MA Illustration portfolio guide

How to put together a portfolio for your course

You'll need this guide if you're applying to MA Illustration.

What to include in your portfolio

As applicants are from many different backgrounds, we don’t prescribe an ideal portfolio. However, your artwork examples should demonstrate an ability and aptitude towards illustration.

Artwork examples should include:

  • images from your sketchbooks, along with drawings and/or work in progress to show your working methods; we’d like to see experimentation and evidence of your various skills
  • finished illustrations with a brief description, which could include single images or image sequences
  • a range of media and outcomes – but you should have some examples of completed work resolved to a high level
  • self-generated projects that comment on a social issue

Your portfolio must include:

  • working methods (sketchbook or other)
  • finished illustrations, with short description about the project and materials used

Your portfolio may include:

  • painting and drawing
  • digital illustration
  • printmaking
  • children’s book illustration
  • zines
  • graphic novels
  • textiles
  • 3D work
  • animation
  • storyboards
  • experimentation – roughs and drafts
  • sketchbook work and/or work in progress
  • college or self-generated projects

What we’re looking for

We want your portfolio to demonstrate your:

  • understanding of illustration and its application in a wider social and global context
  • projects that are socially aware
  • ability to express your creative process, decision making and idea realisation
  • ability to reflect on what is, and is not, successful about your work
  • interest in researching historical and contemporary visual culture

Your portfolio should evidence:

  • enquiry, research and observations
  • original idea generation
  • conceptual development
  • experimental work
  • a good level of technical ability (both traditional and digital)
  • an ability to select and present a range of work to a high professional standard
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Contact us

Any questions? Contact the Faculty Student Recruitment Team.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2990