Chemical Engineering is a multidisciplinary subject involving elements of Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, as well as applying these to Economics, safety and sustainability.

The course taught in Cambridge aims at producing engineers that meet the needs of industry with a strong emphasis on applying science to solve real-world problems.

Graduates might work as field engineers, be part of research teams, or occupy management positions. There are plenty of challenges and the potential for travel all over the world. The range of skills acquired during the course provide career opportunities outside the discipline.

The Director of Studies at Downing is Dr Kamran Yunus.

The course

The first year of Chemical Engineering is treated as a foundation year in which students study first-year Natural Sciences or first-year Engineering before going on to do Chemical Engineering in subsequent years.

Therefore, applicants either apply via either:

  • the Natural Science route
  • the Engineering route

The choice of subjects taken in the first year should reflect the interests of the student. All provide equally good preparation for the following years. The opportunity to study a broad range of subjects like this is one of the great advantages of the Cambridge system.

In year two, students are introduced the Chemical Engineering principles, through lectures, assessed practicals and coursework. In the subsequent year they continue to learn core chemical engineering and are required to undertake a design project in which groups of students design a whole chemical plant.

For the fourth year of the course, almost all students stay on to graduate with both the BA and MEng degrees. During this year students are required to carry out a research project and are offered the choice of a range of optional advanced topics and broadening material.

In addition, 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.

Entry requirements and interviews

For information about interviews for applicants for Chemical Engineering, please refer to the information for the first-year subject you wish to apply to study:

Natural Sciences

Engineering

Further advice about entry requirements and interviews for all subjects can be found in the Applying to Downing section of this site.

Further details about the Chemical Engineering course can be found on the University of Cambridge website.