Portfolio guidance for Architecture applicants

Guidance Notes for Architecture (K100) and Interior Architecture (W250) applications.

Assessment by Interview and Digital Portfolio

The portfolio is an opportunity to demonstrate a sense of yourself as a visually creative person. We are eager to see a wide range in your creative ability. At Oxford Brookes University we value this and only consider students who have provided a portfolio. Therefore it is important that your portfolio is as diverse as possible. To give us a good introduction to you as a designer, we ask for a portfolio that contains work illustrating your creativity rather than your technical ability.

What are we looking for in a portfolio?

Suggestions are as follows:


A mix of media, e.g.

  • free-hand drawing
  • observational drawing (sketches and drawings from reality not photographs)
  • sketch books (sketches from trips abroad and project ideas etc)
  • life drawing (pencil, charcoal etc)
  • collages / montages / mixed media
  • work experience drawings
  • finished artworks.


If you would like to share examples of 3D work you have created, such as the examples below, please share these with us by taking good quality photos and incorporating these into your digital portfolio.

  • scale models
  • material experimentation / sculpture
  • spatial installations
  • work experience models.


  • films
  • music
  • photography
  • website design
  • creative hobbies – textiles, metalwork, etc.
  • precedent Studies (research on artists and architects you find interesting).

We would expect to see at least 15-20 pieces of work as a minimum. Feel free to include any kind of work you have done and we suggest a mix of both A-level and other personal work (non-A-level). Your portfolio is all about your work and your ability, so present it in the best way possible. Ensure that all of your work is in order and clearly labelled.

We do not expect everyone to have all of these elements. However we are keen to see your point of view, and what kind of architectures you find exciting. Show us your passions, ambition and commitment to creative endeavour. Architecture is a challenging subject, so show initiative. Surprise us.

We understand that some of your work may have been submitted for A-level examinations or may be large models, in which case we ask that you include these as clear and focused photographs.

Take a look at our School of Architecture’s 2020 End of Year shows website to see work by this year’s final year undergraduate and postgraduate students. This will give you insight into the sorts of projects that our students work on and the range of work that they create.

How to create your portfolio

When putting your portfolio together, ensure that it is well organised and that your work is clearly labelled. You can present your portfolio as a PDF file or you can use an online service to put your portfolio together. For example, you could use website such as Behance, Flickr or Issuu to build an online portfolio. Carbonmade is another popular digital portfolio service but please note that this website does require a fee.

If you wish to upload your portfolio as a PDF, please share this with us by using Google Drive where you will be able to upload your PDF file and obtain a URL link. Please remember to amend the sharing settings so everyone who receives the link is able to view your work.

Response times for portfolio submissions

We expect that you should receive a response to portfolio submissions within three weeks of the submission date. If you have not received a response by that point please contact admissions@brookes.ac.uk.