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Portfolio - ATK

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of work that you have created and compiled over a period of time.  It helps to demonstrate your skills and abilities, as it makes your learning or artistic/academic development more concrete and visible. 

Whilst portfolios are most commonly used in creative fields such as art, graphic design or photography, they are also prevalent in education and other social science fields.

Image by Scott Kellum, available from Flickr

Depending on whether your portfolio is part of your course assessment or developed for prospective employers, your portfolio should:

  • Demonstrate your engagement in higher levels of thinking through enquiry and reflection
  • Display your level of artistic/intellectual skill
  • Present your capacity to translate your life experiences, including work, education, community service, extra-curricular or travel into evidence or artifacts for learning and creativity
  • Serve as an interesting conversation starter that will help you stand out as an artist or practitioner

Ryerson University (2014) What is a portfolio? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2014)
Staffordshire University (no date) Assignment survival kit: What is a portfolio? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2014)