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BFA Programme Applying to Study for a BFA BFA Professional Practice Programme BFA FAQ Submitting a Portfolio BFA Affiliated Colleges

Submitting a Portfolio

Applicants are expected to be selective about the work they wish to present. Your portfolio should contain up to 20 pieces of work and can also include sketchbooks and notebooks, that each count as one submission. If you are submitting film, please ensure each submission runs for a maximum of 3-4 mins. For three-dimensional or site-specific work (or anything that exceeds the size/weight limit), please provide a photograph or other documentation in place of original work.

Your Portfolio

If you wish to apply to study a BFA from October 2019, the deadline for your portfolio to be submitted to the Ruskin is 6pm on Friday 2 November 2018. 

The Ruskin will only accept one portfolio per applicant. The portfolio may be submitted in either physical or digital format. International applicants and those living at some distance from Oxford may prefer the digital option.

If you are submitting a physical portfolio, it must be no larger than A1 size, and should not weigh more than 10kg. No additional packages, tubes, large works or parcels will be accepted beyond this stated allowance.  Please ensure that you put your name on each piece of work that you submit within your portfolio, including each sketchbook. 

Portfolios presented as digital content, including images of original work, and any links to external internet-based work, must be provided in a physical media - i.e. you should send a USB stick or a DVD/CD to the Ruskin. 

Digital submissions should be in one of the following formats and readable on Apple Mac Systems:
• QuickTime format for video. • TIFF or JPEG format for still images. • GIF files. • YouTube and Vimeo links are also accepted, as are links to internet-based work. 

It is preferred that content on a DVD is burnt as data rather than as a stand-alone DVD.  

If you are submitting internet-based work (eg videos on YouTube), you should include a text document on the USB stick listing all external internet work and providing live links.

Each film submission should only run for 3 - 4 mins, in order that you can present a variety of your work.  For specific formatting enquiries, please contact the Ruskin: 

Your portfolio should show that you have:

•    An independent and creative mind

•    An ability to go beyond the requirements of the school curriculum

•    Strong motivation

•    Visual curiosity and imagination

•    An informed awareness of contemporary art

Approximately 50 applicants are invited for interview on the strength of their portfolio.


Portfolio delivery and collection

It is each applicant’s responsibility to deliver and arrange collection of their portfolio and to meet all associated costs.

Portfolios should be delivered to:

The Ruskin School of Art, 74 High Street Oxford, OX1 4BG.  Deliveries can be accepted between Mondays and Fridays from 9.30 am – 8.30 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9.30 am – 12 noon.

When arranging delivery of your portfolio, it is extremely important to ensure that your work is securely packaged.   Please note that the University uses the work you submit to the extent necessary for the conduct of the admission process. The University is not in a position to verify the contents of portfolios, or to make any special arrangements for care, custody or return. The University cannot therefore accept responsibility for any loss or damage.

Please also remember that it is your responsibility to clarify with courier companies the importance of delivering your work by the deadline and to meet all the associated payments. The delivery and return of a portfolio remains entirely a candidate’s responsibility.



The colleges will advise you if you have been shortlisted for interview in November. 

The Ruskin normally retains the portfolios of those applicants who have been shortlisted until the interview date in early December. Portfolios can then be taken away once the interview process is completed.

If you are not shortlisted, you should arrange to collect your portfolio from the Ruskin. Portfolios can be collected during normal office hours. Please ensure your portfolio is collected by 5pm on Friday 14 December. 

We recommend a local courier service, for assistance in the delivery and collection of your work: Mail Boxes Etc at 94 London Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9FN. Telephone: 01865 741729.    Email: 

N.B.  It is important that the courier company you book to collect your portfolio has your name, i.e., the name that is on the submitted portfolio, so that they know whose work to collect. In the past, companies have arrived with only a delivery address (which may be different to the address you provided on your UCAS form). We cannot release portfolios without the courier company providing a name.