The Bartlett


Creating a portfolio for Architecture MArch

by Shaunee Tan

Putting together a portfolio may seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be as scary as it first seems! I found the best way to approach the task is to think of it as a sales brochure – this is your opportunity to showcase your unique skills and abilities. Below I’ve put together a few of my top tips to consider when putting together your portfolio for the Architecture MArch… Good luck!

Be you 

  • What do you want to show the interviewer? (e.g skills, techniques, development)
  • Why are you including certain pieces of work, and how does this contribute towards demonstrating your focus and ambitions?
  • Where will your interview be taking place – in person or online? Prepare your content appropriately.
  • When will the interview be taking place – could you include extra work that you have completed since you finished your undergraduate degree?
  • Who will be interviewing you and/or who are you interested in working with at The Bartlett? Is it possible to include work which showcases similar interests?

Keep it short

Often in an interview, you get a maximum of 5 minutes to present your work. If you condense this to 30 seconds per page, you essentially have time for a maximum of around 10-20 pages or items of work to show. The interview is your opportunity to bring your personality to the portfolio, as it will have already been reviewed by a panel

You will not have the time to go through every single thing, so make sure to summarise effectively. Try not to be too descriptive with every aspect, as the interviewers will be looking to understand what you want to do in the future on the course – use the interview as an opportunity to explore what you want from your practice. For an example of quantities, in my portfolio I included: 

  • x9 sheets Year 3 work
  • x4 sheets Year 2 work
  • x5 sheets work from my time in practice

It may seem ‘boring’ to include drawings from practice (e.g. planning General Arrangement Drawings, construction detail work), but this will demonstrate your technical knowledge and show your understanding of how things work in the industry (which is essential knowledge for the Design Realisation (technical) module in Year 4).


In the context of COVID and online interviews, it is especially important to consider your formatting. I personally shared A4 landscape work – it fitted nicely to a full-screen on a computer but could also be easily printed. 

Carefully choose your font and point size – remember that the majority of online interviewers will be viewing on a laptop screen and they won’t have time to zoom into every piece of text. Keep your images big as it is difficult to appreciate small and many images on one page.

Student blogger, Shaunee, shares an image of her Architecture portfolio

Also, for the sake of the interview panel – make it visually engaging! Think about how many portfolios they have to go through over the course of the day/week/month and make sure yours stands out.

What to include

It’s always important to show versatility and a range of skills in your portfolio, this can include (but not limited to!):

  • Renders
  • Model making
  • Photography
  • Hand sketching
  • Diagrams
  • GA’s (General Arrangement Drawings e.g plans, sections etc)
    Student blogger, Shaunee, shares an image of her Architecture portfolio

Whilst it may be tempting to fill your portfolio with impressive renders, this does not show the reviewer any of your process and progress through the project – which arguably is as important as the finished project. Don’t be afraid to show pages from your sketchbook and ‘imperfect’ process sketches.

If necessary, spend a little extra time filling in the gaps. For example, you may need an extra diagram, which can explain something quicker than a whole page of text. It is well worth the time spending a couple of hours on supplementary work – but don’t get too hung up over it! At the end of the day, the interviewer can ask you for more verbal detail in your interview.

I hope this quick guide has been useful, and with any luck has made the idea of putting together a portfolio a little less daunting! Best of luck with your portfolio submissions and interviews and we look forward to welcoming you to the Bartlett soon!

About me

Hi! I’m Shaunee and I am about to start the final year of my Architecture Master’s (MArch) at The Bartlett School of Architecture. I studied my undergraduate degree at Newcastle University before applying to The Bartlett and commencing my studies in 2020. It’s been an unconventional year, but in-between online learning I’ve enjoyed living in and exploring London!

Image of student blogger, Shaunee Tan