The Bartlett


Applying to Bio-Integrated Design MArch

By Gitanjali Ravi

Applications, portfolios, deadlines and interviews. Did you break into a sweat already? I know that it is not by any means, an easy task to apply to a design school and hopefully this blog post helps make the process a little bit easier for you.

Filling in the blanks

While you don’t have to spend an entire year working on your application, it does help to stay on top of the deadlines and requirements. Give yourself sufficient time to fill and revise your applications. It might also be useful to go over the application with a trusted individual like your professor. 


We’re living in a small world now, thanks to the internet. Why not put those networking skills of yours to the test and find a few students that you can talk to about the course and the tutors? Getting the inside scoop is quite worth it when you’re aiming to get into the course of your dreams. Who knows, you might even make some friends along the way. I made my first friends in London through groups on Facebook while I was still applying to The Bartlett. If Facebook is not your thing, Bartlett also offers its prospective students super neat opportunities to chat with a student via Unibuddy. So, don’t be shy to network and ask as many questions as you can. We students are always happy to be of help!

St. Dunstan-in-the-East. I discovered this little Eden dab smack in the middle of London while working on a film assignment for the course. 10/10 must visit. 

Making a statement

Think of the personal statement as the first point of contact between you and the person reviewing your application. Just like how a well told story can make you vouch for the main protagonist no questions asked, your statement should make your reviewer do the same for you. The narrative is key.

Think of what you want to convey and how best you can write the story. It proves useful to finish the first draft, take a break then come back and rewrite the whole piece afresh. I wrote my final essay after taking a month’s break from when I finished the first draft, so take your time. Keep it crisp and concise, the person reviewing your application has to buy into the trailer not the saga.

Depending on the course you are applying to, you may also be asked to submit an additional essay on a specific topic. In that case, remember that the people reading this essay probably already have a certain degree of expertise in that topic, so don’t be generic. What you can bring to the table instead is a well-researched fresh perspective so write a piece that is completely you.

Here East as seen from the Olympic Park. Yes, you saw that right. It is a giant building that houses a lot of tiny houses (makerspaces) within it.

Portfolio woes

The million-dollar question - how many projects should one include in their portfolio? While there isn’t a rule here that is set in stone, you also don’t want to bore your reviewer with too many pages. The main objective is to find a healthy balance between showcasing your thought process in the best possible way and also considering the time your interviewer might spend on your portfolio.  

You are levelling up

While applying to a course, it is quite normal to feel a little inadequate or like your work isn’t going to make the cut when you look at all of the work that is showcased on social media channels. Remember that you are applying to a masters course and a lot of the showcased work is developed by masters students who have gained that level of expertise and skillset after joining the course. So don’t be so hard on yourself. 

The Interview

You’ve submitted all your documents and after a period of waiting you’ve now received the call for an interview. Congratulations, you’re now a little bit closer to making the cut! The important thing is to not stress and just be yourself. The interview is for both you and your interviewer to make sure you are a good fit for the course/school and vice versa. Don’t be shy to ask questions and remember its completely okay to not have the answers to every single thing you’re asked. My interview was intended to last for 20 minutes but went well past 40. It’s important that you’re able to have a great conversation with the interviewer, considering you might even be tutored by them during your time at The Bartlett. 

More important than all of this is to enjoy the process so, try to have fun while applying to your dream program! It should not feel like a chore. All the best!

The star of Here East. If you're lucky, this little fellow will keep you company while you enjoy your coffee by the canal waters. 

About the author

Hi! I am Gitanjali Ravi and I’m a second year MArch student from the Bio-Integrated Design program at The Bartlett. While I’m not working on projects for school, I am a certified plant lady and I enjoy taking super long walks with my friends through the streets of London. 

Gitanjali Ravi - Student Blogger