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 admissions pathway provides an opportunity 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 in identifying students who have 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.

Portfolio Development Tips

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.

What should I include in my 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, video, 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

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.

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. 

How do I submit my portfolio?

You may submit your portfolio electronically as follows:

  • Select your course preferences and submit an application through UAC Your portfolio application works in tandem with a UAC application.
  • Upload your portfolio online and provide your 9 digit UAC application number.

Portfolio submissions for Semester 2, 2024 intake will open in the following rounds:

Open date Closing date
1 May 2024 30 June 2024

Submission rounds for Semester 1 2025 intake will be announced in the coming months.

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.