architecture at cambridge Watch

onoma
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i’m interested in doing achitecture at cambridge and was reading up on it when i saw that it said it had 12 applicants per place for the course i then checked medicine to compare and that had 5 applicants per place

is 12 people per place very competitive?? and when they say “applicants per place” is that out of absolutely everyone that applied or just those that got to interviews??
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Kocytean
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Applicants per place means applicants per place, not applicants per interview - and remember that there are more offers made than places available - maths is an extreme example, but in maths there are twice as many offers made as places - so the figures aren't necessarily as bad as they look.

I won't say anymore than that - architecture not being my subject, I wish not to risk saying anything inaccurate in my ignorance.

However, you may find this info-graphic useful. It's part of a PDF data table I have, taken directly from the University of Cambridge website, based on their 2014 admissions data.

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onoma
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(Original post by Kocytean)
Applicants per place means applicants per place, not applicants per interview - and remember that there are more offers made than places available - maths is an extreme example, but in maths there are twice as many offers made as places - so the figures aren't necessarily as bad as they look.

I won't say anymore than that - architecture not being my subject, I wish not to risk saying anything inaccurate in my ignorance.

However, you may find this info-graphic useful. It's part of a PDF data table I have, taken directly from the University of Cambridge website, based on their 2014 admissions data.

thank you sm!!
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Kocytean
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You're welcome.

Also, I should have mentioned, that the above table is for achieved AS-level UMS.
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artful_lounger
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Yes, Medicine (undergraduate entry, that is) is probably one of the closest subjects to the overall average selectivity for the university. It is "easier" to get into than Architecture, CS, Philosohy and some other subjects as I recall (which are variously slightly to considerable below the "average" for the university, which is around 20% success rate); however, this isn't really meaningful or accurate, due to the high degree of self selection among both medicine and Oxbridge applicants combined together, so those that do apply tend to that specific course to be very well qualified.

It is possible Architecture, due to the design nature of course, attracts more applicants with e.g. not traditionally academic subjects or similar who fail to be offered an interview as the admissions tutors deem they wouldn't be able to cope with the academic (i.e. history/theory) element(s) of the course, or those who reach interview and are unable to convince the tutors there that this is true again. Additionally some who otherwise meet the academic requirements may not convince them of their creative ability via portfolio and/or drawing assessment.

The broader range of applicants would quite possibly create greater pressure - also it's a relatively small course/department so there aren't as many places available as for medicine either anyway. It may be the total number of applicants for each subject is similar and the difference is "only" due to the different course sizes; you can see these and many other statistics on the University of Cambridge Application Statistics page to evaluate this for yourself.
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Amanzhol
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(Original post by onoma)
i’m interested in doing achitecture at cambridge and was reading up on it when i saw that it said it had 12 applicants per place for the course i then checked medicine to compare and that had 5 applicants per place

is 12 people per place very competitive?? and when they say “applicants per place” is that out of absolutely everyone that applied or just those that got to interviews??
Architecture is the most competitive course at Cambridge due to the very small size of the department. There's only enough space for around 40 students per year, but the ratio isn't quite 12:1, it's usually more like 10:1. For 2018 entry, 438 applications were made and 58 offers were given out, not all of which will be taken up. (Here's the website you can use to see the admissions statistics yourself: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics). It is indeed very competitive, although the Bartlett is closer to 20:1 so at least it's not as bad as that, and yes it means out of everyone who applied, not just out of those who got an interview (75-80% of applicants are interviewed, so your chances of getting to that stage are decent).

Let me know if you have any other questions about applying, as I received an offer for Architecture at Cambridge this year.
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onoma
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(Original post by Amanzhol)
Architecture is the most competitive course at Cambridge due to the very small size of the department. There's only enough space for around 40 students per year, but the ratio isn't quite 12:1, it's usually more like 10:1. For 2018 entry, 438 applications were made and 58 offers were given out, not all of which will be taken up. (Here's the website you can use to see the admissions statistics yourself: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics). It is indeed very competitive, although the Bartlett is closer to 20:1 so at least it's not as bad as that, and yes it means out of everyone who applied, not just out of those who got an interview (75-80% of applicants are interviewed, so your chances of getting to that stage are decent).

Let me know if you have any other questions about applying, as I received an offer for Architecture at Cambridge this year.
thanks for the info! do u think that an a level in an artistic subject is absolutely necessary?? right now i have picked maths, biology, chemistry and physics (potentially also self-teaching further maths) but i have a lots of photography and artwork that i’ve done in my free time and i would quite enjoy putting a portfolio together in the next year or so
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onoma
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(Original post by Amanzhol)
Architecture is the most competitive course at Cambridge due to the very small size of the department. There's only enough space for around 40 students per year, but the ratio isn't quite 12:1, it's usually more like 10:1. For 2018 entry, 438 applications were made and 58 offers were given out, not all of which will be taken up. (Here's the website you can use to see the admissions statistics yourself: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics). It is indeed very competitive, although the Bartlett is closer to 20:1 so at least it's not as bad as that, and yes it means out of everyone who applied, not just out of those who got an interview (75-80% of applicants are interviewed, so your chances of getting to that stage are decent).

Let me know if you have any other questions about applying, as I received an offer for Architecture at Cambridge this year.
also congrats on the offer!!
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Amanzhol
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(Original post by onoma)
thanks for the info! do u think that an a level in an artistic subject is absolutely necessary?? right now i have picked maths, biology, chemistry and physics (potentially also self-teaching further maths) but i have a lots of photography and artwork that i’ve done in my free time and i would quite enjoy putting a portfolio together in the next year or so
It's not *absolutely* necessary, but it's very useful to have and the vast majority of applicants will have it (I did and everyone I know who applied also did). Do make sure you scrutinise all the college's individual requirements because they'll often say that Art is a preferred subject, and they'll make suggestions of alternatives they'd like to see if you don't take A-Level Art. The following quotes from Peterhouse's and Pembroke's respective admissions pages show what the requirements tend to be:

"It is advantageous for applicants for Architecture to be studying either Physics or Mathematics alongside a practical art course such as Art, Textiles or Graphic Design. A third subject from this list of five is desirable, as is a humanities course (such as History of Art) or a language-based subject. If it is not possible to study practical art course to a high level in school, we highly recommend extra-curricular art classes."

"There are no mandatory subject requirements at A-level (or equivalent). Art (Fine Art) is desirable, and is generally preferred to Design Technology or similar subjects. One subject in the humanities is helpful."

It's clear that, although not a strict requirement, A-Level Art is advantageous, so I'd suggest you give it some thought before just going for all sciences. It'll make your life so much easier for putting together your portfolio, because trust me when I say that you'll be incredibly swamped throughout sixth form if you plan on taking those A-levels, so you'll find it difficult to dedicate enough time to creating pieces for your portfolio.

My advice, brutal as it may seem, would be to just forget Biology, Chemistry and Further Maths, and just take Maths, Physics and Art. I say this because Art will be much better regarded than bio and chem combined, and fm is really just unnecessary extra workload.

(Original post by onoma)
also congrats on the offer!!
Thank you!
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thewinelake
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I guess I should chip in here - my DD is a first year architecture student (and loving the course).
Assuming you're pretty smart, then you may as well apply to Cambridge - particularly as Oxford don't do it!
It is competitive when viewed as a numbers game, but I think that quite a few no-hopers apply (and why not? It's a shot to nothing) - so don't let that put you off.
Interestingly, it seems to me [based on a fairly small (but not self-selecting) data set] that those who get offers from both Bartlett AND Cambridge generally seem to choose Cambridge. I suspect that may be because Cambridge is a nicer place to be than London, as in many other regards (dept facilities, reputation) Bartlett seem to be the obvious choice.
If you do apply, then don't get too hung up on choosing a college that has a good ratio on offers or whatever (although I'd probably counsel against applying to King's as it's always ridiculously over-subscribed, and pool offers tend to be higher).
You will need a fistful of A*s - so pick the A-level subjects that you're going to do well in. Art A-level definitely useful. You will need a good portfolio, which might be very time consuming to produce (I suspect that photography won't cut much ice - they need to see evidence that you know one end of a pencil from another), so you may as well get an exam for it.

Good luck to you, whichever way you go!
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username1865079
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(Original post by onoma)
thanks for the info! do u think that an a level in an artistic subject is absolutely necessary?? right now i have picked maths, biology, chemistry and physics (potentially also self-teaching further maths) but i have a lots of photography and artwork that i’ve done in my free time and i would quite enjoy putting a portfolio together in the next year or so
Yes, an artistic subject is very important if you want to be competitive enough. Or, if you’re not doing any art/design- related subject at school, you should at least have a good portfolio that shows you have ability and potential in art/design as that’s what architects do and also it’s a part of the entry requirements.

The advice from thewinelake is very valuable, so you should consider what he said carefully.
Bartlett is a great school for architecture and other build-environment subjects. One of the best in UK or even in the world. So I’d very strongly advice you have a good look at their course and compare it with Cambridge’s and other universities’s courses you’re interested. Their (and other universities’) course is not as academic-oriented as cambridge’s, so you can see which course you prefer.
I have several people around me who works as an architect (or in other professions I build-environment) and they all speak very highly of Bartlett.

If you’re interested in architecture-related career in the future but art/design is not your thing, Engineering is one option you can have a look instead, with a possibility of specializing your study in architectural/civil engineering later.
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thewinelake
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Also consider the new course at Bartlett of architectural engineering (or something like that!). Won’t lead to RIBA qualification but seems just the ticket for a real job - and it has been undersubscribed.

Edit: this one https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/archi...al-design-meng
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Doones
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(Original post by thewinelake)
Also consider the new course at Bartlett of architectural engineering (or something like that!). Won’t lead to RIBA qualification but seems just the ticket for a real job - and it has been undersubscribed.

Edit: this one https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/archi...al-design-meng
UCL are aiming for RIBA too. It's not unusual for accreditation not to be in place when a course launches but to be sorted out in time for the first graduations.

The programme is designed to meet Engineering Council MEng and Architecture degree-level requirements. We are also actively seeking accreditation from the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM, which includes IStructE and ICE), the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Architects*Registration Board (RIBA/ARB) Part 1 exemption.


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thewinelake
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
UCL are aiming for RIBA too. It's not unusual for accreditation not to be in place when a course launches but to be sorted out in time for the first graduations.

The programme is designed to meet Engineering Council MEng and Architecture degree-level requirements. We are also actively seeking accreditation from the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM, which includes IStructE and ICE), the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Architects*Registration Board (RIBA/ARB) Part 1 exemption.


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That's very interesting - they didn't mention that at the presentation we attended back in 2016. All I know is that it's a course I would personally have enjoyed greatly!
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Doones
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(Original post by thewinelake)
That's very interesting - they didn't mention that at the presentation we attended back in 2016. All I know is that it's a course I would personally have enjoyed greatly!
Yup, looks v interesting. The worry would be it falls between civil engineering and architecture, sitting in neither camp. But then again that could be a plus too, and cross-functional skills could be a very good thing...

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username1865079
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(Original post by thewinelake)
Also consider the new course at Bartlett of architectural engineering (or something like that!). Won’t lead to RIBA qualification but seems just the ticket for a real job - and it has been undersubscribed.

Edit: this one https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/archi...al-design-meng
(Original post by Doonesbury)
Yup, looks v interesting. The worry would be it falls between civil engineering and architecture, sitting in neither camp. But then again that could be a plus too, and cross-functional skills could be a very good thing...

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Well, that’s a sort of course the industry increasingly needs.
Civil engineers are always complaining architects are too much focused on design and how it looks without sufficient consideration for practicality and/or how difficult it is to actually build as they design and architects are always complaining engineers complain too much and they lack a big vision for the future, so such multi-disciplinary course can produce people who can bridge over these gap.

The new campus in east London is giving Bartlett Good prospect to expand and develop their courses and research.
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thewinelake
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Which forum is this? ;-)

One of the tricks that Cambridge are perhaps missing is more collaboration with the engineering dept (whose front lawn they effectively occupy). Access to engineering facilities (eg 3D printers and other fabrication technology) and expertise would be great. That was something that appealed about the course at Bath - their joint projects with the engineering dept.

However, at the end of the day, prospective employers judge the person more than the course, and given that one is likely to do Part 2 somewhere else, the location of Part 1 studies isn’t the be all and end all.

Cambridge is a lovely place to study (other than the intensity of 8 week terms), and a relatively benign environment for fledglings to find their way. Also, more convenient opportunities for extra curricular activities than many. London accommodation can be a killer for this.
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(Original post by thewinelake)
Which forum is this? ;-)

One of the tricks that Cambridge are perhaps missing is more collaboration with the engineering dept (whose front lawn they effectively occupy). Access to engineering facilities (eg 3D printers and other fabrication technology) and expertise would be great. That was something that appealed about the course at Bath - their joint projects with the engineering dept.

However, at the end of the day, prospective employers judge the person more than the course, and given that one is likely to do Part 2 somewhere else, the location of Part 1 studies isn’t the be all and end all.

Cambridge is a lovely place to study (other than the intensity of 8 week terms), and a relatively benign environment for fledglings to find their way. Also, more convenient opportunities for extra curricular activities than many. London accommodation can be a killer for this.

We’re sharing our useful, real life experience/knowledge with prospective applicants, so definitely in the right forum!

Yeah, Bath is another uni with really good Architecture Dept in recent years, and an engineer in our family (a Cambridge MEng/MPhil) speaks very highly of the teaching of their Engineering Dept.
Has your daughter had a look at Edinburgh, too? They seem to be quite good too.

Cambridge pride themselves for being at the top of many rankings and they do deserve it for various reasons but still they have many issues they need to rectify, especially their courses and how it’s taught/organized tend to be too ‘traditionalist’ and too academic-oriented. That may be what you want or you don’t. That’s something you need to think carefully before deciding if Cambridge is a right uni for you.

But, yes, choosing a uni should be based on various factors, not just on content and teaching of the course.
As your daughter, the whole environment, especially the collegiate system, Cambridge can offer was the final deciding point for my daughter, too, and she hasn’t regretted her choice........though she decided to do her master’s at another place else faster than you can say ‘postgrad’!
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(Original post by vincrows)
Has your daughter had a look at Edinburgh, too? They seem to be quite good too.
She's already at Cam

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;-)
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