Why study Design?

The Design Tripos is a new course for 2024 entry, combining architecture, engineering and materials science in one degree, giving you the opportunity to design solutions to environmental and societal challenges.The course is structured around a series of core studio projects which will require you to create solutions to real-world problems: from planning stage through to pitching a final product and evaluating user impact. The Design Degree specifically distinguishes itself from the Architecture Degree in placing greater emphasis on mathematical and scientific literacy, without diminishing the fact that people are at the heart of design in the built environment.

How is the Design Tripos different to the Architecture Tripos?

While the courses have their similarities, the Design Tripos is a four-year integrated Master of Design course which is more scientifically-based. Both involve designing buildings, but the Design course aims to give students a better understanding of the role technical innovation can play in solving issues around climate change and sustainability. Depending on the options chosen in the first three years, the fourth year of the Design course is expected to lead to accreditaton in structural engineering or materials science.

Can you tell me about the Newnham Design Fellows?

For information on the current teaching staff and Fellows for Architecture and Design, please visit our teaching webpages.

Are there any A-level subjects that are particularly useful?

A-level Mathematics (or equivalent) is essential. Further Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Art are all useful, but none are compulsory.

Our standard conditional offer will be A*AA, to include A* in Mathematics.

How many students take Design at Newnham?

As this is a new Tripos, we do not have a fixed number of places for Design students. We aim to admit up to two students per year.

How should I prepare for interview?

Please submit a PDF of exactly 6 A4 pages containing images of your own artwork, in total less than 15 MB in size; the selection of images should, in some part, reflect material you might plan to bring to interview as part of your portfolio. You can find more information about written work requirements here.

At interview you will be expected to show a portfolio of creative art work. This may include not only painting and drawing but also, if you wish, other media such as photography, computer graphics, or sculpture. Three-dimensional work may be presented through photographs. Sketchbook images showing evidence of powers of observation, a facility for drawing, and an interest in design and in the built environment, will be a great asset. You may include A-level coursework, and/or work and designs you have produced independently to demonstrate the things and ideas that interest you.

Look around you and record buildings and objects that interest you.

Is there an Admissions Assessment for Design?

Yes – if invited to interview, you will be asked to participate in a writing exercise and a drawing exercise. Keeping a sketchbook will be useful preparation for this.  Further information is available on the Admissions Assessment section of the Undergraduate Study website.

Where can I find out more?

An overview of the structure of the new Design course can be found on the Department of Architecture website.