Portfolio advice

Our teaching team would normally like to meet you face to face. In exceptional cases you may be able to email an e-folio, possibly followed by a telephone interview. The e-folio option is normally only for international students who are studying abroad.


What makes a good portfolio?

Please bring a careful selection of your work. Ask advice from current tutors if this is possible. Remember that we are looking for your creative ability and potential, so it is vital to show us how you generate ideas, how you develop projects and how you resolve your final outcomes.

We ask student to bring the following:

1. Sketchbooks or workbooks that demonstrate the starting point of projects and their development. These should contain: your own images with annotated comments; research and analysis of the work of others; indications of how a project develops over its duration (reshoots, rethinking, etc.); ideas about the selection of images from what you’ve made (the editing of your work).

2. Finished images in print form, within a portfolio case or box (a container that is easy to carry and can be put on a table in order to view its contents effectively. Select a range of work, where possible, to show us the range of your experience, abilities and interests.

3. Written work, in the form of two essays, so that we can gain an insight into the way in which you write more formally. It is useful if these are copies that you can leave with us, as it is difficult to read these when we meet.

What will we talk about?

Three years is a long time for you to invest, so we will ask you questions to make sure we are the right course for you, and we would like you to ask us questions too – so bring some questions with you. Some examples of questions we might ask follow here…

  • Why do you take photographs?
  • Why do you want to study photography at degree level?
  • And why at the University of Plymouth?
  • Is there a piece of work or series of images that best represents you?
  • What are your strong interests or hobbies?
  • What are your current ambitions for after your degree?

What next?

We normally have a team of staff meeting applicants to discuss their portfolios in parallel sessions across a day, so at the end of the day the staff meet to discuss who they’ve seen and then we make our decisions.

The decision is then passed to our admissions team who will upload the information to UCAS. UCAS track is then the fastest way of seeing the result and a letter confirming your situation, form the University, will follow shortly after.


Ask, ask and ask

We don’t want the wrong student, and you don’t want to join the wrong course, so please email us with any questions, and we will do our best to answer them.