The College is a fine modern building and an excellent reinterpretation of the traditional Cambridge institution. Robinson is acknowledged to contribute substantially to studies in Architecture, with an active alumni community. We have a Fellow-Director of Studies in Architecture and an excellent collection in the College Library.
Like all courses in Architecture, reading the subject at Cambridge brings together knowledge from both arts and sciences; it also provides a professional training. The Architecture Tripos cumulatively provides exemption from part 1 of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Examination, and it must therefore be taken as a whole. The particular emphasis of our Department lies in a cultural approach to design. This results in an emphasis on sustainability, history and theory.
The Tripos consists of three parts: Part IA, Part IB and Part II taken at the end of the first, second and third years respectively.
Part IA is a foundation year in which studio work introduces architectural design and representation. Papers are taken in Theory, History, Structures, Building Construction and Environmental Design. First Year design is taught as a single Studio; thereafter a choice of Studios is made, all being run by practising architects.
In Part IB, papers are taken in the same subjects, and in Part II a dissertation is written in the area of History or Theory. Additionally, these are studies of outstanding projects under construction. CAD is taught within project work. Throughout, the balance between the studio (design) portfolio to taught (examined) courses is 60%:40%.
Graduates then normally proceed, in the fourth and fifth years, to take a two-year Diploma course, which is begun after a year spent gaining practical experience in an architect's office which is monitored by the Institute. The Diploma course is no longer offered at Cambridge. Instead there is a two year course which uniquely combines an ARB/RIBA Part 2 course with a Cambridge Master's degree in Philosophy. To qualify professionally, a further year of practice is undertaken after completion of RIBA Part 2. During this year the Department runs a course in professional practice which is examined on conclusion of the requisite seven years. Passing RIBA Part 3 carries registration and the right to use the word Architect.
Admissions procedure at Robinson College
Due to the relatively small size of the Department there are usually only a few students studying architecture at each College. Robinson typically has three students per year. Conditional offers are normally made at the level of A*AA in GCE A level subjects (which may include Art, Mathematics and Science subjects). There are no specific subject requirements and we welcome applications from both arts and science backgrounds.
All applicants should bring with them their portfolio of work. Applicants should be careful not to bring too much work as time is limited in the interview. All applicants, including those who are not taking Art GCE A level, should bring photographs of any three-dimensional material and evidence of ability to draw from life (still life or life drawings). We are interested in seeing graphic work in any medium that you would like to show us - please do not feel you should restrict your samples to only those with architectural reference.
Updated March 2012