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Portfolio admissions pathway

Passionate about architecture or design, and have a great portfolio?

If you didn't quite get the required ATAR, you can apply for entry into one of our undergraduate degrees with a portfolio that shows your design skills and creativity.

What is the portfolio admissions pathway?

The portfolio submission is a potential way for you to gain entry into our programs if you achieved close to the required ATAR (or equivalent). In conjunction with the HSC and other formal assessment systems, it assists the University to identify students with the potential to excel in architecture or design computing.

If you are expecting to receive an ATAR of up to five points lower than or roughly around the ATAR for your preferred course, we encourage you to apply by submitting a portfolio.

Submit a portfolio

Portfolio submission is via an online process, and only available for domestic applicants to the following programs:

Semester 1 (February) or Semester 2 (August) entry:

Semester 1 (February) entry only:

Portfolio submission is not available for the combined degrees with engineering.

Before submitting your portfolio, please carefully read all information about what to include.

Semester 2, 2019 submissions for the Bachelor of Design Computing and Bachelor of Design Computing/Advanced Studies close Sunday 14 July.

What to include in your submission

Personal statement

The personal statement is your chance to explain to the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning why you would make an ideal student in your desired degree. Your statement should include any experience or knowledge you hold in the area for which you are applying to study, as well as anything else that demonstrates your interest in architecture and design. Keep it succinct, but show us your enthusiasm for studying your chosen course.

Letter of Reference

Reference letters are a great way of demonstrating that you have the student qualities we seek. Your letter of reference doesn’t have to be from someone with a background in architecture or design, but it is important that they attest to your strength of character. Generally, the Letter of Reference may come from your teacher or school principal, club directors or sporting coaches. You are requested to submit one written Letter of Reference only. 

Portfolio

The portfolio is the main element of your application. It is a small sample of the creative work you have done. This might include artwork, architectural work, web design or development, 3D modelling, technical drawing, written work and anything that demonstrates your skills in design and creativity.

Your portfolio should exhibit two primary characteristics.

  1. Breadth. Your portfolio should present a broad mixture of your creative work, especially sketches and freehand drawings for architecture or digital media for design computing. It can include anything you think is relevant, such as design and technology work, digital media or online work, graphic design, photography, life drawing and models.
  2. Passion. By this, we mean the pieces you are most proud of, and have worked hardest on – work that best expresses your commitment to design and creativity.

It is important to consider the number of works you include in your portfolio. Tell us your story but avoid repetition. A portfolio should be no more than about 12 pages or, about a dozen animations or rendered images. Remember to label your work and present it as professionally as possible. Tell us what the piece of work is, how you produced it, and when.

Submit your portfolio now.

Portfolio development tips


We offer a number of alternative pathways for domestic undergraduate applicants who wish to have additional factors taken into account alongside their academic results. See the Alternative entry page for more information.