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Creating a portfolio - HOW DO I / Programme areas / Digital Technology - NMIT Support

Creating a portfolio

Our Arts and Media programmes require you to submit a portfolio with your application.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a selection of your own creative work.

Portfolios are a great way to show someone’s creative interests, experience and abilities.

At NMIT we ask for a portfolio as a way of assessing your likelihood of success when applying for the following programmes:

I don't have a portfolio. Can I apply?

Yes - absolutely!

We understand that the portfolio you submit as part of your application to study at NMIT will illustrate only the experience you have had to date.

 You will add to your portfolio as you gain skills and experience, just like a resume or CV. Your studies at NMIT will grow your portfolio, and you will likely use your developed portfolio as part of your application for employment after you graduate.

You may not realise that you actually have plenty of work that can be submitted as a portfolio. Or can put together a portfolio, suitable for your application to NMIT, quite easily.

Below are some ideas to get you started.

Creating a portfolio

What should I include?

Make use of work you have already done

This could include:

  • If you have done any creative courses at school, do you have copies of the work you submitted for assessment, or things you created during class?
  • Do you have any creative hobbies? Model making, sewing, drawing, collage, taking photos... things that you just do for fun?

Create something today!

It's not too late to start a portfolio! Here are some ideas of things you could do to get started on your portfolio.

  • Tell a story in photos. Grab your phone or digital camera and have a go at taking 3-5 creative shots that "Tell a story". You might arrange these photos on a single A4 page OR get creative in how you present them!
  • Sketch. Get out some paper and a pen, pencil, crayons or anything you like and get sketching - from real life or your imagination. TIP: Do 3-5 different sketches, then step back and choose one to refine... you don't have to use your first attempt!
  • Make something from nothing. Gather up some bits of recycling - plastic, paper, cardboard - and have a go at making something, e.g. create a new purpose for something discarded, create a miniature model of a fictional character (think up a creative name for your character). Think BIG or tiny - stretch your imagination!
  • Write. Some people are creative in words, e.g. write a poem or short story.

How much do I need to include?

You don't have to include everything, just pick a few of your favourite pieces of work.

Photos of original work are fine. For example, if you like making models, two or three photos of a model from different angles is great! A photo of a large painting is better than the original work.

Try to include a couple of different things. For example, if you did graphic design at school, definitely include some examples of that! But also try to find another medium, for example, some sketches of your design process, or some photos of something you have made.

For your application to NMIT; three different examples from the lists above is great.

Five to ten A4 pages or photos is a good amount.

What not to include

Portfolios are about showing off your ability to think creatively.

Don't include things where you followed specific instructions, e.g. a paint by numbers artwork.

You may include something that shows a particular skill e.g. sewing, model making, painting - however; always acknowledge when you followed someone else's example, and make sure the majority of your portfolio shows your own ability to make, design, doodle, explore ideas and create!

Have fun!

We hope you have fun creating your portfolio, and we look forward to seeing your work.

Please contact us if you want further advice about the portfolio aspect of your application to study at NMIT.