How to apply

Information on how to apply for a postgraduate taught masters course in the School of Architecture.

MSc Digital Architecture and Design students at exhibition

Apply online

Our online application system allows you to complete an application form and upload associated documents.

Apply now

Supporting materials

When applying, you will be required to submit the following documents via our online application system. You are not required to send any hard copies to the department.

  • Design portfolio
  • Personal statement of 200-300 words which should outline any relevant experience or expertise relating to the course and demonstrate your enthusiasm for this particular subject and the University of Sheffield
  • A CV and two references, with at least one academic
  • Transcript of previous university qualifications, with certified translation into English where appropriate

Please note there is 50mb file limit for all supporting documents

Design portfolio guidance

Your portfolio should include samples of work from previous or current education and employment. You can also add any other artistic or written work where appropriate. It should reflect the scope and variety of your training and experience with particular emphasis on your personal interests as well as your skills. A distinctive, original approach, or work that shows a clear insight into a subject matter will stand out. We welcome professional and cultural diversity and endeavour to treat every applicant on his or her individual merits.

Number and nature of projects

Please include:

  • Examples of your design and creative work or work from related fields
  • 3-5 projects you have worked on
  • At least one single authored project
  • Your final or most recent project

Design work can include:

Design or planning projects

  • Concept sketches and/or diagrams, showing development of ideas, approaches, methods and how you organise your ideas
  • Finished drawings of original design or planning work
  • A written explanation of the problem, the goals and objectives of the project, overall concept, how the solution was reached

Research projects or publications

  • Extract of the material which gives a good impression of the overall project including the problem, the method and findings
  • Summary explanation of the objectives, findings and conclusions of the work

Whenever a project has been completed within a team please indicate your role and responsibilities.

Size and structure

Structure your portfolio with a clear sequence of pages and include a contents page, information sheets for every project, and explanatory text to give context. The portfolio cover should include your full name and contact information.

  • Do not exceed 20 MB
  • No larger than A4 and a maximum of 20 pages
  • No more than five pages per project
  • PDF format
  • Do not use the booklet format showing two pages per screen
  • Landscape layout suits our requirements best

Supporting information

For each project define:

  • Name and location of the project
  • Academic or professional
  • Individual or group work
  • Your role in the process and exact contribution to the project
  • Year/semester of your study in which the project was carried out
  • Date when the project was carried out
  • Name and e-mail address of the supervisor of the project

Course specific information

Depending on which course you are applying for, you should think about showing your skills in the subject area.

MA in Architectural Design
  • Short introductory paragraph telling us what inspires you, what challenges you aim to face through the work included in the portfolio and what is your cultural position
  • An understanding your skills, but also the way you critically look at the complexity of factors determining your individual creative process
  • A variety of techniques such as sketches, diagrams, hand drawings, 3D models, photographs and graphic-design work
  • Excerpts of your written work for example academic dissertation, design or research reports
MA in Urban Design
  • Graphic skills and use or different methods such as hand drawing, technical drawing, diagrams, photomontages, photography and scale models rather than just digital 3D visualisation
  • Self-driven explorations such as non-standard design experiences in workshops or summer schools, particular design themes, interesting design methods and forms of visualisation
  • Work at a variety of scales including building, public space, neighbourhood and landscape
  • The use of diagrams to explore the process of design, rather than focusing exclusively on design outputs
  • Some consideration of the 'human scale' in design and planning proposals, for example through analysis of the future users of an area or the inclusion
MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies
  • An interest in contextual design issues, whether at the urban or building scale
  • An analytical drawing of site or building vicinity and contextual issues, either existing or proposed
  • A project at a small scale (a room, a dwelling) and one at larger scale (larger non-domestic building, urban scale, infrastructure etc)
  • One portfolio sheet showing precedents of buildings that you studied and that have inspired you in your design approach

If you are not from a design background you will be asked to submit a 1000 word paper previously submitted or newly written.*

*For 2020 entry onwards, we will require a design portfolio and will not be able to accept a written piece.

    Staged Admissions

    For MA Architectural Design, MA Urban Design and MA Sustainable Architecture Studies your application will be reviewed by a panel of academic selectors within the department of Architecture. As we receive a large volume of applications, the most being received between November and March, we will review and make decisions in stages at the following times:


    For applications received by:

    We aim to return decisions by:


    30 November 2022

    7 January 2023


    31 January 2023

    27 February 2023


    31 March 2023

    29 April 2023

    We will consider applications received after 31 March 2023 on an ongoing basis, if places are still available.