Architecture courses Portfolio Guide

How to put together a creative portfolio for your course application process

Please note

You'll need this guide if you're applying for one of the following courses:

Entry routes

Please choose your entry route to find the correct portfolio information:

Year 1 (standard entry)

The portfolio requirements vary depending on whether you are attending an interview with the University or submitting a digital portfolio. Please see the instructions below for the specific requirements in each case.

Zoom interview

As part of your application process to study with us, you'll be invited to attend an online interview with the School of Architecture.

The interview will include up to 5 applicants and be facilitated by a member of staff. The following guidance is provided to assist you in preparing the most appropriate work for your interview/ group discussion. Please endeavour to follow the guidance as closely as possible, it will help staff to make an informed decision about your suitability for this course.

You’re invited to present 1 project that you feel best represents you and your interests during a group interview. This could demonstrate artistic skills; represent something you've designed; or it could be a piece of research relevant to the subject area. Applicants will be expected to discuss their project with the group. We will be looking to see your enthusiasm for the subject, your skill level (in either the arts, design or writing/ research) and your ability to communicate with others in a group discussion.

In advance of the interview, please make your project into a digital version - images can be collated into a PDF or uploaded to a site such as flikr.  During the interview, you'll be asked to share your screen in Zoom to talk through your portfolio. Guidance can be found on the Zoom site - see the “Sharing your screen or content” section. The interviewing member of staff will be able to help if you get stuck during the interview.

Online portfolio

The format of the online portfolio should be in an easily accessible format such as PDF, or URL link to a digital folio. It could be either:

  • A digital folder containing presentation sheets of the selected project
  • A written essay or report accompanied by illustrations/ images
  • Presentation sheets/images of a 3D crafted object

In all cases, we would expect to see evidence of the development of ideas, which could be either:

  • Uploaded images from a sketchbook containing drawings, research, photographs
  • Photographs of a series of experimental models
  • Research notes and/ or a bibliography of resources
  • The work you choose to present could be produced as part of a formal course of study or evening class, or something you have produced independently.

Year 2/3 (direct entry)

As part of your application process to study with us, we would like you to provide a digital portfolio so that we can assess your suitability for the course.  In the portfolio, we are looking for a range of work that clearly demonstrates your enthusiasm, skill level and visual communication skills.

The format of the portfolio should consist of no more than 15 pages and should include:

  • Artistic work which demonstrates drawing or ‘making’ skills.
  • Design work which demonstrates an understanding of some or all of the following; design concepts, design process, experimentation through sketches and models, three-dimensional design.  You should present this work in a way that shows your 2D and 3D representation and communication skills.

If you only have limited evidence of a portfolio, in addition you should submit an example of your research or written work in the form of an essay, report, site analysis report or a building case study, which should be accompanied by illustrations/ images.  This document should consist of no more than 15 pages.

Please note:

  • Please upload your images to a platform such as Flickr and send it to us via email
  • If you choose to send research/written work, or a combination with images, please put them into one PDF document rather than separate images.
  • Be selective in what you choose to show: think quality, not quantity.  The portfolio should contain what you consider to be your best work.
  • Make sure that all the work displayed is your own.  If it was a group project, then name the contributors. 
  • Evidencing that you have been involved in group work is positive and is seen as good preparation for the higher education environment.
  • If you show an image of another designer’s work as a precedent (form of inspiration), label it with the designer’s/practice name and title of the piece.

Contact us

Any questions? Contact the Faculty Student Recruitment Team.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2990


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