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Department of Architecture


To celebrate 20 years of academic success we are offering a full bursary for tuition fees*, through open competition.

The bursary will cover the full tuition fees for the two-year course, for entry in September 2014, currently worth £11,200.

Please note that only applicants who meet our standard requirements will be considered.

*Please note that college fees (currently £1,235 per annum), accommodation, and travel costs are not included in the bursary.

University of Cambridge Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

In these competitive times, it is more important than ever to demonstrate that you have the motivation and capability to deliver at the highest levels. The IDBE course was devised specifically to enable high achieving individuals to gain a Cambridge qualification while continuing to work in practice.

The IDBE course is run by the Departments of Architecture and Engineering at the University of Cambridge, global leader of new technology and design.  A part-time master’s course designed for working professionals to enhance their skills and broaden their horizons, the IDBE also provides students and their organisations with a professional network across some of the top companies, between professionals in all disciplines, and across the world. 

IDBE has run since 1994, originally supported by the Arup Foundation, and now teaches around 50 students at any one time.  We focus on developing skills in interdisciplinary teamwork and leadership through a broader understanding of the industry as a whole.  Our students gain a deeper understanding of the issues impacting their work through individual research projects supported by our team of industry specific tutors.  The strong research element helps to develop creative and reflective thinking.  Often the research feeds directly back to the student’s organisation, providing an essential resource.  Much of the research is published, adding to a prestigious body of new knowledge.

Combining one-to-one teaching from some of the leading thinkers in the world, with practical application of leadership skills, teamwork and personal development, IDBE is the right course for future leaders of industry.

Past students have come from a diverse range of built environment disciplines and have included: architects, contractors, construction managers, engineers, environmental consultants, geographers, landscape architects, planners, project managers, property developers, solicitors, urban designers, and quantity surveyors amongst others.  Any practitioner from any discipline working in the built environment with three years of professional experience is encouraged to apply.

To enter the bursary competition, please submit the following documents to or by post to IDBE Office, Department of Architecture, 1-5 Scroope Terrace, Cambridge, CB2 1PX, UK:

      1. A covering letter which must include your name, email address, a description of the global region where you work, and explains your interest in the course.  (maximum of 300 words)

      2. A CV, including details of your first and subsequent degrees, and details of all professional employment.

      3. Transcripts for degrees gained.

      4. A proposal for your thesis research (maximum of 1,000 words).  This will be assessed on:

        quality – is it well structured and written, is it achievable within the time available, does it show awareness of issues current to the built environment industry, does it show awareness of the current state of research in this area, is it at the leading edge?

        interest – is it exciting, does it show an innovative approach or is it addressing a new area?

        relevance – does it fit within the IDBE areas of expertise and interest?

      5. Two written references which can be academic or professional, or one of each.

Closing date for competition entry: 15th June 2014

The winner of the anniversary bursary will be notified by 30th June.  The winner must be able to complete their registration and start in September 2014.  The closing date for all applications (online) is 31st July 2014.