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Architecture MArch 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. The design of the portfolio itself is one of the criteria we use to judge your suitability for the course. 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 programme
  • Conceptual ability (ideas/content)
  • 2D drawing, technical and presentational ability
  • 3D drawing, making and presentational ability
  • Work or relevant experience• Portfolio arrangement and presentation
  • Evidence of interest in subject (architectural cultural knowledge, initiative, motivation, self-directed study)
  • 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, as well as a contents page.

Cover page

The cover pages should display your name and current qualification.

Contents page

This should contain and index or the sections of the document. Include pagination.

Degree (or equivalent) certificate page

Please show a copy of your final year transcripts to the left of the page (please highlight or state which module(s)/unit(s) is/are the design one(s)). On the right of the page please display an image of your certificate.

Transcripts page

Please display the transcripts from previous years.

CV page

On a single landscape page describe your career, achievements and interests to date and including activities such as field trips andextra-curricular architectural events attended/undertaken such as talks, workshops, competitions, courses etc. Preferably this page will beillustrated.ReferencesPlease 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/orbuildings 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, the location of the site and describe or showa 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. Site analysis and context (one page only).
  3. Precedent studies/design research (one page only).
  4. Conceptual/feasability studies - developmental drawings and models need to be included (one page only).
  5. Proposed plans - the ground floor must be in context, site plans should also be included (one or two pages).
  6. Proposed sections and elevations - drawings must include context (one or two pages).
  7. Detailed design - if the project included constructional/structural/environmental studies please include a summary (one page only).
  8. 3D drawings/perspectives - hand drawn or digital models or a combination of both. If more than image is included, ensure the primaryimage is larger (one page only).
  9. Photographs of model work - we are interested in real physical models – not digital ones. If more than image is included, ensure the primaryimage 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

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