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MA Sustainable Cities portfolio guide

How to put together a creative portfolio for your course application

What to include in your portfolio

We don’t prescribe an ideal portfolio, as applicants have a variety of experience and expertise, but some examples of completed work could include:

  • sketches
  • design layouts
  • typography
  • photography
  • illustration, including collage and/or paintings
  • web design
  • video
  • animation and/or motion graphics
  • interactive and/or 3D work

We would like to see a range of media and outcomes; however, you should include work that shows your engagement with cities, sustainability and places. You should aim to include no more than 20 images.  Please include a short description with each piece of work. If they were produced in response to a brief, please indicate what the brief asked you to do.

If you have a relevant undergraduate degree

You should show examples of design work from all years of undergraduate study, focusing on your final year. However, don’t limit the portfolio to ‘presentation drawings’ – evidence of design process, as well as product, will be valued. We want to see images from your sketchbooks and developmental work.

Try also to provide examples of work that supported your design activity, like theory, technical and professional practice outputs. Your portfolio should show the breadth and depth of your engagement with design, the range of your representational skills as well as intellectual and professional progression.

If you have professional experience

Examples of work drawn from professional experience are also helpful, again representing both process and product. Please highlight any relevant interactions with specialist consultants and advisers. You may also include examples of ‘non-academic’ activity – such as painting or photography – that represent a breadth of artistic or intellectual engagement.

If you’re coming from a non-academic background

You’ll need to present an example of your written work. Please submit a written statement (up to 1,000 words) outlining your interest in sustainable architecture as a wider subject and the Master’s programme. You can include sketches or drawings to support your statement if you wish.

What we’re looking for

We want your portfolio to demonstrate your: 

  • interest in cities and how to make them more sustainable 
  • ability to express your creative process, decision making and design resolution 
  • ability to reflect on what is, and is not, successful about your work 
  • interest in researching historical and contemporary aspects of sustainable urbanism

We want you to show your creativity, aptitude for design and evidence of your visual communication skills.

Your portfolio should show: 

  • exploration, research and observations 
  • original idea generation 
  • concept development 
  • evidence of drawing skills using computer software,  and by hand 
  • an ability to select, present and communicate a range of work to a high professional standard

Contact us

Any questions? Contact the Faculty Student Recruitment Team.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2990

Email: cci-enquiries@port.ac.uk

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