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Digital Design BA (Hons) application portfolio advice

Your Portfolio

Design Products courses are rigorous, demanding and rewarding. Although this programme is highly relevant to both art and design students, and still involves design skills, design thinking, 3D CAD, etc - importantly, Digital Design is the only creative design Degree within the Faculty to also accept applications from students who do not come from an art and design backgrounds but who may have studied highly relevant subjects such as Psychology, Physics, Sociology, Business Studies, etc. These applicants therefore don't need to have core drawing skills but do still require an interest in design and a growing ability to communicate / present ideas.

A good portfolio should consist of quality not quantity, be selective about what to include and avoid repetition. Ensure that your work is clearly laid out and easy to look through. In addition to discussing your portfolio with you at interview we will also review your work beforehand. The most successful portfolios are those which show how well you visually, and technically, explore a subject in which you are interested (see the list below for understanding the correct emphasis regarding visual and technical acumen).

For Digital Design applicants who are from a non-art and design background; the admission tutor will set a project(s) - to be completed for presentation and discussion at interview.

Portfolio submission options for overseas applicants

What are we looking for?


We are looking for:

  • Creative problem solving
  • Innovative thinking
  • Idea generation
  • Idea development
  • An interest in product design, multimedia, technology, business
  • Brand identity / visual language / market awareness
  • The ability to think in 3D
  • Graphic presentation and / or drawing skills
  • A willingness to explore, develop and realise ideas through 2D and 3D prototyping

What should a portfolio contain?

Generally you should choose between 15 and 25 of your strongest pieces of work. You should also consider that staff are keen to see design / artwork produced independently from a taught curriculum. The following elements should be included in your portfolio;



Include several recent sketchbooks or work books that show what has influenced you, your research, sketch ideas, preparatory work, written notes, analysis of your work etc. Tutors consider sketchbooks to be important to a portfolio, as they illustrate how you approach your work, how you think and how your creativity develops.

If you’re from a non-art and design background and don’t have sketchbooks then bring examples of ideas, research diaries, project work, graphic design, apps, etc.

It is usually better to include photos of 3D models rather than bringing them to interview. However, one or two easy to carry examples can be worth including. We are interested in seeing model-making abilities in whatever format is easiest for you.


Include any computer-aided design or artwork you have produced (3D CAD, Photoshop, SketchbookPro, Axure, etc).

Written Work

Writing is an essential tool for designers to develop their critical and communication skills. It can therefore be helpful to include a piece of recent written work, such as an illustrated essay, for interviewing staff to peruse prior to interview.

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