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Portfolio Preparation for the Arts

Develop a comprehensive portfolio of art and design work as well as increased confidence in your artistic abilities in this multi-disciplinary course.


Course Fees: £2,295
Including residential programme: £3,495

Course Details

Designed for those with an interest in studying creative arts who are undecided about which area they wish to focus upon, this course gives you the chance to try out a variety of creative disciplines – and at the same time strengthen your portfolio for a foundation course or degree.

Through a range of practical projects in different arts subjects, you will be encouraged to develop your own ideas, enhance your creative skills and knowledge whilst building a body of work for your portfolio. You will be guided through a variety of creative approaches and processes including practical exercises in the areas of art, design, illustration, photography and fashion.

You’ll also be advised on the best way to showcase your work and collate a digital and physical portfolio. Working in our specialist art and design studios will help to familiarise you with the equipment and resources used in creative arts subjects giving you confidence in your creative abilities and strong preparation for your next level of creative arts study.

Your course tutors will offer guidance and support on creative applications, as well as feedback on your artwork and advice on your future creative studies.

  • Practical workshops and themed projects
  • Sketchbooks: creative ideas development
  • Typography and design, experiments in composition and collage
  • Drawing and illustration, graphic design
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Photography and film
  • Architecture and 3D Design
  • Mixed media and printmaking
  • Layout and portfolio showcase
  • Portfolio review and creative arts progression advice

Course Aims

The course aims to:

  • Enable you to develop a portfolio of work in a variety of art and design disciplines to demonstrate your skills and creative identity.
  • Provide extended practical sessions to experiment with artistic processes in a professional Higher Education setting.
  • Develop your drawing and observational skills to enhance your aesthetic awareness and inform your research and design activities.
  • Develop your critical and contextual awareness of different approaches within art and design-related subjects.
  • Enhance your knowledge of appropriate and safe use of a wide range of media, materials and technologies used to develop creative solutions.
  • Provide opportunities for self-evaluation and critique to enhance your confidence and reflective skills when considering yours and others work.
  • Increase your confidence when articulating your ideas and presenting your portfolio for review and interview.
  • Provide an understanding of the different types of jobs available to you in the creative industries.

Take a look at our students at work

Course Materials and Resources

All course materials and resources are included in the course fee including your sketchbook and A3 portfolio folder.

Students will be taught in professional art and design studios and digital suites, with access to our library and online resources.

Course Outcomes and Assessments

Students will leave the course with a physical A3 art portfolio and digital portfolio containing their work for interview submission or future development.

Portfolio review with course tutor.

All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official Summer Course Certificate detailing course contents and study hours.

How to Book

Booking for 2020 Summer Courses is available online, with the opportunity to secure your summer course with an initial deposit payment from £495-£895 depending on the course. Places on our summer courses are limited, so we advise that you book as soon as possible to secure a place.

Please go to the individual course page you are interested in and click on the ‘Book now’ link. Our online booking system allows you to book and pay onto your chosen course yourself. You will be required to create a username and password in our secure online store.

Once payment has been received you’ll be sent an email confirming your payment and your place on the course. The email will also include further instructions on how to pay the remaining balance of your course fees as well as details on how to book and pay for our Residential Programme if this is required.

If you’re unable to book online, please contact us via email on or call us using the details below and we’ll assist you with your booking or suggest an alternative payment method, such as via Bank Transfer, where necessary.

Residential Programme

Our residential programme offers excellent value for money; you can choose to book our residential programme alongside your summer course or organise your own living arrangements.

Bournemouth is a popular place for tourists and visitors, especially during the busy summer months, with many hotels charging over £100 per night for accommodation, which doesn’t include food or other expenses.

Our residential programme is a popular option for the majority of our summer course students, offering good value for money and the chance for them to further experience living as an AUB student in our town centre student accommodation. Accommodation is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and is very popular. We highly recommend students who are joining our Summer Courses for 2019 book their summer accommodation as soon as possible to guarantee it.

The option to book your Residential Programme will appear in the booking process when you initially book your Summer Course place. (Through the BOOK NOW button on each Summer Course page). It can also be added later after booking your course, by logging back into your AUB account.

What's included

Summer residential programme includes:

(for all two and three-week summer courses)

  • Single study bedroom with private ensuite bathroom, in AUB’s town centre Halls of Residence.
  • Halls of Residence Wi-Fi.
  • Half board meals: breakfast and lunch provided on campus, Monday-Friday.
  • Daily private shuttle bus transfers to campus.
  • 24-hour on-site security staff and live-in AUB residential staff.
  • Programme of social activities in evenings.
  • Weekend day trip to London.
  • Access to shared kitchens and cooking facilities for evening meals.
  • Laundry facilities, student social common room.

If you join our two-week creative arts summer school (13-14 years) and wish to join the residential programme to this will also include:

  • A full board of meals, with a mix of food vouchers and local restaurants, organised for weekend and weekday evening meals.
  • Additional AUB student ambassador assistance to support/accompany students.
  • An extended programme of social activities and excursions.

Host Family/Home Stay Accommodation

For those who would prefer to stay in homestay/with a host family, please email us at for more information and for contact details of our homestay provider.

Social Activity Programme

There’ll be evening activities and weekend day trips included within the residential programme at no extra cost that you can choose to take part in, with free time also in your schedule so you can enjoy Bournemouth and explore the local area.

More details about our social activities will be available closer to the start of the 2020 Summer Courses, however, please contact us to find out more. Activities may include beach sports, bowling, movie night, evening art classes etc.


  • Three-week Summer courses: £1,200
  • Two-week Summer Courses £900
  • Two-week CASS course (13-14 years): £1,500 (full board incl. evening meals at local restaurants)*


We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question about our Summer Courses you might find it here.

If your question isn’t covered, contact us on or call +44 1202 363831/+44 1202 363823. You can also Skype us: summercoursesAUB.

AUB welcomes hundreds of students each year to our Summer Courses from more than 50 different countries.

Our Summer courses are open to all creative enthusiasts aged 13+ and there is no upper age limit. We don’t have any specific entry requirements for our summer courses but we expect summer students to come equipped with enthusiasm, commitment and motivation to learn.

Younger students can take part in our Creative Arts Summer School, designed for enthusiastic creatives aged 13 to 14.

We also have 2 and 3-week courses for 2020, aimed at 15+ students who may be preparing to apply for University or are already be studying a creative subject at degree level or be working within industry.

Although many of our Summer Course students are aged 15 – 21, the courses attract students, creative professionals and freelancers of all ages from the UK and all over the world, with a variety of backgrounds and experience.

Our summer courses benefit from including such a mixture of people who can learn and collaborate together.

There are no formal entry requirements for our summer courses as we want students and creatives to share and learn no matter what their background or previous experience.

The courses are highly practical and written for those with a keen interest in creativity; we simply expect summer students to be enthusiastic and willing to learn as individuals and as part of a team.

You do not require any previous qualifications to join our courses.

All the summer courses are taught in English.

There are no formal English entry requirements, however, we recommend you have an intermediate level of English in order to benefit fully from your experience on our summer courses and be able to communicate with your course leader and fellow students.

If you are in doubt whether your English is good enough, please email us at for advice.

Our courses are very popular, however in order to make sure you have a great course experience and enough contact time with your tutor, we keep our class sizes small.

Class numbers will vary depending on the course subject, however summer courses typically have between 15 – 20 students per course, with your course leader, course assistant and aub student ambassadors to support you.

All summer courses can be booked easily through our online store with a debit or credit card.

If you are unable to pay online, we will ask you to complete a booking form and we will provide you with our bank account details so that you can arrange a bank transfer (please be aware there will be additional bank fees to pay if choosing this method).

If you do not hold a UK/EU/EEA passport you will need a visa that allows you to study here in order to take one of our courses.

The majority of international students intending to study a short summer course in the UK may do so using a short-term study visa.

However, it is your responsibility to determine if you need to apply for a visa in advance and to allow sufficient time to obtain a visa.

You should allow sufficient time to obtain any necessary visa prior to attending our summer course and the university will provide a visa support confirmation letter upon receipt of full payment.

Please refer to the UK government visa & immigration website for clarification of visa requirements and any other supporting documents you may need.

All visas and travel documents to confirm eligibility will be checked either on arrival in university accommodation or on the first day at registration. If you do not have the correct visa we will not be able to allow you to join the course nor will you be eligible for any refund.

If you are applying for a visa and need documents to confirm your travel and course arrangements in order to secure your visa, please note that course confirmation letters for visa applications will only be issued once the course fees and any accommodation you have booked have been paid in full.

Our summer courses are fully inclusive with all materials and resources included.

For those staying in our accommodation, breakfast and lunch are provided Monday-Friday on campus along with a host of other benefits including free daily bus transfer to and from campus, a weekend day trip to London, programme of social activities etc. Students who take one of our summer courses and also choose to stay in our accommodation will need extra money for evening meals, weekend food and their own shopping such as gifts, personal purchases, additional snacks and weekend activities.

If you live locally or have chosen to book just the summer course and arrange your accommodation independently, you should allow sufficient funds for lunch and any other meals, optional activities and personal purchases required.

You will be issued with an aub certificate of attendance upon successfully completing the course.

You may use this to evidence the work, which can be added to your portfolio or cv. You are also eligible to apply for home university credits to put towards any study you are currently doing (e.g. as a study abroad student at another university, or a student taking the IB for CAS credits).

Depending on the summer course you have taken you will also have the opportunity to take with you the work produced during your time.

For example, film and animation students will have short films, fashion students can take home their finished fashion garment as well as their fashion folios etc.