Clare College Cambridge


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Although Architecture may be studied at University primarily as an academic discipline, the teaching programme in the Department of Architecture is designed to provide an education suitable for a career in the architectural profession. Studies in Architecture at the University call for a wide range of skills and commitment for success.

The education programme for architects takes seven years to complete. The first three lead to the BA degree in Architecture and this is followed by one year's employment in an architect's office to obtain practical experience. Students then return to university for a further two years of study known as the Diploma in Architecture or RIBA Part 2. At Cambridge, a new Part 2 course, based around the MPhil in Environment and a year in practice, has been introduced in 2008-9 and subsequently received ARB/RIBA validation. In the seventh year, Part 3 is further instruction, primarily in Professional Practice. This course is offered by Cambridge.

Further details of the courses of study in Architecture at Cambridge may be found on the Department's website: University of Cambridge Department of Architecture

Studying Architecture at Clare

Teaching for the Architecture Tripos is mainly conducted in the Department of Architecture. Even so, the College provides an overall framework for its architectural students and a strong supporting environment for their studies. The College has a vigorous policy of supporting the Arts, Architecture and Design and this policy is reflected in the continuing number of applications made for admission to Clare to read Architecture and the generally high standard subsequently achieved by those admitted.

Admissions requirements

Students reading Architecture come with A-levels in a wide variety of different subjects. GCSE or equivalent Mathematics is required, and A-level Mathematics or Physics is useful but not required. There is no formal requirement for candidates for the Architecture Tripos to have passed an A-level in Art, but our experience at Clare over many years leads us to the view that it is desirable; Design and Design & Technology A-levels are generally poor substitutes.

A typical offer would be A*AA at A-level or 7,7,6 (40+ overall) in the IB or the equivalent in other educational systems.

All candidates are required to submit a portfolio of work in support of their application for admission.

Written and Practical Assessments

All applicants who are selected for interview are required to take the university-wide at-interview written and practical assessment for Architecture. Further information about this is available here.


Applicants who are selected for interview will be called for interview in the second or third week of December. Candidates will normally have one interview with Clare's Director of Studies in Architecture and another Director of Studies or a member of the Department of Architecture. A portfolio of work should be brought to the interview in order to illustrate the applicant's interests, experience and ability in the visual and material arts.

The interview begins with some general questions, followed by a discussion of the project that the applicant submitted in advance of the interview. The applicant's portfolio is then viewed and discussed. At the end of the interview there is time for the applicant to ask questions.

Normally, drawing and painting form 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. Examples of A-level or GCSE art (or equivalent) may be submitted, but creative work executed outside formal courses will also be welcome. It is important that the majority of work be recent, from the past year. A sketchbook with ongoing drawings is particularly desirable and each candidate is encouraged to bring one along to the interview. It may be in any medium (pencil, charcoal, crayon, etc.) and should include a variety of subject matter. Applicants should be selective in assembling their portfolio, including what they feel to be most representative of their work, and what can reasonably be viewed and discussed within the time of the interview.

Reading List

A list of recommended reading for Architecture applicants is available via the department website here.

Fellows in Architecture at Clare

Dr Wendy Pullan Reader in Architectural and Urban Studies, Fellow in Architecture. Dr Pullan teaches the history and philosophy of architecture; her research focuses on architecture and cities of the Middle East.