Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering studies the fundamental science and underlying principles of the processes used to transform raw materials into useful products. The Chemical Engineering course at Cambridge is regularly ranked as the best chemical engineering course in the UK. The department has strong links with industry, giving Cambridge graduates in Chemical Engineering excellent employment opportunities.  The Chemical Engineering course starts in the second year of your degree: there are two routes into it – either through Natural Sciences or through Engineering. While there is the option to graduate with a BA after a three-year course, the majority of students continue for a fourth year, graduating with an Masters in Engineering (MEng). The four-year course satisfies the academic requirements for full IChemE membership leading to Chartered Engineer status. During the academic year 2015-16, the department is moving to a specially designed building on the West Cambridge Site.

Faculty website:

Most students who specialise in Chemical Engineering from their second undergraduate year have applied either for Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences or Chemical Engineering via Engineering, but we also accept second year students who initially applied simply to study either Engineering or Natural Sciences.

The Engineering route gives students an excellent background in general engineering. It suits students who are particularly interested in applying science to solve real-world problems. The Natural Sciences route gives students an excellent broad scientific background, and suits students who enjoy understanding how things work at a fundamental level.

At St Catharine’s, we typically have two or three students per year studying Chemical Engineering. We don't, however, have a Fellow in Chemical Engineering. Our external Director of Studies is Dr Andy Sederman.

Since Chemical Engineering is a course which starts in the second year of your degree, you must apply via either Engineering or Natural Sciences. In both cases, the typical offer for admission is A*A*A at A2 Level (or equivalent qualification).

For Chemical Engineering via Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are essential. It is highly desirable to take Further Mathematics at AS or A2 Level.

For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Chemistry are essential. Further Mathematics and/or Physics is highly desirable at AS or A2 Level. Biology may be helpful at AS or A2 Level.

Catz is an excellent choice for the budding Chemical Engineer. The college typically accepts a couple of students each year, but since first-years study either Engineering or Natural Sciences (before progressing to Chemical Engineering in your second year), you’ll find yourself part of a close-knit group with the NatScis, Engineers, or both!

So why Catz? Catz is well-known for its friendly and sociable students, sporting prowess (particularly hockey) and prime location in the city centre. In recent years, Catz Chemical Engineers have scored outstandingly well in Tripos (the Cambridge examination system), often outperforming the vast majority of other colleges. This demonstrates not only how hard Catz students work, but also the fantastic standard of teaching and guidance offered to all. There are endless opportunities to get involved with pretty much any sport/hobby you want, and to go abroad or apply for travel grants. For me, and all the brilliant friends I made there, Catz was the perfect choice.

Harry Glover (graduated from Chemical Engineering in June 2015)