Portfolio information

The School of Arts is ambitious and bold and has an essence of brilliance in shaping Derby as a hub of creativity. We're intrigued by new ideas and concepts, encouraging our students to take risks, experiment with their ideas and processes, and develop their creative voice.

Your portfolio is an exciting opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills, interests, and personality for the course you are applying for.

Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio, we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

What should I submit for my portfolio?

Your portfolio should include the required written piece, plus examples of your work, depending upon your art form(s). We would like to see photographs of your artwork and/or video submissions of dance, music, and/or drama performances.

Written piece

Please watch the short video clip via the below link and when you have watched the video please write up to 750 words in total answering the following three questions:

  1. What do you notice about how the lecturers ran the workshop and the questions they asked?
  2. What did you notice about the students participating in the workshop?
  3. How would you have responded to the activities in this workshop, and how do you think you would feel?

Short extract from an Arts-based CEAHW Workshop

Short extract from an Arts-based CEAHW Workshop (with subtitles)

Photographs and Video

Please submit:

For art: a ten-piece art portfolio of contrasting pieces that you have created over the last 12 months.

For dance, music or drama: a three-minute video showing you performing with your chosen instrument (this may be voice), performing a piece of dance you have rehearsed or playing a specific role you have rehearsed.

Many of our applicants are confident in multiple art forms, and we would welcome a combination of the above as appropriate to your own skills and strengths.

How do I submit my portfolio?

Send us your portfolio via email at myportfolio@derby.ac.uk. We understand that some of your work will not be in a digital format. For any physical pieces of work, please take a photograph of it and submit the photograph.

You may be contacted by our academic team to discuss your portfolio. This will give you the opportunity to participate in a 10/15-minute conversation about the work included in your portfolio.

What if I haven't studied the subject before?

We recognise that some applicants may not have studied their subject before, which is why we are interested in seeing your potential. Submit whatever you think reflects you and your potential for the course you're applying for.

How to create a great portfolio

It can be difficult to know what to include in a portfolio that will best showcase your work and individualism. In the following video, David McGravie, Deputy Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education, provides advice on what a portfolio is and what sort of work you should include.

David McGravie, Deputy Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education and Head of the School of Arts

View How to create a great portfolio video transcript