At Churchill, we are committed to driving sustainability from the ground up through science communication, public engagement, student-led projects, and College infrastructural redevelopments. The College has dedicated sustainability fellows who oversee the College’s sustainability strategies and ensure that policies are democratically designed to benefit everyone.

Integrating the arts and sciences, Design will challenge students to think about global problems such as climate change, inequality, environmental degradation, etc. and equip them with the skills to help create solutions to such challenges. Design thinking is resurfacing as a critical skill needed to solve society’s present challenges, and our Design course will help develop this soft skill along with core engineering and architectural design skills.

Cambridge’s Design course has a strong emphasis on teaching design thinking from the ground up. The structure places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, which enables students to test their theories in practical studio sessions. This translational element makes this course exciting as it prepares the students to be job market-ready, which demands holistic thinking and analytical skills. A Design student will have the skillset to design a new generation of sustainable products or innovative climate action strategies by leveraging data science and AI that are becoming highly attractive to recruiters. Students will learn how small and large-scale designs such as physical objects, apps, artificial intelligence, electronics or architecture and planning systems can influence people, cultures, economies and the natural world.

Full course details are provided on the Department’s Undergraduate webpage and the University’s Undergraduate Study webpage.


To find out about admissions, go to undergraduate applications.


Entry Requirements

Course-specific information, including the University’s minimum offer level, can be found by selecting your course from the University’s Course List then looking at the “Entry Requirements” tab. The University’s Entrance Requirements and International Entry Requirements webpages may contain guidance relevant to you too.

At Churchill, we want to admit undergraduates who will thrive during their time here, so – in their interests – we tend to set conditional offers in line with the typical attainment of Cambridge entrants, by course. On average, this allows us to make a relatively generous number of offers per place, but it also means that our requirements are usually a little more rigorous than the University’s minimum offer level.

You can learn more about the academic profiles of Churchill entrants and our approach to setting conditional offers on our undergraduate applications page.


Submitted Work

If you apply to Churchill, we will ask you to submit a pdf of your own artwork, comprising 6 A4 pages and less than 15MB. This selection should in part reflect material you might use as part of an interview portfolio.

If you’re subsequently invited to interview, you should attend with a selected portfolio of graphic work you have done in the last year or two, which may be discussed. This should typically contain 10-15 recent pieces that demonstrate the range and quality of your skills. Digital work can be included. If you’re not studying Art, we recommend that you have some drawing lessons or attend a life-drawing class. Please include preparatory drawings and sketchbooks, which are often more interesting than set pieces. Work done on your own initiative is likely to be more persuasive than coursework, so keep a sketchbook to record your travels – Design cannot be experienced adequately by looking only at photographs.


Admissions Assessment

All Design applicants are required to take a written assessment after shortlisting for interview. There’s more information on and linked from the University’s Admissions Assessments webpage.



The role of academic interviews in Churchill’s admissions process is explained on our interviews page. Our interviewers will be looking for evidence of your commitment to design and the subject more generally. When you visit buildings, for example, try to discern what influences of culture, climate, or construction materials inform their architectural flavour, since this could become the basis of an instructive conversation. We have no specific reading list for our interviews but we recommend that you study the work of one or two architects who interest you.

A vibrant photograph of fractals in pinks, blues, reds and oranges.

Courses | Undergraduates

Back to Courses homepage