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Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

Department A-Z


The IDBE is an established and highly successful part-time master's degree for professionals working in the built environment, offered jointly by the Departments of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Cambridge. Each year we select students from widely differing disciplines, from across the world and from very varied backgrounds, bringing them together in Cambridge to explore the pressing challenges of our time and of the future. In doing so they discover deep understanding of the built environment, their multiple professions, themselves and each other. All students form close professional, and often personal, relationships, which can last a lifetime.


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Department of Engineering

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Department of Architecture

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We are pleased to announce that from 2017, the running of the IDBE will be taken over by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Pending formal approval by the relevant boards at the University, applications are expected to open on 1 February 2017 for teaching to start in the autumn of 2017.

If you would like to be notified when applications are open, please email us with your contact information -

For an overview regarding CISL’s activities of relevance to the built environment, please visit their Cities Knowledge Hub

Entry requirements

Besides enthusiasm for the built environment and commitment to study, applicants must have:

  • At least a 2.i honours degree from a UK University or an equivalent standard from an overseas institution*
  • A minimum of three years post-qualification work experience in the built environment
  • Good ability in written and spoken English language to the required University standard

*Candidates who do not meet the standard academic requirements may be considered if they are able to demonstrate suitability for postgraduate study through professional attainments and written work examples. 



The IDBE course is accredited as a masters for further learning by:

  • Royal Incorporation of Chartered Surveyors
  • Joint Board of Moderators (Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, the Institute of Highways Engineers)
  • Royal Institute of British Architects Career Learning
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers