Lovers PCA 012

Our Journal

5 Tips To Improve Your Portfolio or Showreel

Find out what you should be including in your portfolio or showreel when you are applying to study at a creative university.

As part of the application process for many of our degree courses, we request that you show us a portfolio or showreel. This is your chance to showcase your creative work, interests and skills.

Read our guidance below for tips on how to create a great portfolio or showreel.

A portfolio or showreel is a selection of your creative work that you believe best represents the range of your talents, formal development, and ideas. It​​ isn’t just documenting your artistic journey so far, it’s a statement of your creative intent. It is a chance for us to get to know your interests and skills, and help you to kickstart your creative journey.

Hands holding an ipad looking at a student porfolio of work web

A portfolio is a more traditional name for a showcase of a body of work, where you might include things like examples of your textiles experiments, alongside images of final pieces, paintings, drawings or sketches. If you’re interested in studying film, animation or any other digital media or technology based subject, you might have more moving image/digital content to showcase - hence calling it a showreel.

A portfolio can include initial sketches and ideas as well as finished pieces, we want to get to know you as well as your skills and creative potential. We recommend having no more than 20 pieces of work as part of your portfolio. All work presented should be your own work and not obtained from other sources.

Looking at a sketchbook over the shoulder of a student wearing a striped top web
  1. Be selective and reflective. Curate the story you want to tell us, let your personality and passion shine through.
  2. Show your versatility! Include a broad range of your skills and work.

  3. Showcase your strengths - prioritise quality over quantity.

  4. Do not underestimate the creative value of sketches, doodles, or unfinished work if you believe there is a strength in it. Often this work tells us most about what is urgent for you in your approach to your work.

  5. Put your work in the order you want to talk about it. We might ask you to discuss it with us during your interview, so be ready to discuss the pieces you’ve included.

View our portfolio poster here for more top tips and advice on how to create a portfolio.