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Wendy Pullan croppedI am often asked to sum up what the Department stands for - to produce a 'mission statement'. In a nutshell the aim is to sustain a close-knit yet diverse intellectual and creative community that excels in design teaching and research. We have particular strengths,  such as: a focus on urban and contextual design across the Department; a reputation for outstanding history and philosophy teaching; and an excellence in sustainable building and urban design research. Whilst the Department maintains full professional accreditation (RIBA/ ARB Parts I, II and III), the emphasis of our activities is on intellectual rigour and tectonic exploration.

At a time when the national and international media regularly examine issues pertaining to the nature and habitability of our cities, and buildings which veer between sculptural extravagance and environmental responsibility, there is a great need for serious, committed and imaginative designers and thinkers in the discipline. The high quality research carried out at Cambridge is the basis for which we maintain a leading position in these debates, always seeking to understand the diversity of possibilities with respect to the profundity and richness of the architectural tradition.

Our new RIBA/ ARB Part II degree has been re-christened as the 'Masters in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD). With the insightful support of our visiting Professors it is going from strength to strength both in size and ambition, attracting students from across the world to tackle the most pressing themes by applying 'design research'. This degree is complemented by a more theory focussed 'Masters in Architectural and Urban Studies' (MAUS). Our postdoctoral community continues to expand, with numbers exceeding undergraduates, building on our top ranked research.

It is an honour to be the Head of Department at Cambridge, primarily because of the intelligent and entrepreneurial nature of our students, and the outstanding initiatives of our researchers, academic staff and Design Fellows.

Professor Wendy Pullan - Head of Department