (as evidenced by your performance), as well as your commitment to us as an applicant. An unconditional offer allows you to focus on your upcoming examinations and begin planning for your university career.

For more information please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

Fine Art Digital Portfolio Guide

Your digital portfolio should be a well-presented collection of work that contains something that shows you are unique, creative and imaginative. 

It can be in the form of a PowerPoint, a PDF file, or a link to an online portfolio, such as a website or blog.

The portfolio should contain no more than 30 images in total and should include a piece of written work. You don't need to include all of the work you have carried out on your previous course, just a good representative collection, ideally from the past year or two, that will show us your potential.

So, as a basic guide in putting together your digital portfolio, we would like to see three to six good quality images of key artworks (as an outcome of an art project or assignment) which you consider to be in a completed state. We would like to see some images of the development of these artworks so we can see how you have gone from point A (the start of your project or assignment) to point B (the finished work).

We would like to see your most recent work at the beginning of your digital portfolio and for it to take us chronologically back in time from there. 

Your digital portfolio can include images of a:

  • finished painting(s)
  • finished sculpture(s)
  • series of digital photographic artworks
  • object(s) you have created
  • installation or site-based work
  • images of prints
  • link to a sound work
  • link to a film or video work
  • link to video documentation to an art performance or action
  • other creative practice relevant to your application.

Images of artworks’ development can include:

  • sketches, notes or plans for sculptures
  • designs for objects you have made or are making
  • sketches and paint/colour tests for paintings
  • development for photographic based projects, contact sheets, photoshop tests etc.
  • sketches and documentation images for printmaking projects
  • links to film/video work tests
  • links to sound work in progress
If you have had the opportunity to carry out life drawing, please include a maximum of six images.

It is important to give a context to your work in order to explain it. We would like you to add written explanation next to, or below the images, effectively talking us through your work, telling us how well you feel an idea or process has worked and what you have learnt from it. We would like you to add any references you have made in relation to your projects, such as artist work, writings on art that have helped inform the development of your artworks.

We would also like to see one example of your writing included in your digital portfolio that shows your research skills and ability to communicate and reflect. This can be an essay or a review you have written on a subject relating to art (on an exhibition, an artist, group of artists or an art movement etc.), or if you haven’t had the opportunity to carry this out on your present art course, it could be on another subject that you have studied in the past year or so.

Interview tips

With increased competition for university places, it has become even more important to make an impact when you attend an interview. An interview is a conversation between yourself, a tutor from the fine art lecturing team, and sometimes an existing student who can give you the student’s viewpoint on the programme. Before your interview chat to the Student Ambassadors about their experiences, and if it is an open day or applicant day have a look around the facilities, so you feel comfortable and confident to talk about yourself and your art work, and ask questions about the BA (Hons) Fine Art course at Plymouth. 

Before the interview, do some research on the course, the tutors, and the wider subject area. It is good to get a sense of what the course is like before your interview. Try to pick up information during the subject talk, and get a good grasp of the course you maybe enrolling on in September. Importantly, we want to give you a place. We are looking for people who are genuinely interested in fine art, and who have a real interest in the subject.

You can submit your portfolio anytime to applications@plymouth.ac.uk

You can submit your portfolio online pre-interview to get constructive feedback on your work before visiting us.

  • Submit your work as digital images only, taken from either original digitally-based work, scans of flat work, or photographs of three-dimensional work.
  • Your portfolio should be a collection of JPEG images saved as either a single compressed file, if JPEG format, OR as a single compressed file or single combined file, if PDF format.
  • Acceptable digital formats are limited to only JPEG or PDF files; we cannot guarantee that we will be able to view work sent in other formats, so please adhere to the guidelines.
  • Online portfolio submissions can also be considered, but please ensure that the files are public and can be viewed by anyone with a link.