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Camille Meisner, Art and Design Portfolio Development Short Course, 2021
Next course starts 29 June 2023

Develop a distinctive progression portfolio tailored to your continuing educational and professional journey in art and design.

Key details


  • Early bird fee: £1935
  • ends 31 March 2023
  • Regular fee: £2150
  • from 1 April 2023


  • Live Online

    9 x 4 hour sessions over 3 weeks

    11am - 3pm BST per session

    Week 1: 29 & 30 June, 1 July 2023

    Week 2: 6, 7, 8 July 2023

    Week 3: 13, 14, 15 July 2023

    Complete the application form here

This course is ideal for any applicant intending to progress in higher education or in a career within an art or design discipline. Delivered by the multi-disciplinary staff team of the Graduate Diploma at the RCA, this practical and advanced short course offers expert advice in the application process, in studio practice, academic skills, and technical support.

Following an initial instructive tutorial identifying specific progression aims and requirements, you will be taken through an intensive process of positioning and presenting your practice, critically engaging with your work, and leaving the course with a more distinctive portfolio.

Teaching and encouraging you to express yourself and your practice to a relevant audience, this interactive course also offers a valuable and productive opportunity for networking and collaboration.

The three-week programme includes both taught sessions and independent exercises. The exercises and activities are designed to support you in developing your portfolio.

By the end of the programme, you will have a portfolio developed in Adobe InDesign. This will involve key aspects such as self-branding and editorial strategy, a practitioner statement and the critical commentary to support the body of work.

RCA academic staff teaching this course are all practising artists and designers.

Read the latest RCA News Story about the course here.

Applications are now open. Complete the application form here

About the course

Week 1: Navigating your practice

  • Pecha Kucha, lecture and seminars
  • What is a portfolio and its application
  • Introductory tutorials
  • Begin developing your portfolio for screen or print publication

Week 2: Framing your practice

  • Interdisciplinary collaborative project
  • Developing a practitioner statement
  • Interdisciplinary group project and team presentations
  • Group tutorials on portfolio strategies and practitioner statement

Week 3: Presenting your practice

  • Finalise your portfolio
  • Individual tutorial to critique your approaches and guidance to support completion
  • Group discursive portfolio reviews and progression advice

By the end of the programme, you will have a portfolio developed in Adobe InDesign. This will involve key aspects such as self-branding and editorial strategy, a practitioner statement and the critical commentary to support the body of work.

The benefits to you include:

  • identifying aims and requirements for progression at the RCA, or other institutions offering programmes in art and design, or in your professional practice
  • subject-specific guidance in one of our four pathways:
    • Communication Design
    • Fashion and Textiles,
    • Fine Art
    • Product, Interior and Spatial Design
  • guidance on academic skills and English language support
  • opportunity for collaboration and networking
  • portfolio design, development and technical support
  • certificate of online attendance on successful completion

You will learn to:

  • evaluate progression aims and requirements
  • discover your own personal creative practice, skills and ideas and how to situate them
  • position your practice in relation to progression objectives
  • develop strategies for presenting creative work in professional contexts
  • design a portfolio in preparation for application to a higher education programme in art and design at the RCA or elsewhere, and to use in professional practice for career progression.

Learning will take place online with a blend of guided contact time through lectures, seminars, workshops, as well as small-group and one-to-one tutorials. Over the duration of the three-week intensive programme, each week will have a focus. Activities will include:

  • positioning your portfolio for contemporary art or design practice
  • models for collaborative practice across disciplines
  • professional practice lectures.

The course is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations.

Participants interact with academics and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants will use Padlet, an interactive online platform for communicating and sharing ideas.

Through the online platform Padlet, participants get to:

  • interact with peers and tutors
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

Moodle hosts a range of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos and tutorials.

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • a clear understanding of your individual progression requirements
  • increased confidence in discussing and presenting your research and practice in a visual format
  • developed a tailored progression portfolio, ready for making a relevant application in higher education or for presenting in a professional context.

The course is convened by academic leader Richard Nash, Tutor (Research) in communication design on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design at the Royal College of Art and overseen by Gary Clough, Head of Programme, Graduate Diploma Art & Design.

The course contributors for the 2023 programme will be announced soon.

The course contributors for the 2022 programme included:

  • Dr Ekua Mcmorris, Tutor Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Artist, Academic Researcher and Photographer
  • Dr Susannah Haslam, Tutor,Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Visiting Lecturer Critical & Historical Studies
  • Cato Barend van Schalkwyk, Visiting Lecturer on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design and Creative Director
  • Benji Jeffrey, Visiting Lecturer on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design and RCA Alumni MA Sculpture
  • Whiskey Chow, Visiting Lecturer on the Graduate Diploma Art & Design and RCA Alumni MA Contemporary Art Practice (Performance)

Disclaimer: The list of contributors is subject to change depending on availability.

Participants must bring an existing body of current creative work to work on during the course. This body of work is what you will be using from the start of the course.

Ideal for those intending to progress in higher education within an art and design discipline such as:

    • Level 5 programmes: e.g., HND, Foundation Degree (FdA), NVQ, professional certificates and diplomas or equivalent
    • Level 6 programmes: e.g., BA or equivalent
    • Education staff advising students on progression to RCA, including those from non-traditional art and design backgrounds
  • It is also appropriate for those who seek career progression and personal development in professional practice.
  • Anyone seeking career progression and personal development in professional practice who wishes to pursue a course or career in this area.
  • Freelancers or self-employed.

  • Good command of English with IELTS 5.5 minimum
  • An undergraduate degree in a related art or design field, or a demonstrably creative background
  • A body of current creative work in a digital format
  • Familiarity with industry standard software packages (e.g., Adobe InDesign, Photoshop)


Complete the application form here

Application deadlines 2023

  • Participants are advised to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are strictly limited.
  • We will start accepting applications from November 2022.
  • Applications will be assessed by the RCA course team every 2 weeks until June 2023 or until the course is fully booked.
  • We will inform all applicants by email within two weeks after they submit an application about whether or not they have been successful.
  • Unfortunately we do not provide further feedback information.
  • If the course is fully booked and your application is successful we will add your name to a waiting list.

How will I know that my place is confirmed?

The offer of a place will only be secured and confirmed when the RCA receives 100 per cent of the course fee payment. Places are secured on a first-come basis on receipt of appropriate payment.

How can I pay for the course?

The course needs to be paid in full by one instalment and via the online payment system using a debit or credit card. Once you are offered a place on the course you will receive a secure online booking link. Please complete the registration and booking process to make the booking. Please ensure that you are using the most up to date version of your internet browser. We regret that it is not possible to pay the course fee by instalments.

Watch the latest IN SESSION talk: Portfolio as Practice here

In this talk editor and curator Dr Gerrie van Noord, Gary Clough and Richard Nash discuss the importance of art direction, critical writing and content curation in the construction of a portfolio.

Using examples selected from their own practice and publishing projects, they explore how the portfolio, as a self-authored publication, can function in different contexts and for different purposes.

This is an opportunity to learn about some of the strategies that are important to positioning yourself through your portfolio to fully exploit your creative potential in art and design practice.


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
Executive Education Team