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Getting into Uni advice

I'm in my last year of high school and hoping to study graphic design at uni next year. Really needing some advice on improving my chances as it's apparently very competitive especially for the art colleges at Dundee and Edinburgh. I was advised by teachers to create a website for my portfolio so would be good to look at sites created by people of similar age and experience to me. If anyone knows of any that would be great.


Well-Known Member
Hi Andy,

You've accidentally posted this in the wrong area of the forum I think, but I'm certain a friendly moderator will move it shortly. To answer your question...

Making your online portfolio, take a look at websites like Carbonmade, Dropr, Behance etc... there are a ton of user-friendly, FREE portfolio websites these days (wish they'd been about when I was at uni) which are easy to use and all have different focusses or strong points. And for less than £15 you can buy your own web address to use too, from websites such as 123reg.com. Also lots of people use Facebook and Blogger and Twitter and DeviantArt and all kinds of other free websites to host their work, not just sticking to one website.

When looking for other people's portfolios for inspiration, I would worry less about looking for work produced by people of your own age and experience, and more about finding portfolios that are interesting and memorable, no matter what the age/experience level of the creator, and looking at what they've done and if possible how/why they've done it that way. It's like anything else, you learn best by playing against people of greater experience than yourself.

Oh and one more thing, only put your VERY best work in your online portfolio. Seriously. 10 brilliant pieces will be more effective than 50 mediocre ones. Keep it simple!

Have fun.


Staff member
Been a while since I went for uni interviews (product design) but I doubt it's changed a great deal...

Online site, if you can do it it's probably worth it but when I went we literally all turned up at the same time with a portfolio and dumped it in a room with a sheet of paper with our details etc. It may have changed slightly to incude things like tablets/laptops etc but when I went it was all paper based in a folder. Personally I wouldn't go above a2 if you're going printed.

As to the portfolio:
  • diversity of work, ie show a range of skills (I had life art, concept product/transport designs, custom designed prints, photography)
  • include development sketches, sketches on napkins etc - its shows your methodology and thinking processes, which tutors usually like
  • include only your best work
  • if you don't have a large range of things, sign up for one of df's upgrades (see what I did there greg
    ) to get access to some of our old contests, which we'll be happy to critique, to help fill it out with a range of items (the drunken goose comp would be ideal for a graphic design portfolio in my opinion)
Thanks a lot for the advise everyone

I'd like to stay up in Scotland so looking at the Dundee and Edinburgh art colleges plus Napier. I think Graphic Design at Napier would suit me better as it appears to be more technical and it also does a Design and Digital Arts degree which sounds good. I'm not that sure if it's reputation is as high as Edinburgh and Dundee in terms of finding a job afterwards but some people disagree.

The website is really an extra as I do have to send in an actual portfolio or at least a digital one.
I spoke to my teacher who also told me that your work is a lot more important than a Uni's reputation so it's good to hear that from you. I have started looking at specific modules in the courses and work experience, etc so thanks a lot for that suggestion. I think it's just down to open days and getting on with creating a strong portfolio.