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Portfolio advice

Here at Norwich seeing your work and hearing about your creative journey is an important part of welcoming you into higher education and all it has to offer you.

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show examples of your work – both finished and work in progress – that demonstrate your interests and skills. Your portfolio should be made up of work that reflects your creativity, personal interests and influences, as well as demonstrating your technical skills and ability, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

We know that it can be stressful trying to put a portfolio together on your own, so we aim to make the experience as easy for you as we can for you. You don’t need to spend a long time making the perfect work, as we can assess your potential from your work in progress.

Our portfolio top tips

  1. Tell a story with your work. Create a portfolio that includes work appropriate to the subject you are applying for.
  2. We like to see your project journey and influences not just the outcomes. Even work that may have not gone as planned.
  3. Show us how you have taken creative risks to push boundaries and explore possibilities.
  4. Keep it individual to your influences and passions, if you have it, include work you’ve created outside of school or college.
  5. Choose a format that shows your work it its best. Make sure that you use neutral backgrounds, avoid repetition, and use subtle labelling.
  6. Ensure photographs of work are clear and well-lit so we can see all the detail.
  7. Aim to curate 10-15 pages or slides. Do not put too much on each page (1-3 images per page is a good rule of thumb).
  8. If submitting a film or animation, please look at the specific course guidance.
  9. Don’t worry about making it the perfect portfolio- there is no such thing! We just want to see who you are.

Get portfolio guidance

Course specific portfolio guidance

You can view specific portfolio guidance on each course page:

How to submit your portfolio to us

There are three different ways to submit your portfolio depending on the course you’ve applied for and your applicant status.

Option 1 – on campus group portfolio review (January – March)

This option is your chance to visit our campus and to discuss your work in person. The review will be with two of our academics, current students and up to nine other applicants who may all be applying for different courses. During the review everyone will have the opportunity to discuss their work and be asked questions. You can bring your portfolio either in digital format or in physical form. You can bring digital portfolios on a USB or your own device to share. You’ll be asked to discuss around three pieces of work during your review.

We know that visiting universities can be expensive, so we have a travel fund to help if you live over 50 miles away. Find out more about the Travel Bursary.

Option 2 – online group portfolio review (January – March)

If you would prefer to, you can have your portfolio review online. The review will be with two of our academics, current students and up to nine other applicants who may all be applying for different courses. You will be asked to upload your work to a Padlet board before your review – we will send you guidance on how to do this. During the review everyone will have the opportunity to discuss their work and will be asked questions. You’ll be asked to discuss around three pieces of work.

Option 3 – upload your portfolio. (November onwards)

If you would prefer not to have a group review, you can send us a link to your portfolio in our applicant portal. We will send you information about this once we have received your application from UCAS. This could be a Google Doc or Slides, a PDF document, a website, blog etc. Please ensure if you are sending something through Google Docs or SharePoint we have permission to view it. Often school and college accounts restrict 3rd parties from accessing documents, so please check before you send.

When do I send my portfolio?

If you would like to upload your portfolio, please send us the link before the end of February (if you applied by 31 Jan.). If you submit after this date, send your portfolio in as soon as you can. Sometimes we’ll need a portfolio submitted quickly if there’s a UCAS set deadline approaching, but if you need more time, please let us know and we’ll try to help.

Audition advice

For our BA (Hons) Acting course we hold in-person auditions.

Having an audition with Norwich University of the Arts not only gives us a chance to talk to you and look at your monologues but also a great opportunity for you to find out what we can offer you!

When you attend an audition, you will participate in a mini workshop activity with other applicants, including a physical and vocal warm-up and some improvisation. You will then be invited back to perform two audition monologues (one comic and one dramatic), which you will have selected and prepared in advance and answer some interview questions – this will take about 15 minutes.

During the day, you will be able to go on a tour of the university campus and spend time with our current students, who will be on hand to answer questions and chat.

You can book your audition via the Applicant Portal, which you can access once we have your application from UCAS. There, you will be able to select the date and time that suits you best. Auditions are scheduled to take place on campus, but for those who cannot travel due to various circumstances, we can arrange an online audition instead.

Any questions?

Please email if you have any questions or issues with participating in the portfolio review and audition, we will work together to find a solution.

Information for schools and teachers

We are always happy to deliver classroom portfolio presentation examples. Find out about the full range of activities we offer schools, or get in touch with our Student Recruitment Team.