Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineers are involved in the conversion of raw materials into valuable products, usually on an industrial scale.

The Cambridge course teaches the fundamental principles behind Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. These principles are needed to develop processes and products that address some of the problems facing humanity. These include the energy transition away from fossil fuels, the need for sustainable food and water supplies as climate changes, and the provision of improved healthcare. The aim is to produce graduates that meet the needs of modern process industry in whatever sector. Example products made by Chemical Engineers are food, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, plastics, detergents, drinking water, fuel and electricity. These products are relevant to almost every aspect of our everyday lives. It is a multidisciplinary subject with the emphasis very much on applying science to solve real-world problems.

Chemical Engineering students at Cambridge read either Natural Sciences or General Engineering in their first year, before going on to do Chemical Engineering in subsequent years. Both routes provide equally good preparation. Applicants therefore specify whether they would like to apply via the Natural Sciences route or via the Engineering route. In practice, Emmanuel receives a similar number of applicants for both routes.

From year two, students are taught in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The Department moved to a new dedicated building in 2016-17 that provides the highest quality teaching and research facilities. In year two, students are introduced to Chemical Engineering principles, primarily through lectures, laboratory work, and assessed project work. They continue learning “core” Chemical Engineering in year three, at the end of which they undertake a Design Project in which groups of students design a whole chemical plant.

In practice, almost all Chemical Engineering students stay on for the fourth year. This includes a research project, and a range of optional advanced topics and broadening material. Successful students then graduate with both the BA and MEng degrees. The full four-year course is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers, which means that graduating students can apply for Chartered Engineering status after some years of relevant experience without taking further examinations.

Admissions Information

Standard offer: A-level - A*A*A with A* in Mathematics and Chemistry; IB - 776 at Higher Level, 41 or 42 points overall, with 7 in Mathematics and Chemistry; Advanced Highers: A1A1A2 with A1 in Mathematics and Chemistry; other exam systems.
UCAS details: For Chemical Engineering via Engineering - H810 MEng/CEE.

For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences - H813 MEng/CENS.
Course requirements: For Chemical Engineering via Engineering - A-level (or equivalent) Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics; it is also helpful to have Further Mathematics.

For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences - A-level (or equivalent) Mathematics (students are encouraged to choose Mechanics modules if they have a choice) and Chemistry; it is also helpful to have Physics and/or Further Mathematics; Biology is useful as well.
Course outline: Further details are available on the Department's website.
Applying: For information on how to apply: University application process and Emmanuel application timeline.

Candidates should normally expect two interviews. The interviews will take place during the period Monday 6 - Wednesday 15 December 2021. Specific subject dates will be emailed to applicants in November.

All applicants will be interviewed by the Director of Studies in both fields of their chosen route, i.e., Chemical Engineering and Engineering or Chemical Engineering and Natural Sciences. For Chemical Engineering via Engineering - applicants will select a topic from a list provided by the College, to discuss during one of their interviews.

Admissions assessment: All applicants will take a pre-interview written assessment in their chosen route.

Chemical Engineering via Engineering (H810) requires the Engineering Admissions Assessment ENGAA).

Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences (H813) requires the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA).

You must register - separately from your UCAS application - in advance to take the relevant pre-interview assessment.
Course enquiries: Emmanuel Admissions Office