Should I apply for architecture and design engineering?

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boeuf
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I like the sound of both courses, however I'm scared that my personal statement won't be able to cover both of them well enough. I'm applying Cambridge for architecture and am worried they won't like the fact I'm writing so much about engineering. Please let me know whether you think I should still apply for both!
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s.jones5
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(Original post by boeuf)
I like the sound of both courses, however I'm scared that my personal statement won't be able to cover both of them well enough. I'm applying Cambridge for architecture and am worried they won't like the fact I'm writing so much about engineering. Please let me know whether you think I should still apply for both!
I know its really hard to choose but you will most likely do a lot better if you streamline for personal statement for one specific course rather then try to cover several, it can be done but you only have a few characters to use so gotta utilise every one as much as you can
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Doones
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(Original post by boeuf)
I like the sound of both courses, however I'm scared that my personal statement won't be able to cover both of them well enough. I'm applying Cambridge for architecture and am worried they won't like the fact I'm writing so much about engineering. Please let me know whether you think I should still apply for both!
Write your PS for your other universities. You use the SAQ to provide a Cambridge-specific statement.

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying/saq
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SebastianMesser
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(Original post by boeuf)
I like the sound of both courses, however I'm scared that my personal statement won't be able to cover both of them well enough. I'm applying Cambridge for architecture and am worried they won't like the fact I'm writing so much about engineering. Please let me know whether you think I should still apply for both!
You haven’t said anything about what you are studying currently, or where else you are applying, so I’ll try to be even-handed... 😉

“Design” has almost exactly the opposite meaning in engineering and architecture. In architecture “design” is about maintaining complexity for as long as possible in resolving complex problems - there is no one “right” answer in architecture, only more or less successful proposals. In engineering, “design” is about narrowing down options to find the “right” (or at least, the ‘optimised’) solution. ‘Spatially‘ then, you might compare architectural design = lateral thinking with engineering design = linear problem-solving... I would suggest they need each other, but they tend to be very different personalities!

Architecture, as an undergraduate degree, is a general arts degree - irrespective of whether they are BAs or BScs, 50% of the course will be design projects. But if you want to be an Architect (a legally prescribed title), then it will take at least 7 years - and it is not currently possible (or at least, it is extremely difficult) to ‘jump horses’ from another field or discipline into architecture. I presume Design Engineering will be a 4 years ‘integrated‘ masters.

As a rule of thumb (or a sweeping generalisation - you decide!) if you’re not 100% certain about architecture (yet) then its not going to be for you (yet).

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
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boeuf
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(Original post by SebastianMesser)
You haven’t said anything about what you are studying currently, or where else you are applying, so I’ll try to be even-handed... 😉

“Design” has almost exactly the opposite meaning in engineering and architecture. In architecture “design” is about maintaining complexity for as long as possible in resolving complex problems - there is no one “right” answer in architecture, only more or less successful proposals. In engineering, “design” is about narrowing down options to find the “right” (or at least, the ‘optimised’) solution. ‘Spatially‘ then, you might compare architectural design = lateral thinking with engineering design = linear problem-solving... I would suggest they need each other, but they tend to be very different personalities!

Architecture, as an undergraduate degree, is a general arts degree - irrespective of whether they are BAs or BScs, 50% of the course will be design projects. But if you want to be an Architect (a legally prescribed title), then it will take at least 7 years - and it is not currently possible (or at least, it is extremely difficult) to ‘jump horses’ from another field or discipline into architecture. I presume Design Engineering will be a 4 years ‘integrated‘ masters.

As a rule of thumb (or a sweeping generalisation - you decide!) if you’re not 100% certain about architecture (yet) then its not going to be for you (yet).

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
Thanks for your answer! I'm interested in your comparison of Design in the two areas- which do you think is more creative? (Btw, I do Maths, Physics, Spanish HL IB)
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SebastianMesser
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(Original post by boeuf)
Thanks for your answer! I'm interested in your comparison of Design in the two areas- which do you think is more creative? (Btw, I do Maths, Physics, Spanish HL IB)
Ah now, you’re trying to get me in trouble here! 😉 Maths and sciences can be creative, but the point is more about learning styles and your preferred ways of thinking. Certainly your current subjects would suggest engineering rather than architecture, but many people change their minds between the ages of 16 and 18 about where their interests lie. The first semester of architecture usually involves skilling-up people who have arrived at university with diverse educational backgrounds, but you’re going to be starting at a distinct disadvantage not having studied an arts subject.

You will need a portfolio to apply for architecture, which is obviously easier to produce if it is also coursework. But you can do it in your own time. Try to find a life drawing class if you can (the BBCs life drawing ‘live’ programmes From early in lockdown might still be available on iPlayer so you can practice first), but there is nothing more demanding - or satisfying - than the hand-eye-brain coordination required to draw a human figure with a stick of charcoal... Drawing from life and drawing from a photograph are completely different. So also keep a sketchbook to draw things that catch your interest - and try to understand through making the drawing why it interests you. Certainly in architecture, but I would expect also in engineering, the idea of discovering through the act of drawing (or drawing as a way of seeing and interpreting) is important.

If you do decide on architecture, then personally I’d recommend you look into taking an arts foundation course first. I know that you may be thinking that just makes it even longer, but a lot more people are taking 2 years or more in their ‘year out’ (between the first degree/ Part 1 and second degree/ Part 2), and the ‘joke’ that you’re a young architect in your 40s and 50s is probably even more true today than in the past, at least in the UK. Remember studying architecture and working in architectural practice are not the same - so get some work experience or job shadowing if you can before you make your options and find out if you actually like doing what the job entails.
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boeuf
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(Original post by SebastianMesser)
Ah now, you’re trying to get me in trouble here! 😉 Maths and sciences can be creative, but the point is more about learning styles and your preferred ways of thinking. Certainly your current subjects would suggest engineering rather than architecture, but many people change their minds between the ages of 16 and 18 about where their interests lie. The first semester of architecture usually involves skilling-up people who have arrived at university with diverse educational backgrounds, but you’re going to be starting at a distinct disadvantage not having studied an arts subject.

You will need a portfolio to apply for architecture, which is obviously easier to produce if it is also coursework. But you can do it in your own time. Try to find a life drawing class if you can (the BBCs life drawing ‘live’ programmes From early in lockdown might still be available on iPlayer so you can practice first), but there is nothing more demanding - or satisfying - than the hand-eye-brain coordination required to draw a human figure with a stick of charcoal... Drawing from life and drawing from a photograph are completely different. So also keep a sketchbook to draw things that catch your interest - and try to understand through making the drawing why it interests you. Certainly in architecture, but I would expect also in engineering, the idea of discovering through the act of drawing (or drawing as a way of seeing and interpreting) is important.

If you do decide on architecture, then personally I’d recommend you look into taking an arts foundation course first. I know that you may be thinking that just makes it even longer, but a lot more people are taking 2 years or more in their ‘year out’ (between the first degree/ Part 1 and second degree/ Part 2), and the ‘joke’ that you’re a young architect in your 40s and 50s is probably even more true today than in the past, at least in the UK. Remember studying architecture and working in architectural practice are not the same - so get some work experience or job shadowing if you can before you make your options and find out if you actually like doing what the job entails.
I appreciate your response, thank you
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