Student Systems

Mini-portfolio assessment

How your portfolio will be assessed by the Edinburgh College of Art.

Assessors understand the potential challenges of creating a portfolio this year so please be reassured that this will be taken into consideration during assessment.

Your mini-portfolio will be assessed by a team of Edinburgh College of Art academic staff with professional and specialist expertise in art & design. The assessment panel are particularly interested in how applicants researched and developed their ideas in a visual way and how they engage with the visual arts and their imaginative and creative responses to ideas, to observations, to processes and to concepts. This is broken down into four main areas of assessment.

Visual Research and Enquiry

The level of your engagement in intelligent, structured visual enquiry and how well you communicate this.


Idea Development

Your ability to explore and develop ideas in an appropriate way, and your level of skill in the use of materials and techniques.


Selection and Resolution

How well you judge which ideas have the most appropriate potential and your ability to bring them to a level of completion appropriate to your intended outcome.


Contextual Awareness

The extent of your knowledge of the subject you have applied for and how your work relates to it.


Looking at the assessment areas, your portfolio will need to include initial research/investigative work and examples of how you explore ideas, as well as examples of finished work. What form these examples might take is entirely up to you, but they must be relevant to the degree programme you are applying to. On the whole, greater emphasis is put on evidence of your visual curiosity, idea generation and exploration, and your energy, engagement and contextual awareness, than on high level technical skills and finish.




Contact Student Systems if you need help with a technical problem related to your application:   

Student Systems

Contact details


  • Technical support is available 9:00am - 5:00pm UK time Monday to Friday.