University of Cambridge Dept. of Architecture

Mar 8 '13 12 Last Comment
Mar 8, 13 11:52 pm

What's the general outlook/reception of the University of Cambridge's Department of Architecture in the architectural community?

From what I can gather, it has a more "academic" focus than most other architecture schools. It also appears highly ranked in the UK, though perhaps slipping from past years. Then again, perhaps this assessment is misguided.

How does it compare, in terms of actual academic setting and also perceived quality, to US institutions? What schools would be "most similar" to Cambridge?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Mar 9, 13 4:14 pm

Surely someone has something to say--however minimal--about Cam? It can't be the case that the only input on this forum is about GSD, now, is it? I say that in jest, of course, but c'mon.

Mar 12, 13 7:16 pm

I'm bumping this once more. 

Mar 12, 13 10:39 pm

Traditionally Cambridge was always very academic..literary in fact. It was either almost or actually closed down at one point not that long ago! Check!

Mar 16, 13 10:12 pm

It never closed, as far as I can tell. It consistently ranks well, but I cannot find too much information on the department beyond that.

Mar 16, 13 11:19 pm

By adjusting my search criteria somewhat, and delving deeper, I've read more about the RAE rankings that caused problems almost a decade ago.

This article explains the situation:

These two articles indicate the reaction to the potential closure:

And here is the resolution:


In the most recent RAE, 2008, Cambridge tops the list, with the performance in architecture and the built environment comparable to the performance in other fields. 


I guess generally I'm just confused why, at least on this forum, whenever architecture schools in the UK are discussed, all you ever see is the Bartlett (UCL) and AA mentioned.

Per the UCL website:

"Medicine, Architecture and the Built Environment, Laws, Economics and Philosophy are among the academic disciplines at UCL to have achieved outstanding results in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, with UCL’s total number of full-time equivalent staff rated of world-leading quality third overall after Oxford and Cambridge."

If Cambridge's research output is considered to be on par--at least according to the newest RAE--as UCL, why does nobody ever discuss it?

Mar 20, 13 4:55 pm

I'm bumping this one last time to see if there is any input whatsoever on this forum about the department itself or perhaps the reason why it is not discussed on this forum, whereas the bartlett, AA, and some others are.

vado retro
Mar 20, 13 5:19 pm

my gf was on the clare hall rowing team. that's about all i can tell you since she didn't study architecture.

Mar 21, 13 4:09 pm

lol. i do at least appreciate the reply! 

Mar 30, 13 11:07 am

Please post if you find more information about this, or Oxford, or another forum for that matter because I get the feeling that this is more of an US oriented community

May 27, 13 8:38 pm

re bugaluu: Oxford doesn't offer an architecture programme
May 30, 13 1:28 am


I thought that too, but a coworker of mine said he attended Oxford for architecture. He was emphatic that it wasn't Oxford-Brookes either. Weird. I can't seem to find anything online either.

Jun 6, 13 5:59 pm

I'm sure it's Oxford Brookes that your coworker went. My teacher told me that he went to Oxford Brooke's for his master in urban planning there. He also said that many times people thought that he went to Oxford.

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