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Chemical Engineering

The Course

Chemical Engineering at Cambridge is a four-year course. Students join the Department after one year (Part IA) of either Natural Sciences or Engineering. Both these routes provide equally suitable preparation and the choice is a personal one.

In the second year, students learn about the fundamental science applied to Chemical Engineering processes, through lectures, laboratory classes and project work. In year three, this knowledge is generalized and expanded to more complex chemical engineering operations, including the design of a whole chemical plant. In year four, advanced topics on many theoretical and experimental techniques used to understand complex flows with biological and chemical phenomena are offered. Students also undertake a major research project.

The full four-year course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Students may choose to leave after year three with a BA degree. However, in practice, almost all students continue for the fourth year of study, graduating then with the BA and MEng degrees. Full details of the Chemical Engineering course in each year may be found on the Department's website.

Chemical Engineering at Pembroke

There is a long tradition of Chemical Engineering at Pembroke, dating back to Prof. P. V. Danckwerts, who was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (1959 -1977) and a Fellow of the College. Chemical Engineering students at Pembroke have all enjoyed very much the course (no student has transferred to another subject for many years). Our Director of Studies is Prof. Silvana Cardoso, who is involved in the teaching and supervision of the subject in all three years.

Pembroke College is a short cycle ride from the Department. The library is well-stocked with supporting books recommended for the subject, and the College also offers excellent computing facilities.


Pembroke admits two to four undergraduates each year for the Chemical Engineering Tripos. The exact number taken each year depends on the quality of the applicants.

Students applying via the Natural Sciences route require both Mathematics and Chemistry at A Level (or equivalent). Physics and/or Further Mathematics are also recommended but not essential.

Students applying via the Engineering route require Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at A Level (or equivalent). Further Mathematics is also desirable.

The admissions process consists a pre-interview assessment (see the University of Cambridge website for details), followed by interviews with the Directors of Studies in Chemical Engineering and in Engineering, for candidates applying via the Engineering route. Those applying via the Natural Sciences route will be interviewed by the Directors of Studies in Chemical Engineering and in the Natural Sciences. For further information please see the page about Chemical Engineering on the University website.

UCAS codes

  • Via Engineering: H810 MEng/CEE
  • Via Natural Sciences: H813 MEng/CENS
Go to the Chemical Engineering faculty website