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Portfolios: Portfolio Purpose

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, by making your academic and professional learning more concrete and visible. Portfolios are used to assess learning across a wide range of subjects including art, graphic design, photography, education, nursing and psychology.  Different types of portfolio may include:

  • Course Portfolios
  • CPD Portfolios
  • Competency-based portfolio

Portfolios can be developed in both electronic (e-portfolios) and print formats, so it is very important to find out how your department would like you to present your work.  


What is the purpose of a portfolio?

Depending on whether your portfolio is part of your course assessment or developed for prospective employers, it may be used to: 

  • Demonstrate your engagement in higher levels of thinking through enquiry and reflection. 
  • Measure levels of competency for certification, graduation requirements, and career advancement.
  • Demonstrate your capacity to translate your life experiences, including work, education, community service, extra-curricular or travel into evidence or artifacts for learning and creativity. 

Further Reading