BA (Hons) Illustration portfolios

Find out how to prepare your portfolio for our BA (Hons) Illustration course at Cambridge School of Art.

What do we look for in your portfolio?

Generally your portfolio should include 15-20 pieces of work that show your skills in relation to the course of study.

At Cambridge School of Art we see drawing skills as particularly useful and want to see any drawings from life, even if you have not taken drawing classes. Drawing is the basis for the development of ideas so even if you mainly work in other media please include your original sketches to show us how your ideas evolve. We want you to show the progress from initial ideas to final pieces, how you engage with your subject matter and what inspired you to create your work.

While we expect to see some examples of your finished projects, we’re also very keen to see your working/thought processes.

Life drawing skills are particularly useful for this course. Also include quick drawings of your surroundings/streets/cafes/friends.

Examples of any experimental work are always of interest, and we’re just as happy to work in traditional media, (printmaking, painting photography) as computer-generated work. The content and composition is what matters, not the medium.

You’ll need to show the research and development of the ideas in your sketchbook.

Include examples of work where you have experimented with new art materials and created works with a variety of methods. We want to see that you are inquisitive and have the ability to investigate.

How should you present any digital work?

Standard applications

If your portfolio includes digital works, you should provide these as pdf or Powerpoint files, and any films as MP4s, saved on USB memory sticks or external hard drives. Your web and interactive work must run automatically in a browser or be available on a live domain/website. If your digital work does not open or run, then we cannot take it into account during the interview process. If it is an essential part of your portfolio you may be asked to provide alternative work through the post by a specified date.

E-portfolios/International applicants

You may deliver your portfolio digitally as a website portfolio or PDF document. We can’t accept USB or CDs in the post. All websites and file transfer services are acceptable but, in case you need suggestions, some of the more popular ones are listed below*. If your portfolio is a PDF please include your name and the course you want to study in the file name and on the PDF.

For any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the admissions process please contact your admissions officer. We look forward to receiving your portfolio.

*Previously used websites for transferring online portfolios include: Behance, Flickr, Deviantart, Carbonmade, Indexedit, Wordpress, Blogger, Blogspot, Dropbox, WeTransfer, Crevado.

Visit the BA (Hons) Illustration course page