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Preparing Your Portfolio

A digital media portfolio and samples of work are key pieces in the Master of Digital Media program application. Learn how you can create a strong portfolio.

Applicants from technical backgrounds

If your background is in a technical discipline like computer science, software engineering, or information technology, we strongly recommend that you submit work that demonstrates your technical skills. This may include samples from work completed during your undergraduate studies, as a freelance contractor, a volunteer, or while employed. Please include and document at least 100 lines of original code that you created.

We encourage applicants with computing science, engineering, or IT backgrounds to apply even if they do not have an artistic portfolio. As the MDM program is interdisciplinary, each MDM student contributes their skill set to a team project.

While you may submit art and design work, be aware that your work will be compared with students who have received formal training in the art and design fields. Submit work that you feel confident will best demonstrate your abilities and talents.

In the digital media industry, technical skills are highly valued because they are a required skill set for nearly every project. However, the computer programming demands of MDM program are not as extensive as those of Masters of Science (MSc) or Masters of Engineering (MEng) programs leaving some room to explore your creative side. As you will be working in interdisciplinary teams, you will collaborate and share with artists, designers and project managers. You will learn the methods and principles applied by these different roles, and see how they contribute to team projects. As you progress through the program, many opportunities will become available to apply what you’ve learned and experiment with your creative ideas.

Applicants from art and design backgrounds including architecture and animation

The technical skills applied in the MDM program depend on the skill sets students bring to the project teams. Students with art and design backgrounds are not expected to have experience in computer programming. However, proficiency in any of the following software applications is highly desirable and will improve the competitiveness of your application: 3DS Max, Maya, Adobe Creative Cloud (Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premiere and/or Photoshop), Cinema 4D, Unity, Unreal, the ability to draw or illustrate using design applications, Storyboarder, AutoCAD.

Desired software applications for students from a UX background would be: Trello, Slack, Asana Basecamp, Axure, Sketch, etc.

Although many students will develop new computer skills, or learn the basics of certain software applications through the MDM program’s learn-as-you-go model, the development of these skills is not our core focus. Rather, our focus is to train you on effective techniques for team collaboration and project development in a digital media environment. The knowledge and skills you develop in the program include (but are not limited to): the ability to effectively express your ideas; the ability to communicate across disciplines; a proficiency in developing concepts and prototypes; the expertise to manage a project pipeline; the skills to resolve project conflicts; and the understanding of project team roles.

Applicants with production or product management experience (business, marketing, management, live events)

These applicants tend to have the business skills to handle some aspects of project development, such as client relations, marketing, or group leadership. However, they often lack specific knowledge and experience of the digital media project development process that runs from concept to prototype to deliverable.

If this describes your background, we recommend you submit samples such as business plans or project documentation that demonstrate effective planning and successful outcomes. If you have project management experience, submit a visual document that describes the project workflow and outlines of how you completed a project on time and on budget. Be sure to include documentation of any problems you encountered during the project, and how these challenges were met. This will help demonstrate your problem-solving and critical thinking ability.

We also strongly encourage applicants who fall into this broad category to demonstrate art, design or programming skills as additional skills in their portfolio. This will make you more competitive in the applicant pool.

Desired software applications for students from a project management background would be: Trello, Slack, Asana Basecamp, Axure, Sketch, etc.

Applicants with degrees unrelated to digital media

Digital media projects involve the input of a broad range of interdisciplinary skills and expertise – including those from business, media, art, design and technical fields. If, however, you are unable to find any application of your undergraduate training to some area of digital media, you must demonstrate your interest and skills in digital media through your non-academic work. If you have acquired work experience in any of the broad areas listed above, consult the application requirements for relevant examples of your area of work.