Architectural Design MA application portfolio advice

Your portfolio

Your portfolio should comprise of up to 30 images. We recommend your portfolio be A3 landscape and in the form of a PDF or PowerPoint presentation.

Once your application has been received, you will either be invited to an interview where you will present your portfolio of work (on campus for Home/EU applicants, via Skype for Overseas applicants), or alternatively you may be asked to submit a digital portfolio of your work.

Portfolio submission options for overseas applicants

What are we looking for?

We are 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).

Events at DMU

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Discover the DMU campus
Discover DMU

Take a look around DMU by exploring our Virtual Open Day.