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Typical offer: A*A*A including A* in Mathematics and A* in Chemistry (or equivalent)

Required subjects: Mathematics and Chemistry

Useful subjects: Further Mathematics and Physics

Number of undergraduate students admitted per year: Up to 5

Chemical engineers design industrial processes that convert raw materials into valuable products. Biotechnologists use living systems and organisms to make valuable products. The need for sophisticated products and sustainable processes means chemical engineers and biotechnologists are in great demand. The aim of the course is to produce graduates who meet the needs of today’s process and biotech industries by providing a thorough understanding of the subject, technical competence and transferable skills. The underlying theory is complemented by projects that teach process and product design for chemical engineering and biotechnology.

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology and Lucy Cavendish College have strong links with industry, and Cambridge Chemical Engineers are highly employable.




The Chemical Engineering course is compiled of three parts, which enable students to gain a Master of Engineering degree.

 Part 1 of the course is completed over the first two years of the degree. In Part 1a students complete an introduction to pure and applied sciences of chemical engineering and biotechnology, alongside being introduced to concepts of process and product design. In Part 1b, student use the fundamentals taught in first year and learn about core applications such as separations and reaction engineering.

Part 2 of the course, students learn about advanced concepts and initial applications. These will be used to complete a design project starting from conceptualisation to a detailed industrial design.

In Part 3. Students learn advanced topics and their applications as well as completing a research project with researchers within the department. There will also be the opportunity to choose from a range of advanced and broadening subjects.

The course will be assessed with a mixture of continuous assessments and coursework, alongside exams at the end of each year.

Further information can be found on the Faculty and University websites. 

Typical offers require

  • A Level: A*A*A including A* in Mathematics and A* in Chemistry (or further maths, if taken)
  • IB: 42 points, with 776 in Higher Level
  • Advanced Highers: A1, A1, A2 including A1 in Mathematics and A1 in Chemistry

For other qualifications see the main entrance requirements pages on the University website. 

Subject Requirements

  • Required: Mathematics and Chemistry
  • Highly recommended: Further Mathematics and Physics

Mature students and those taking other qualifications are encouraged to contact our Admissions Office (at to discuss the entry requirements for their qualifications.

Written work

No written work is required.


Students are required to complete the NSAA examination. Further details can be found on the Faculty website.


Interviews allow us to distinguish amongst excellent applicants by assessing the skills and aptitudes essential for successful study in higher education, and your academic qualities – essentially, how do you think?

For 2023 entry, interviews for all applicants, will take place virtually, except for UK-based applications to Trinity College. However, the aims and content will still be the same as in-person interviews.

Each candidate typically has two interviews, lasting between twenty and thirty minutes. In some cases, you will be given preparatory reading beforehand.

In a few subjects, you will be interviewed by more than one College or in the Faculty. You will be notified of this in your interview invitation.

Supracurricular exploration is an important way to expand your knowledge of your subject, explore your interests and develop your skills. Our new webpage contains guidance on supracurricular exploration and a comprehensive source of resources, grouped according to undergraduate degrees at Cambridge. 

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Attend an open day or event

Our Events and Open Days page advertises regular events held by Lucy Cavendish College. If you can, join us for a College Open Day to discuss your application with a member of our admissions team.