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Animation portfolio guidance

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Your portfolio plays a key role in determining whether studying Animation BA (Hons) at De Montfort University (DMU) is right for you. Your portfolio reflects on the breadth of your capabilities and provide an insight into your skills as an artist.

Animation BA (Hons) is practice-based, so your portfolio should indicate that you have the underpinning skills to fulfil the demands of the programme. It should provide a visual journey by using a clear layout to demonstrate the logical progression of your ideas and creative ability. It should convey an understanding of composition, planning and perspective, shown through how you explore ideas and design in your portfolio and/or a sketchbook.

What are we looking for?

Portfolio advice

Hear from Subject Group Leader Dan Morley and our other creative design academics as they share their top tips for what to include in your portfolio.


We believe that the quality of work in a portfolio is more important than the quantity, so we are keen to see the work that demonstrates your full potential as an artist.

It must include a full range of personal artwork, coursework and sketchbooks, enabling us to fully assess your capabilities. Do not miss out other personal creative activities you have developed that might be important to support your application.



  • Observational drawing skills, demonstrate a range of traditional art techniques such as drawing from life, the human form, rural or urban landscape and still life.
  • Current coursework at A Level / BTEC level showing development though to the final artwork. It should be illustrative and distinctive.
  • Sketchbook showing original thinking and idea generation. Drawing that pushes the boundaries and creates the unexpected. Also show us quick initial playful doodles.


  • Use of digital software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and any other creative app.
  • Experimental animation in digital and/or manual. Evidence of willingness to have a go.
  • Preproduction, concept design of characters and/or props.
  • Storyboards evidencing composition, a coherent narrative and drawing skill.
  • Script-writing and short stories.

We are also looking for evidence of good and original visual communication skills and an inquisitive mind. We encourage you not to have work that is purely a copy of fan art, photographs, film stills and other artist’s work.

Your application

Once you have made an application for the programme, you will be required to submit an online portfolio of high-quality, scanned work via with your full name and programme title. The contents of your online portfolio should be the strongest pieces in your overall portfolio, and should contain a full range of personal artwork, coursework and include sketchbooks.

Your portfolio will then be reviewed by our experienced programme academics, and we may contact you for further work if necessary. Upon review of your portfolio, a decision will be made about whether you will be accepted onto the course.

Traditional Drawing

Your portfolio must include examples of human figures observed from life, and both rural and urban landscapes drawn on the spot - do not copy from photographs or comics. We would also like you to include colour studies using different mediums.

This shows us your ability to absorb visual information, and communicate physical form in 2D, a vital skill for Animation.

Digital work

Show 2D digital art work, please include screenshots of examples of your work. We would encourage you to show work based on character design. Work should investigate an interest in line, tone and colour.

We are looking for enthusiastic artists, so we would recommend that you include examples of work done in your own time, in addition to school or college projects, to give us an idea of your motivation and passion. It is recommended that you allow us to see your full capabilities as an illustrator and animator. 


We would like to see sketchbooks that show personal idea generation. They should be produced with controlled, clear, informative pen and pencil work. These sketchbooks can support coursework, and also demonstrate a self-directed creative output. The sketchbook should be the place and time to explore your own ideas and be playful.


Submit your portfolio

Go to submission page