Creating an Art or Design portfolio

Here is our guide on how to prepare a portfolio if you are required to submit a creative portfolio as part of your application.

Primary page content

For entry onto our BA Fine ArtBA Fine Art (Extension Degree)BA Fine Art & History of Art and BA Design programmes, you'll need to submit a creative portfolio.

Art degrees

How do I submit my portfolio?

You submit your portfolio electronically. After you submit your UCAS application, you'll be emailed with details of how to upload your portfolio.

The deadline for uploading your portfolio is usually mid-February. We'll then review these portfolios and let you know if you've been selected for the next stage of the application process - an in-person interview. You'll usually hear by late February.

If you're an International applicant and not residing in the UK then you submit your portfolio in the same way. If you're invited to interview then this will be conducted over the telephone. You'll be contacted separately by our International team regarding an interview date.

What should I include?

Up to 12 items representing a variety of your art work and approaches. These will need to be .jpg image files, .mov video files or .mp3 audio files. You'll also be asked to upload an essay from either your Foundation course (or equivalent) or from an A-level (or equivalent).

Students at Goldsmiths are expected to work very independently. Your portfolio should therefore indicate not only what you have studied, but also what motivates you.

The work submitted should demonstrate areas of independent enquiry that are emerging in your art practice.

We are interested in seeing your ability to go beyond the requirements of a given brief: for example, your working process and your visual curiosity. Please only include work that is central to your practice and concerns.  Please see our Example Fine Art Portfolio (PDF) for further information.

BA Design

How do I submit my portfolio?

If you're a UK based student then you don't need to submit your portfolio electronically. If you're invited for an interview, you should bring along a hard copy for us to take a look at.

If you're an international or EU student who is unable to attend an interview in person then you may be offered a video interview via Skype.

If so you will be asked to send your portfolio via email at least three working days before the interview. You can send us a link to a website or a minimum of 12 key slides from your portfolio.

What should I include?

In your portfolio you should aim to include a range of work that shows the breadth of your developing skills and interests.

We are particularly keen to see your thinking through your portfolio selection and not just resolved pieces so please include examples of your process work.

Where possible this work should be authentic and in the format in which it was originally generated. You might choose to demonstrate this by bringing sketchbooks in addition to your folio.

While the BA we offer in Design is broad and interdisciplinary, we are open to seeing portfolios that may focus on a specialism or particular creative discipline as well as those that show a multidisciplinary practice.

Evidence of an existing Design practice is not a requirement (eg in the instance that you have not had the opportunity yet to study Design) but in the absence of Design work we would like you to be able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the difference between disciplines. We also expect that you will have given thought to how your work may transition into a practice of Design.

Consider including a mixture of the following:

  • Models
  • 3D work
  • Prototypes
  • Material experiments
  • Design sheets
  • Sculpture
  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Graphics
  • Writing
  • Illustration
  • Typography
  • Photography
  • Animation
  • Anything else that you feel demonstrates your creative abilities and motivations

We're always interested to see work that is self-directed, related to outside interests or from other subjects studied (outside of Art and Design).

Include only work that you can talk about. We are not looking for success stories but at how you demonstrate your working process, your motivations and learning, if and how you have begun to develop your own identity through your practice.

Ideally, you will include two or three projects where you can talk about them from initial brief through to resolution.

You will also be sent some questions before your interview. Please bring a printed copy of your answers with you. 

Presenting digital work

If you want to show us a film or digital work during your interview then please bring along an appropriate device to run it on (eg a charged laptop or tablet). We won't have very long to look at individual pieces, so if it's over two minutes then make sure you have an edited version.

If this work is particularly important then you should also make sure that it's represented in your portfolio (eg as a series of stills). You will not be able to access the internet to show us work online.