Student model

Guidance on Applying

We have put together some guidance on applying to study at the Sheffield School of Architecture which is designed to give you the best chance of a successful application.

Before you apply

Students enter first year from a variety of backgrounds and with a wide variety of skills; during the course of that year we introduce all the skills that we think architects need to practice and adapt to changing situations in practice.

You could consider undertaking a short work placement to find out more about architectural practice. This is not required by us before you apply, but you may find it a good way of gaining more knowledge about whether or not architecture will suit you as programme of study.

Before you apply you will find it helpful to discover as much as you can about a career in architecture and the possibilities for study and beyond. The RIBA provides a helpful section on its website where you can find out more about the opportunities available to you if you choose to study architecture.

A degree in architecture offers you a wide choice of career options - most obviously becoming an architect - but many other career paths are also available relating to the design and development of the built environment, and design practice more generally.

Subject choices

There are no specific A-level subject requirements for our architecture undergraduate programmes. However, we offer the following information as guidance on combinations of subject choices and those that may help you when studying architecture.

You should refer to the University's Admissions guidance on acceptable combinations of subject A-levels as our expectation is that you will follow these recommendations in your choices of subject.

We recommend that you study subjects that enthuse and motivate you and that you consider will be helpful to you in your continuing career. Architectural studies encompass Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences and we generally advise that you select a broad range of subjects rather than a narrow selection, and that you avoid studying two or three very similar subjects.

We do require you to submit an art and design portfolio that demonstrates your artistic and creative skills. You may find it helpful to study either an Art or Design related subject to help you prepare this portfolio, but equally we accept applicants who have developed their creative and artistic abilities independently.

The art and design portfolio

All applicants are expected to show evidence of artistic ability and, after your UCAS application has been received and processed, selected applicants will be invited to electronically submit a short portfolio of art and design work. Even if you do not study an art or design subject as part of your current programme of studies, you should still be preparing original artwork to include in the portfolio submission.

The Portfolio comprises no more than ten* reproductions of applicants' own art and design work. It should include a variety of work, demonstrating a range of techniques (drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, printing etc.) and a range of subject matter. The portfolio must also include an original piece of work as specified by the selectors' panel; the details of this piece of work will be communicated to applicants in the letter requesting the submission of the portfolio.

The portfolio is central to our selection process, so even if you have, or are predicted, very strong grades you may still be rejected.

You will have four weeks from the date of request to prepare your portfolio and you must submit this to us within the requested time period or contact us before the deadline has passed if there are valid reasons for you being unable to submit. We will not consider portfolios submitted after the deadline unless we have already granted you a period of extension.

* Applicants for the MEng Structural Engineering and Architecture (HK21) course are required to submit 6 pieces of art and design work

K100-KK13 Portfolio Guidance

Portfolio Guidance for K100 and KK13


Portfolio Guidance for HK21

Personal statement

Your personal statement should be individual to you and it should reflect your enthusiasm and interest in architecture. You may wish to explain why you wish to study the subject at degree level, indicate what qualities you feel you will bring to the course and to the university, describe any achievements, skills or experience (and any particular circumstances) that you think are important for us to know about, and explain what will you do with the knowledge that you gain.

There is extensive guidance on writing a personal statement available on the UCAS website.

The Application Process

Applications for undergraduate courses must be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Please refer to the UCAS Timetable for important dates and check the submission deadlines for applications as these differ for international and home/EU applicants. We encourage you to apply early in the cycle and in good time for you to prepare and submit your art and design portfolio which we will request after we have received your application from UCAS.

UCAS provides detailed information about the application process generally. Remember to tell us if you have taken part in any formal Widening Participation schemes.

We normally consider applications for first year entry only. Please contact us if you are considering applying for direct entry into second year or if you are enquiring about transferring from another University.