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Architectural Design MA application portfolio advice

We look at portfolios as part of our selection process as some of our postgraduate courses need specialist skills. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your creativity, innovation and design skills and what inspires you.

A good portfolio should indicate something of your personality, it should be clearly structured, easy to read and well presented. It should consist of quality work rather than quantity so be selective about what you show.

Your portfolio should comprise of up to 30 images. We recommend your portfolio be A3 landscape and in the form of a PDF. Please respond to the advice we have set out here as best you can.

What are we looking for?

  • Evidence of your eligibility to attend the course
  • Evidence of interest in subject
  • Conceptual ability (ideas/content)
  • 2D and 3D drawing ability
  • 3D digital modelling ability
  • 3D physical modelling ability
  • Portfolio presentation and clarity
  • Work or relevant experience
  • Written communication
  • References
  • First degree

What should a portfolio contain?

Your portfolio should itself be carefully designed and composed for easy examination with a cover with your name. The pages should include the following and be clearly labelled:

Cover page

The cover pages should display your name and current qualification.

Degree (or equivalent) certificate page

Please show a copy of your undergraduate architecture (or other relevant subject) degree certificate

CV page

On a single landscape page describe your career, achievements and interests to date and including activities such as field trips and extra-curricular architectural events attended/undertaken such as talks, workshops, competitions, courses etc. Preferably this page will be illustrated.


Please add details of your referees on one page.

Personal statement

On a single page provide a short 500 word max personal statement (in English) describing your architectural ambitions, what kind of office/ architectural activity you would like to eventually undertake, what kind of buildings you would like to design, your favourite architects and/or buildings past and present and what you like about them – this could be illustrated.

Final year project

  1. Introduction and brief - give the name and number of the module/unit, the title of the project and describe or show a copy of the brief. You can add some further explanations of what it was about if you wish. It could include an image of the finished design (one page only please).
  2. Precedent studies/design research (one page only).
  3. Conceptual studies - developmental drawings and models need to be included (one page only).
  4. Proposed plans, sections and elevations - (one or two pages).
  5. Detailed design - if the project included constructional/structural/environmental studies please include a summary (one page only).
  6. 3D drawings/perspectives - hand drawn or digital models or a combination of both. If more than image is included, ensure the primary image is larger (one page only).
  7. Photographs of model work - we are interested in real physical models – not digital ones. If more than image is included, ensure the primary image is larger (one page only).

Note: You may include more than one final year project, however, you must make a clear distinction between each project.

Office experience (if applicable)

These pages should just show typical examples of what you have worked on and should include a commentary explaining the extent of your involvement. Please show a small selection of the work you produced (one or two pages).


If you have other skills you think are relevant, but are not necessarily architectural, please include examples (one or two pages).


Reproduce your dissertation with two sides on each A3 landscape page take as many pages as you need (For example, if dissertation consists of eight pages then it will fit on four A3 landscape pages).

Size and format

Option one - online submission

  • Please submit your digital portfolio as a multi-page single PDF file
  • Files need to be compressed or zipped and not exceed 1GB in size and submitted via
  • For moving images such as animation or video please use .mp4, .MOV or .AVI format
  • All work needs to be saved in one folder and labelled with your name, student reference number and the name of the course you have applied for

Option two - personal website

  • You can also send us a link to a website that displays your work
  • The website must be public (no sign up, passwords or logins), written in English, and have clear navigation
  • Your website must render correctly in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari