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Cambridge Design Tripos Opinions and Preparation?

I am interested in applying to Cambridge design and was wondering if the admissions process is any different to architecture.

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Original post by kjhgbhn
I am interested in applying to Cambridge design and was wondering if the admissions process is any different to architecture.


Hello :smile: The application process is very similar for both courses. Both require a portfolio, assessment and interview. They will be focusing on and looking for slightly different things between the two subjects; for example Design has a cross over with Engineering and Materials Science.

Full details of each course can be found here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/design and here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/architecture
Reply 2
Original post by Pembroke Rep
Hello :smile: The application process is very similar for both courses. Both require a portfolio, assessment and interview. They will be focusing on and looking for slightly different things between the two subjects; for example Design has a cross over with Engineering and Materials Science.

Full details of each course can be found here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/design and here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/architecture

Thank you for the links, but I still have some questions:
1) I remember being told during the open day that candidates will be told that they are more suitable for the other and moved to the other course. Is there any way to verify this?
2) Will the writing task be the same as for architecture?
3) How will the content of the interviews be different?
Original post by kjhgbhn
Thank you for the links, but I still have some questions:
1) I remember being told during the open day that candidates will be told that they are more suitable for the other and moved to the other course. Is there any way to verify this?
2) Will the writing task be the same as for architecture?
3) How will the content of the interviews be different?


Hello!

1) You will be assessed for the subject you apply for, and you won't be able to change this once the application deadline has passed. It may be possible once you are at Cambridge to change course, however this is rare, occurs on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on performance and suitability for the course. You should not apply for one course assuming you will be able to change to another one, as this is very unlikely.

2) The assessment for Design is the same as for Architecture.

3) I'm afraid no one will be able to tell you what the content of the interviews will be. You should expect they will question your knowledge related to the course, so I would recommend reading the course outline to get an idea of what this might entail.
Original post by Pembroke Rep
Hello!

1) You will be assessed for the subject you apply for, and you won't be able to change this once the application deadline has passed. It may be possible once you are at Cambridge to change course, however this is rare, occurs on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on performance and suitability for the course. You should not apply for one course assuming you will be able to change to another one, as this is very unlikely.

2) The assessment for Design is the same as for Architecture.

3) I'm afraid no one will be able to tell you what the content of the interviews will be. You should expect they will question your knowledge related to the course, so I would recommend reading the course outline to get an idea of what this might entail.


Hello, I am strongly considering applying to this course. I was previously going to apply to the engineering course but the description of this course seems to perfectly balance art with science and it seems like a better fit for me than engineering. However, I am unsure because of the career possibilities for this course. Is there a high chance that it can lead to jobs in the engineering field, especially design engineering, my dream career?
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, I am strongly considering applying to this course. I was previously going to apply to the engineering course but the description of this course seems to perfectly balance art with science and it seems like a better fit for me than engineering. However, I am unsure because of the career possibilities for this course. Is there a high chance that it can lead to jobs in the engineering field, especially design engineering, my dream career?


It's the first time the course will run - it's Cambridge so it'll be fine probs but just they can't tell you what your chances of a career are it depends on much more than you just doing a degree.
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, I am strongly considering applying to this course. I was previously going to apply to the engineering course but the description of this course seems to perfectly balance art with science and it seems like a better fit for me than engineering. However, I am unsure because of the career possibilities for this course. Is there a high chance that it can lead to jobs in the engineering field, especially design engineering, my dream career?

As above it's a new course. However also worth noting, it's a design degree with involvement of engineering departments - it is not at present, to my knowledge, an accredited engineering degree (and I do not believe this is/was the intention either, as Cambridge already have several engineering courses).
Reply 7
Original post by artful_lounger
As above it's a new course. However also worth noting, it's a design degree with involvement of engineering departments - it is not at present, to my knowledge, an accredited engineering degree (and I do not believe this is/was the intention either, as Cambridge already have several engineering courses).


Not yet but it is the aim:

Students can graduate with a BA (Honours) degree after three years, but most will continue to the fourth year (Part IIB) to graduate with a BA and a Master of Design (MDes). The course is awaiting confirmation of accreditation from professional associations including the Architects Registration Board and the Engineering Council. Accreditation would lead to exemption from RIBA Part 1 for architecture, and a route to Chartered Engineer status (CEng) for engineering. Please note that accreditation has not yet been confirmed for 2024 entry.
Original post by Paralove
Not yet but it is the aim:

Students can graduate with a BA (Honours) degree after three years, but most will continue to the fourth year (Part IIB) to graduate with a BA and a Master of Design (MDes). The course is awaiting confirmation of accreditation from professional associations including the Architects Registration Board and the Engineering Council. Accreditation would lead to exemption from RIBA Part 1 for architecture, and a route to Chartered Engineer status (CEng) for engineering. Please note that accreditation has not yet been confirmed for 2024 entry.


Well I retract my statement- that is an ambitious aim! Interesting to see which engineering institute will ultimately accredit it in that case.
Reply 9
Has anyone finalised their portfolio yet?
Original post by Anonymous
Hello, I am strongly considering applying to this course. I was previously going to apply to the engineering course but the description of this course seems to perfectly balance art with science and it seems like a better fit for me than engineering. However, I am unsure because of the career possibilities for this course. Is there a high chance that it can lead to jobs in the engineering field, especially design engineering, my dream career?


No - there's no year in industry and its not accredited - go elsewhere. Oxbridge is not the place to go for this type of course.
Original post by kjhgbhn
Has anyone finalised their portfolio yet?

I am also planning on applying. I haven't finished my portfolio yet, but I am almost done with my submitted works. How is yours going? I am not really applying for a pure architecture course, so I was wondering what other people are doing.
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 12
Original post by Saiko.Chii
I am also planning on applying. I haven't finished my portfolio yet, but I am almost done with my submitted works. How is yours going? I am not really applying for a pure architecture course, so I was wondering what other people are doing.


Hi, finally another applicant 😊. I am finalizing the 6 page portfolio and my personal statement.
Original post by kjhgbhn
Hi, finally another applicant 😊. I am finalizing the 6 page portfolio and my personal statement.

Hi. I wondering what to put for my last page. I mostly included my fine-art A level work and some landscape pieces here are there. Are you putting in any design works? I haven't made a portfolio before I was hoping to get some opinions. And how many works are you putting in for your submitted works? I tried finding some examples for submitted works on the internet but sadly couldn't find any. I would love to talk to another applicant who applying to the same course. I honestly don't know any other person who is applying for this one.
Reply 14
Hi,
I am mainly putting in some digital and sculptural pieces. Are you taking DT as well as art?
Original post by Saiko.Chii
Hi. I wondering what to put for my last page. I mostly included my fine-art A level work and some landscape pieces here are there. Are you putting in any design works? I haven't made a portfolio before I was hoping to get some opinions. And how many works are you putting in for your submitted works? I tried finding some examples for submitted works on the internet but sadly couldn't find any. I would love to talk to another applicant who applying to the same course. I honestly don't know any other person who is applying for this one.
Original post by kjhgbhn
Hi,
I am mainly putting in some digital and sculptural pieces. Are you taking DT as well as art?

I take Art. I’m aiming for the design engineering route so I haven’t really done any sculpting or 3D works but I’m planning to do one for my portfolio though. The issue is that only cambridge requires a port out of my 5 unis, so unless I get an interview, I probably won’t finish it. Do you happen to know what the criteria is for getting shortlisted?
(edited 4 months ago)
Reply 16
Original post by Saiko.Chii
I take Art. I’m aiming for the design engineering route so I haven’t really done any sculpting or 3D works but I’m planning to do one for my portfolio though. The issue is that only cambridge requires a port out of my 5 unis, so unless I get an interview, I probably won’t finish it. Do you happen to know what the criteria is for getting shortlisted?

Hi, I think if your grades are pretty high and that your portfolio is reasonably good, you will get the chance to go to interview. What are your predicted grades and a-level subjects? In terms of portfolio, I am the exact opposite: I have a lot of 3D/Digital work but am a bit weak in terms of drawing and painting ( i only have 1 for each).
This thread has dried up, woof... Hello other applicants! Nice to know that there's actually some out there. How are you all feeling? Of course, it's MCA day today, 6pm! That is if you haven't done it already.

I'll introduce myself a bit. I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and D&T, and I've been predicted A*A*A*A* (emphasis on predicted). I've been interested in design for a long time (not that I wrote that in my PS - apparently it's a sin) so I felt super keen on applying - and still do. I love the look of Cambridge as a place and there's something exciting about the idea of a new course, and the possbility of serving on the front line in the fight for sustainability. God, did I just type that?

Portfolio wise - I've got some CAD, Blender rendering, observational sketching, ideation sketching, digital photography and iterative modelling, and I've already submitted it to the college I've applied to - Pembroke - just because I wanted to stop tweaking it (I started it in July). I haven't started making a bigger version of my portfolio yet, mostly because I won't find out if I need one or not until they decide if they want to interview me. Most of it is hobby work - things I do in my spare time - but there is a small chunk of it from my D&T work, I imagine that people have done the same for Art. I contacted one of the heads of Arcsoc about the 6-page portfolios, her name was Sophie, and she gave me hers to look at - it had quite a lot of her coursework in it, so I think it's a good thing to include. If you've spentall that time on it, why not make use of it?

The next few weeks will be fruitful, especially as we start hearing about interviews. I wish you all good luck and hope to hear all about your progress!

Cheers!
Original post by Anonymous
This thread has dried up, woof... Hello other applicants! Nice to know that there's actually some out there. How are you all feeling? Of course, it's MCA day today, 6pm! That is if you haven't done it already.

I'll introduce myself a bit. I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and D&T, and I've been predicted A*A*A*A* (emphasis on predicted). I've been interested in design for a long time (not that I wrote that in my PS - apparently it's a sin) so I felt super keen on applying - and still do. I love the look of Cambridge as a place and there's something exciting about the idea of a new course, and the possbility of serving on the front line in the fight for sustainability. God, did I just type that?

Portfolio wise - I've got some CAD, Blender rendering, observational sketching, ideation sketching, digital photography and iterative modelling, and I've already submitted it to the college I've applied to - Pembroke - just because I wanted to stop tweaking it (I started it in July). I haven't started making a bigger version of my portfolio yet, mostly because I won't find out if I need one or not until they decide if they want to interview me. Most of it is hobby work - things I do in my spare time - but there is a small chunk of it from my D&T work, I imagine that people have done the same for Art. I contacted one of the heads of Arcsoc about the 6-page portfolios, her name was Sophie, and she gave me hers to look at - it had quite a lot of her coursework in it, so I think it's a good thing to include. If you've spentall that time on it, why not make use of it?

The next few weeks will be fruitful, especially as we start hearing about interviews. I wish you all good luck and hope to hear all about your progress!

Cheers!


Damn!!! I do Maths, Further Maths (AS), Physics, DT and have done an EPQ, with predictions of A*A*AA and A* in EPQ... I'm feeling more insecure about my application now cuz your grades are amazing wow. It's such a big relief that theres other mathsy/ sciency people applying to this course. I mean this is an artsy type of course even tho it has scienctific parts. I'm so glad there's some other applicants (I was both worried and happy that I couldn't find any others because of competition ofc) so I understand that feeling. What courses are you applying to other universities?
Original post by Anonymous
Damn!!! I do Maths, Further Maths (AS), Physics, DT and have done an EPQ, with predictions of A*A*AA and A* in EPQ... I'm feeling more insecure about my application now cuz your grades are amazing wow. It's such a big relief that theres other mathsy/ sciency people applying to this course. I mean this is an artsy type of course even tho it has scienctific parts. I'm so glad there's some other applicants (I was both worried and happy that I couldn't find any others because of competition ofc) so I understand that feeling. What courses are you applying to other universities?


I know what you mean about competition - I want to know that there's other people, but I'm scared about the idea of 'competing' with them (although it's not really competing directly - it's just whether or not you're as good as somebody else). Don't be insecure about your application - your grades are super impressive and you've got FIVE of them! It took me quite a lot of work to get those predictions, although my school seemed to expect me to get them from the get-go if I was going to apply for Cambridge.

I am also applying to:
- Design Engineering at Bath and Bristol
- Mechanical Engineering at Durham and Edinburgh

I've made things a bit tricky by choosing three slightly different courses - but I've mentioned 'design and engineering' a lot in my PS to avoid any bias towards one course. What about you, what other unis are you applying to?

Definitely agree with your view of this course - arty but scientific - I recall the Director of Studies for Architecture and Design saying that Design would be more focused on scientific literacy than Architecture is. I'm quite happy about that, I don't want to throw away the years of Maths I've done, nor do I want to lose all of my creativity/love of drawing and apply for a course that anyone with a higher IQ can do better than me (which is why the Mechanical Engineering courses are my insurance choices).

What college are you applying to, and how's the experience of prepping your portfolio been?

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