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Typical offer: A*AA with an A* in Mathematics

Required subjects: Mathematics

Useful subjects: Physics, Art

Number of students per year: Up to 2

Design is brand new for 2024 entry, it is a unique course offered by the Architecture Department. The course represents a new way of approaching the problems of sustainability in design and the built environment, combining scientific literacy and creativity to produce new solutions that address today’s challenges.

The four-year integrated Master of Design course combines architecture, structural engineering and materials science, preparing students for a wide range of possible careers in the creative industries. The course is designed to address the particular technical challenges set out in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 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.

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.

Students will be assessed on studio work at the end of each term through a combination of portfolio, presentations and coursework. The rest of the curriculum will include lectures, seminars, workshops, and supervisions. Students are given a series of options which, according to the pathway they choose, can lead to different routes of design of professional accreditation. For full and updated details on the structure of the Design course please see the Faculty website.

Part IA will introduce students to the core skills of design through three design projects in the studio, as well as five compulsory papers. 

Part IB will work on a further three studio projects, with more open briefs, promoting interdisciplinary engagement. Students will also take four compulsory papers, alongside three papers chosen from a range of options. 

Part IIA will see students take on more complex design projects, as well as one compulsory paper, and five further papers chosen from a range of topics.

Part IIB, the final year, will provide the opportunity for students to work in the studio on a full-year design project with industry partners, alongside a dissertation, and one compulsory paper.


Typical offers require

  • A Level: A*AA
  • IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

For other qualifications see the main entrance requirements pages on the University website. 

Subject Requirements


Required: Mathematics

Highly recommended: Physics, Art


Required: Higher Level Mathematics 

Highly recommended: Higher Level Physics

Mature students and those taking other qualifications are encouraged to contact our Admissions Office (at to discuss the entry requirements for their qualifications.

Written work

A six-page portfolio with examples of your work showing your interests, experience and ability in visual and material arts.


Applicants shortlisted for interview are required to sit a Cambridge College Registered Assessment. Applicants do not need to register themselves from this assessment in advance. 


Interviews allow us to distinguish amongst excellent applicants by assessing the skills and aptitudes essential for successful study in higher education, and your academic qualities – essentially, how do you think?

Interviews for all applicants to Lucy Cavendish will take place virtually. The aims and content will still be the same as in-person interviews. You can read more about Lucy Cavendish's online interviews here and you can read the University's information on interviews here.

Each candidate typically has two interviews, lasting between twenty and thirty minutes. In some cases, you will be given preparatory material beforehand.

In a few subjects, you will be interviewed by more than one College or in the Faculty. You will be notified of this in your interview invitation.

Supracurricular exploration is an important way to expand your knowledge of your subject, explore your interests and develop your skills. Our new webpage contains guidance on supracurricular exploration and a comprehensive source of resources, grouped according to undergraduate degrees at Cambridge. As Design is a brand new course, we do not currently have a list of suggested supracurricular resources. We recommend exploring the Architecture resources, and the resources suggested here.

We send out monthly newsletters to update you on exciting events and opportunities happening both in Lucy Cavendish College and across the wider university. 

Attend an open day or event

Our Events and Open Days page advertises regular events held by Lucy Cavendish College. If you can, join us for a College Open Day to discuss your application with a member of our admissions team.