BA Architecture / Application and selection

Year of entry: 2024

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

BA Architecture Portfolio Advice
View a recording of a webinar providing advice for applicants hosted by the Admissions Tutor for BA Architecture Alan Lewis. This webinar includes;
  • an introduction to Manchester School of Architecture;
  • information on entry requirements and the application process;
  • guidance on what we expect in a portfolio and on the portfolio submission process.

Please note this webinar was recorded in April 2021, although what we expect in a portfolio will remain the same, there may be changes to the portfolio submission process for 2022 entry.

A student on BA Architecture has also written a blog on how to make your portfolio stand out .

Returning to education

Return-to-learn students are those who have had a substantial period away from any formal learning. Often such learners have pursued careers or raised a family.

We understand that students come from many different backgrounds, with varying qualifications, careers and skills, but they often bring to their studies a high degree of motivation and experience.

We recognise that standard selection measures and procedures may not enable these learners to demonstrate fully their suitability for their chosen course.

Where appropriate, admissions officers will seek and consider alternative evidence in order to give such learners equivalent consideration. Where they deem this alternative evidence meets entry criteria fully, the learner will not be required to meet the standard academic entry requirements.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful, you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. 

In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing, you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Portfolio requirements

As BA Architecture is a design-oriented course, most candidates will be asked to submit a portfolio.

After an initial assessment of the UCAS application form, we will email suitable candidates to request a digital portfolio, via a blog, with a deadline of approximately three weeks from receipt of the email. You will be provided with a brief on how to create the digital portfolio and the required portfolio elements.

You will be asked to write a statement of no more than 450 words, which includes:

  • your reasons for wanting to study at the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA);
  • your own review of a recent exhibition or building that you have visited;
  • a statement about your favourite architect or building;
  • a work of architecture that you would like to experience in person.

You will also need to provide 10-12 images of your own artwork. This might include examples of fine art/painting, sketches, measured drawings, graphic design, or photographs of artefacts that you have created. To demonstrate you have the skills required you will need to, where possible, include images that show:

  • proficiency in drawing;
  • creativity;
  • your ability to use a diverse range of media;
  • the creative process from the initial concept to the final design - for example, you might include preparatory sketches as well as the final piece.