In 2020, the admissions process is not operating as set out in the text below. The interviews in 2020 will be conducted remotely, and as a result the structure of the interviews and some of the assessments will be changing for this year. All applicants in the 2020-21 round should instead consult the ‘Pre-interview and interview notes’ document for 2020, which they will have been sent separately.

The study of Architecture at Cambridge is concerned not only with practical design but also with architectural history and theory. It therefore has a particular appeal to those who have an interest in the cultural aspects of Architecture as well as the technical skills and creative imagination that the subject demands.

One of the reasons why Trinity is an appropriate environment in which to study Architecture is, of course, the intrinsic quality of its fabric. Great Court, the largest in either Oxford or Cambridge, is also one of the most splendid, while the library is regarded by many as Christopher Wren’s finest building. More recently, Sir Richard MacCormac, a Trinity graduate and Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, designed the Blue Boar and Burrell’s Field developments for the College. To live and work in buildings such as these cannot fail to inspire the student.

Numbers reading Architecture at Cambridge are small and limited by the availability of studio space at the Department of Architecture. At Trinity we would expect to admit one or two students each year. The College’s Director of Studies is James W. P. Campbell. Dr Campbell is a Fellow of Queens’ College. He is a qualified architect and an architectural historian and he is currently the Head of the Architecture Department. He has written a number of books on architecture and has broad research interests covering areas as diverse as libraries, staircases and St Paul’s Cathedral. He supervises all Trinity students in the first year.

Candidates need to be able to think creatively in three dimensions. Evidence of this is characteristically furnished at interview by a portfolio of work which might include drawings or paintings for an A-level Art course, photographs, records of projects undertaken in spare time, or sketch books. Mechanical or technical drawings are not required.

Applicants can expect to have one interview with Dr Campbell and a second member of the University’s teaching staff, at which the portfolio will be discussed. No specific A-level subjects are required but a mixture of arts and sciences is desirable. A first-hand acquaintance of some of the major European buildings of the past is helpful. Conditional offers are typically A*AA; comparable conditions are set for those taking the IB and other school-leaving examinations.

Further information about the course is available from the Faculty Office, Department of Architecture, 1 Scroope Terrace, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PX or on the website.

Teaching Staff

  • Dr James Campbell

Admissions Assessment

All applicants for Architecture are required to take written and practical assessments at interview, if interviewed.

Assessment format

  • Writing skills (30 minutes)
  • Graphic and spatial ability (30 minutes)

PDF icon Architecture Admissions Assessment Specification

You do not need to register or be registered in advance for the assessments at interview – the College will provide details of arrangements in the emails inviting applicants to interview.

Further details about the format of the assessment and preparatory materials can be found on the written assessments page.

Please note that your performance in the assessment at interview will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.


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