University Of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is rich in history - its famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world. But the University's museums and collections also hold many treasures which give an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past and present, of the University's academics and students.

The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges.


United Kingdom

1-5 Scroope Terrace,
Phone: 01223 332975
Fax: 01223 332976

College Photos (1)

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Location and Getting there  

Department and information about the department

The teaching of Architecture

The Department of Architecture was established in 1912 after the Slade Professor, the distinguished Arts and Crafts architect and scholar, Edwin Schroder Prior, persuaded the University to establish a Board of Architectural Studies. Prior’s finest building is perhaps the church of St Andrew, Roker, Sunderland and his best known book is The Cathedral Builders.

In the fifties the University established a committee to review the teaching of Architecture at Cambridge, it was this committee that persuaded the University to expand the subject. As a result Leslie Martin was appointed as the first Professor and the University increased the resources available to the Faculty.

The teaching of History of Art

Originally Fine Arts was taught at Cambridge by occasional lectures. In 1869 an endowment from Felix Slade established a Chair in Fine Art and the holders delivered an annual series of public lectures. The Slade Professor was elected for life. Since 1960 the Slade Professor has been elected for one year by a Board of Electors on which both Departments are represented. (A list of Slade Professors ...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description

The Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts was established after the 1st World War. The division of the Faculty into two departments occurred in the 1970's with the formation of a separate History of Art department. As its present name implies the Faculty consists of two departments: Architecture and History of Art.

For more detailed information about our academic staff please visit:  

News and Events

Please see for details of this year's lecture programs.

Information For  Undergraduates

The BA course is for those who are particularly interested in the history and criticism of art and architecture in Western Europe. It aims to balance a practical and historical understanding of the History of Art with knowledge of how the subject itself has developed. Students are expected to read and look widely, to cultivate their skills of visual and critical analysis, to produce regular written work, to defend their work orally in supervision, and to understand the origin and application of the methods at their disposal.

The Department does not offer studio courses in practical art, although informal classes in life-drawing are arranged by the Department of Architecture, and the University and Colleges offer a wide range of related artistic activities.

Information For  Postgraduates

Postgraduate students will be attracted to Cambridge not merely by its high international standing:

The research interests of the teaching officers cover a wide range of subjects.

The diverse community of research students in the Department is expanding and flourishing.
The Department offers two postgraduate programs that can be, and frequently are, done in sequence. The M.Phil is the typical preparatory course required of Ph.D. candidates. Successful completion of the M.Phil will allow students to continue to higher study as registered Ph.D. students in the History of Art Department. The M.Phil is also a postgraduate qualification in its own right.



The Department's alumni include the sculptor Anthony Gormley who studied here in the 1970's; curators such as Martin Clayton who is now Assistant Curator at the Royal Library Windsor Castle, William Noel now Curator of Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore (both of whom studied here in the 1990’s) and Charles Saumarez-Smith, Director of the National Portrait Gallery. Distinguished writers and academics include Martin Kemp (author of the popular The science of art amongst other books), Charles Harrison and Tim Benton who wrote several textbooks for the Open University, Michael Camille and Gavin Stamp.  

Student Facilities

Cambridge’s holdings of art and architecture are unique and many Colleges possess important examples of Medieval and Classical Architecture.
Central resources of the University for the History of Art Department include the Fitzwilliam Museum and the University Library.

The Hamilton Kerr Institue at Whittlesford is a department of the Fitzwilliam Museum and undertakes the conservation of easel paintings for public and publicly shown collections as well as the Museum. It runs a 3 year Diploma course in Conservation as well as accepting one or two interns each year.

Kettle's Yard contains a major collection of twentieth-century works of art, has a regular programme of exhibitions, and offers a wide range of volunteer work.

The Department is located at Scroope Terrace near the Fitzwilliam Museum in Trumpington Street. Most lectures and supervisions take place there. Its facilities include the comprehensive Faculty Library, a rich collection of books especially relevant to the teaching of the Department.

The Department has between 50-70 undergraduates and 40 postgraduates. The range of subjects taught is comprehensive ...  [ Read All ]

Student Life

Our courses offer a tough challenge, but one most of our students relish. We demand a lot, but we give a lot too: expert teachers and lecturers; good library and computing facilities; superb labs; lots of support.

Studying at Cambridge, you’ll be taught by world-leading experts in your subject area, and our unique ‘supervision’ system means that you will also benefit from personal tuition in your College. Your time at Cambridge will be one of the most rigorous, most rewarding and most enjoyable of your life.

We have one of the most extensive undergraduate bursary schemes in the UK to make sure that no one is prevented from coming to Cambridge for financial reasons. What’s more, Cambridge is not an expensive place to live and study.

A degree from Cambridge involves more than gaining a detailed knowledge of your subject area. You will also develop a range of valuable skills and experiences, making you highly employable when you graduate – last year over 96 per cent of graduates found jobs or entered further study within six months.

Cambridge is a gre...  [ Read All ]

How To Apply

Between 25 and 30 undergraduates are expected to enter the Department for the Part I each year.

To become a member of the University a prospective undergraduate must first be admitted by a College.

All Colleges house students, supply teaching in supervisions, enter students for University examinations, and present students for their degrees.

All Colleges in principle admit students for the History of Art Tripos, and students are advised to contact a range of Colleges for information, and especially to attend a College Open Day.

The Department of History of Art normally prefers candidates taking the Art and Design A Level to offer three additional A Levels.