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Department of Architecture


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The third year is the culmination of the course. The year ends with an examination for Part II of the Architecture Tripos leading to a BA (Hons) degree and Part 1 ARB/RIBA- the first step on the path to becoming an architect. Students in the third year are expected to be able to demonstrate that they have mastered all the various aspects of the course so far.



You will be given a choice of studios in your third year. Third-year studios will vary in their approach, but all will require you to produce a design for a building at the end of the year which may be quite large and which clearly demonstrates your understanding of the theoretical and technical aspects of architecture. You will be expected to demonstrate a high level of technical competence and be able to model your building in CAD. As in the first and second years, studio days are timetabled twice a week throughout the year and at the end of the year you will present your completed portfolios for marking. The portfolio again carries 60% of the overall marks.



You will be required to write a 7,000-9,000 word dissertation in your third year. The choice of subjects is wide and limited principally by the availability of a supervisor who is knowledgeable in the particular topic. Recent dissertations have focused on subjects raised in the different lecture courses (either questions concerning Environment, Structures and Construction or the History and Theory of Architecture), as well from issues that have emerged from work in the studios.



  • Paper 1: Advanced studies in historical and theoretical aspects of architecture and urbanism
  • Paper 2: Management, Practice and Law
  • Paper 3: Advanced studies in construction technology, structural analysis and environmental design related to case-studies
  • Paper 4: Architectural Engineering

The third-year architectural history and theory course offers a wide range of specialist topics. You are generally expected to attend all the lectures, but only have to answer questions on three topics in the exam.

In the third year there are three technical courses, each one term long. The first of these courses is on aspects of professional practice in management and law - key skills for working in architecture.

The second is ‘Advanced studies in construction technology, structural analysis and environmental design’ which is based on case study buildings. You will be taken to visit two buildings under development regularly during Lent term and will attend lectures given by members of the design teams working on these buildings. You will keep a Case Study Notebook through the term which counts towards the marks for the examination.

Finally, the Architectural Engineering course is arranged jointly with the Engineering Department and takes place in the Michaelmas term. It is wholly marked on coursework. Working with engineering students, you will move back and forth between design and analysis to reinforce the relationship between subjective (‘design’) criteria and objective (‘technical’) criteria, creating designs that are robust, plausible and elegant.