Architecture BA (Hons)

Course Description

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.

Successful completion of our full three-year undergraduate course carries exemption from the Architects Registration Board (ARB)/Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Part 1 – the first stage in qualifying as an architect.

The Department also offers a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design, which carries exemption from ARB/RIBA Part 2, and an ARB/RIBA Part 3 course (the final qualifying stage).


Entry requirements

Typical offers require:

A Level: A*AA
IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages.

Course requirements

Required by some Colleges: AS or A Level/IB Standard or Higher Level Mathematics or Physics

Please note that Art tends to provide a better preparation for our course than subjects such as Design and Technology.

All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges so check College websites for College-specific requirements. See also Entrance requirements and  The Subject Matters for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.


All applicants invited to interview are expected to show a portfolio of recent work at the interview but this isn’t expected to be work of an architectural nature (eg plans, sections etc).

Admissions Tutors want to see something that illustrates your interests, experience and ability in the visual and material arts. This may include drawings, paintings, sculpture and/or photography may also be included. It’s usually sufficient for three-dimensional work to be exhibited in photographs.

A sketchbook with ongoing drawings is extremely helpful and applicants are encouraged to take 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 is also welcome.

Portfolio requirements vary from College to College. Please see the Department website and individual College websites for further guidance.


English Language qualifications

If English isn’t your first language, it’s essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that’s taught and examined in English (please also refer to the information about the structure of our courses, and how you’re taught and assessed in the courses section of this website).

Throughout the admissions process, Admissions Tutors will be assessing your English language skills as well as your academic ability. You may be asked to achieve one of the formal qualifications listed below as part of the conditions of an offer:1

  • IELTS Academic2 – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element, achieved in one sitting
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT)3 – normally a minimum overall score of 110, with 25 or above in each element
  • EU students – a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving exam (eg the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable
  • Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification


International qualifications

Whichever system you’re being educated in, we require top grades in the highest level qualifications available for school/college students, and assess students not only on their achievements in these qualifications but also on their ability and readiness to join in discussion of their subject.

Typical offer levels for a range of qualifications including the European Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate can be found in the main entrance requirements section.

If you intend to make an application, it is important to check your country page to ensure the qualifications you are studying are considered suitable preparation for entry to the University of Cambridge.

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