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Architecture

The Department and College recognize that mature students can bring particular knowledge and skills to the course due to their previous studies and experience.

Department of architecture by Sir Cam

Cambridge is a rich environment in which to study Architecture, having numerous significant buildings that together represent one thousand years of architectural history. The University is highly ranked for both teaching and research in the subject.

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The Architecture Tripos provides a basic grounding in Architecture and exemption from the Part I exam of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The course is oriented around design - from the scale of the city to that of furniture - and is supported by lecture courses which draw upon the humanities (history and theory) as well as upon the sciences (construction, environmental design and structures).

Applicants who have a strong interest in architectural and urban design - its history, theory, construction and technology - are encouraged to apply.

The core of the teaching programme is in practical design, carried out in studios. Projects are set throughout the year and students are required to produce models and drawings to communicate their design ideas. The Department provides studio desk space together with workshop and computer facilities. The course also involves lectures, classes, visits to buildings under construction or restoration, and study trips.

Bredon House original plan

There is no prescribed combination of A Level (or equivalent) subjects required for the Architecture course. Applicants with backgrounds in either the humanities or the sciences have been successful, although a combination of arts and science subjects is considered the best preparation. The majority of applicants have studied Art or History of Art, which provides a better preparation for the course than subjects such as Design Technology and Technical Graphics. Mathematics at A Level (or equivalent) is also encouraged. A strong interest and commitment to the discipline is essential.

See also the University entrance requirements for general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers. Please note that it is not possible to apply as an affiliate student for the Architecture course. Applicants with a first degree may apply for the full three-year course.

We are looking for students with a natural curiosity about the world and a sense of spatial imagination. The course demands that students are able to draw fluently and with precision and to develop ideas in visual ways. Candidates for architecture need to be prepared to work in a broad range of disciplines. They must understand conceptual, technical and analytical approaches to the built environment. Architectural students need to calculate logically and to conduct evidence-based argument persuasively.

Interviews

Candidates will be asked to attend two interviews, a general and a subject interview and to undertake an admissions assessment.

You will be asked to submit a PDF file of exactly 6 A4 pages containing images of your own artwork, in total less than 15 MB in size. The selection of images should, in some part, reflect material you might plan to discuss at interview as part of your portfolio. Submission instructions for your portfolio will be provided by Wolfson after your application has been received.

All applicants are expected to show a portfolio of recent work at interview; they will be encouraged to discuss their work with the interviewers during their subject interview. We are not expecting to see work of an architectural nature in the portfolio (e.g. plans, sections, etc). What we will want to see is something that will illustrate that candidates have a strong interest in the subject as well as exceptional ability in the visual and material arts. Normally drawing and painting forms the basis of the portfolio but other media such as sculpture and photography may also be included. It is usually sufficient for three-dimensional work to be exhibited in photographs.

A sketchbook with ongoing drawings is extremely helpful and applicants are encouraged to bring one to the interview. It may be in any media (pencil, charcoal, crayon, etc) and should include a variety of subject matter. The work can be material prepared for school-leaving examinations but creative work executed outside formal courses will also be welcome.

The Director of Studies is Dr Claudia Marx.

Full details of the Architecture course are provided on the department website, and summarised in the University Undergraduate Prospectus.