The Department of Architecture at Cambridge is an exciting place to study. Regularly lauded as one of the leading architecture schools in the world, students study under the guidance of world-renowned researchers and ground-breaking practitioners.
Creativity, curiosity and strong intellectual grounding are central to the course. Our innovative design programme – delivered by tutors working at the cutting edge of contemporary architecture – is balanced with outstanding teaching in the history and philosophy of architecture, contemporary culture and urbanism, as well as construction, structural design and environmental design.
Our small, friendly Department has a very good staff to student ratio, and the supportive community atmosphere gives students the opportunity to push the boundaries of the field and to extend their own abilities in exciting new directions. Facilities include a superb library, studios and spaces for larger installations, and reprographics areas and workshops.
The BA (Hons) undergraduate course in architecture at Cambridge carries exemption from ARB/RIBA Part 1, which is the first stage in qualifying as an architect. The course takes three years.
The core of the teaching is carried out in studios. Projects are set throughout the year and you are required to produce models and drawings to communicate your design ideas. The department provides studio desk space together with workshop and computer facilities. You will be supervised on your projects individually, typically twice a week, by Design Tutors, who are themselves professional architects. Studio work accounts for 60% of the overall marks in each year.
The remaining 40% is made up with coursework, essays and examinations based on a series of academic lecture courses. You will attend small group supervisions on these courses and will be required to complete essays and coursework. You will typically be examined through a combination of written papers at the beginning of the summer term and coursework submitted during the year. There is a full year by year description of the degree course on the Departments website.
Homerton is quite close to the Architecture Department, which is fortunate as architecture students spend quite a lot of time in the department as they will have dedicated studio space there. Architecture is the only design based degree offered by the University of Cambridge. It combines imagination with technological practicalities into an exciting whole.
Architecture is a relatively small subject in Cambridge (though it has a large number of applicants), and so the department has a significant role in the admissions process with all colleges working with the department to ensure the best applicants across the subject get places, irrespective of college choice. Homerton is delighted to work with the Depatment in ensuring our students have all the suppot they need to thrive as potential architects. Our Director of Studies,
Ingrid Schröder, is Director of RIBA part II programme and the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design. She is a Lecturer in Part 1B History and Theory and a Design Fellow.
The deadline for applications to Cambridge is 15 October. Applications are made through UCAS. You will be asked to provide information on your current school grades and A Level subjects (or equivalent).
We take the view that various combinations of subjects make a good Architecture student; most students take a mix of Arts and Sciences- but there are no set subjects that we look for from Architecture applications. The majority of applicants have studied Art A Level, and some colleges also ask for Maths A level. Most offers of study will require A*AA grades.
After you’ve applied, you’ll also be asked to fill in an additional questionnaire (known as an SAQ). The purpose of the SAQ is to ensure that we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It also enables us to collect information that's not part of the UCAS application but is helpful when assessing applications, such as the topics you've covered as part of your AS/A Level [or equivalent] courses, which helps our interviewers decide which questions to ask. Some colleges may also ask you to send in examples of your school work.
INTERVIEWS, PORTFOLIO AND ASSESSMENT:
Interviews are held in the first two weeks of December and at interview you will be asked to show a portfolio of your most recent work. You don’t need to bring architectural drawings: instead interviewers want to see portfolios that demonstrate your interests, experience and ability in the visual and material arts; a sketchbook with your own hand drawings is particularly useful. Normally drawing and painting forms the basis of your portfolio, but other media such as sculpture and photography may also be included. You can bring work prepared at school for examinations, but creative work that you have done outside of your courses is also welcome. Some colleges may also ask you to bring – or submit - written work.
During the interview week, you will also have to sit a short, one-hour assessment, made up of a 30 minute essay exam and a 30 minute drawing test. The 30 minute written exam will ask you to formulate a response to a topical question within Architecture, and in the drawing test you’ll be asked to draw a particular space (such as the room that you are in) to demonstrate your skill in representing space through hand drawing. You can find full information about the assessment, and an example exam paper here.