Product Design MA/MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert application portfolio advice

We look at portfolios as part of our selection process as some of our postgraduate courses need specialist skills. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your creativity, innovation and design skills and what inspires you.

A good portfolio should indicate something of your personality, it should be clearly structured, easy to read and well presented. It should consist of quality work rather than quantity so be selective about what you show. The most successful portfolios are those which show how well you visually and technically observe and explore a subject in which you are interested. The curriculum requires an improving/high standard of drawing and a good analytical approach to problem solving. You should also include examples of written work that demonstrates an ability for research and critical thinking.

Applicants to Product Design MA/MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert should show a wide variety of design and professional skills; if you only have industry experience or possess qualifications that are not within the field of product and furniture design, we will consider your application on an individual basis (advice prior to application can be sought - please contact Stuart Lawson

What are we looking for?

  • Creative problem solving
  • Innovative thinking
  • Idea generation
  • Idea development
  • Visual awareness
  • The ability to think in 3D
  • Critical ability in written work

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 also keen to see design/artwork produced independently from a taught curriculum or employment.

The following elements should be included in your portfolio:

Drawing and development work

Include examples of research for design, concept sketching and design development that shows written notes, analysis of your work etc. Product Design MA requires strong/improving drawing ability skills.




Include examples of different projects you have undertaken, illustrating your breadth of experience. Show the development work that demonstrates how you think and work through a project from research to final presentation. You should also include examples of your model-making abilities.


Size and format

Option one - online submission

  • Please submit your digital portfolio as a multi-page single PDF file
  • Files need to be compressed or zipped and not exceed 1GB in size and submitted via
  • For moving images such as animation or video please use .mp4, .MOV or .AVI format
  • All work needs to be saved in one folder and labelled with your name, student reference number and the name of the course you have applied for

Option two - personal website

  • You can also send us a link to a website that displays your work
  • The website must be public (no sign up, passwords or logins), written in English, and have clear navigation
  • Your website must render correctly in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari