Supervision in progress

Chemical Engineering

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

Examples include the refining of oil, the production of plastics and pharmaceuticals, food processing and wastewater treatment. Many Chemical Engineers work in the area of biotechnology. The Cambridge course teaches the fundamental principles behind Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. It is a multidisciplinary subject with the emphasis on applying science to solve real-world problems.

Chemical Engineering students at Cambridge read either General Engineering or Natural Sciences in their first year, before going on to read Chemical Engineering in subsequent years.  Both routes provide equally good preparation for Chemical Engineering. Applicants specify which route they wish to follow at the point of application, and this affects their assessment. Details can be found on the Department's website.

The Department moved to a new building in West Cambridge in summer 2015. It was the intention of the University of Cambridge to maximise the Department’s strengths through the construction of the building, the first of its kind to house the whole cycle of scientific investigation in chemical engineering and biotechnology, and its teaching and commercialisation, under one roof: from teaching and fundamental research right through to technology innovation, development and spin-out.

  • Chemical Engineering at Peterhouse

    Chemical Engineering is a relatively small subject, and the Director of Studies helps to arrange supervisions for a small consortium of Colleges, including Peterhouse, to facilitate those arrangements.

    For a student's perspective on life as a Chemical Engineering student at Peterhouse, have a look at the JCR's alternative prospectus.

  • Course requirements

    For Chemical Engineering via Engineering: A Level (or equivalent) Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics and Further Mathematics are essential. 

    For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences: A Level Mathematics and Chemistry; it is helpful to have A Level Physics and/or Further Mathematics; A Level Biology is useful.

  • The application process

    Applicants are interviewed according to their specified route (Engineering or Natural Sciences) and an additional interview which includes questions relating to Chemical Engineering. All applicants for Chemical Engineering across the University will be asked to sit a pre-interview written assessment (in the relevant route - Natural Sciences or Engineering) at their school, college or local testing centre in early November. These will form part of our holistic assessment of candidates' achievements, abilities and potential and are no more, and no less important than any of the other pieces of information considered during the admissions process. Registration for this assessment closes on 15th October. Further information can be found on the University website.

  • Typical conditional offers

    Typical offers will be the same as for Engineering or Natural Sciences, depending on the route taken into Chemical Engineering.