Chemical Engineering

Course details

Number of students per year
2-4 (in total, via Science or Engineering routes)
Typical offer
A*A*A at A-level; 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level for the IB.
Essential subjects
Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics (Engineering Route); Chemistry and Mathematics (Natural Sciences Route)
Useful subjects
Further Maths

At Homerton we usually admit between two and four new Chemical Engineering students each year. It means that there are about 12 students reading Chemical Engineering at Homerton. After the first year focusing on Natural Sciences or Engineering, all lectures and laboratories are organised by the department. Lectures are concentrated into the mornings, leaving the afternoons free for laboratory classes, project meetings, small group teaching, presentations and seminars. Students learning in the same College are likely group in a supervision group so they can work and prepare teaching sessions together.

At Cambridge

Chemical engineers invent, design and operate industrial processes that convert raw materials into valuable products such as food, pharmaceuticals, plastics, detergents, drinking water, fuel and electricity. These products are relevant to almost every aspect of our everyday lives. They are made by processes that change the chemical, biochemical or physical state of substances. Chemical engineers need to understand how such transformations happen at both the molecular scale and the industrial scale. They need to know how transformations can be achieved economically, safely, and in an environmentally-friendly manner. Chemical engineers are very much in demand in many industries because consumers are demanding both more sophisticated products and more sustainable processes.

The course provides a thorough grounding in chemical and biochemical engineering, while also providing training in personal and transferable skills. The aim is to produce graduates that meet the needs of today’s process industries and who have the ability to understand scientific advances when they occur. At the Department of Chemical Engineering we have excellent facilities that will support all of your teaching and research activities. For instance, we have an extensive network of computers equipped with modern applications used by practising engineers. These include Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools, process simulators and design packages. You will be taught primarily through lectures supported by projects, laboratory classes, supervisions and coursework. Each week you will typically attend 11 lectures and have two supervisions. You will also undertake fortnightly projects. Chemical Engineering at Cambridge is a four-year undergraduate course leading to the BA and MEng degrees. It is possible to graduate after three years with just a BA degree.

How To Apply

As a Chemical Engineering student at Cambridge you will have a choice between studying Engineering or Natural Sciences in your first year at University.

These routes provide equally good preparation for the chemical engineering undertaken in subsequent years. You therefore can select which course you would most like to do in your first year.

  • Chemical Engineering via Engineering (UCAS code H810)

A typical offer for admission is A*A*A at A-level (or equivalent qualification). Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are essential. It is highly desirable to take Further Mathematics.

The Engineering route gives you an excellent background in general engineering. It suits students who are particularly interested in applying science to solve real-world problems.

  • Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences (UCAS code H813)

A typical offer for admission is A*A*A at A-level (or equivalent qualification). Mathematics and Chemistry are essential. Further Mathematics and/or Physics is highly desirable at A-level. Biology may be helpful at A-level.

The Natural Sciences route gives you an excellent broad scientific background. It suits students who enjoy understanding how things work at a fundamental level. In the first year, you'll choose three scientific subjects from a selection of eight. In addition, you must also study Mathematics or Mathematical Biology in the first year.

For information about pre or at interview assessments, please see the pages for Engineering or Natural Sciences.


Within chemical engineering there are many well-paid career opportunities. Graduates might work as field engineers, be part of research teams, or occupy senior management positions. Those that work for multinational companies may have the opportunity to travel all over the world. Chemical engineers can also easily secure jobs outside the discipline because of their broad range of skills. About 50% of our graduates go into the chemical, process and food industries, 20% go into finance and management, and 15% go into further education and research.


Director Of Studies