Chemical Engineering

  • Intake: 3
  • Typical Offer: A*A*A
  • Essential Subjects: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics (Engineering route) Chemistry, Mathematics (Natural Sciences route)
  • Desirable Subjects: Further Mathematics
  • Assessment: Pre Interview Assessment 
  • Faculty website:


Chemical Engineers are interested in the conversion of raw materials into useful products on an industrial scale. Our graduates take up careers in many different industry sectors including fuel, plastics, pharmaceutical products, food, energy generation (traditional/renewable/ nuclear), water treatment, and environmental protection. Financial institutions and management consultants also employ significant numbers of Chemical Engineers.

The Cambridge undergraduate course focuses on the fundamental principles used in Chemical Engineering. Students develop a sound understanding of the subject, which can then be applied with confidence to real-world challenges. An important aspect of the curriculum is its continued accreditation by the Institute of Chemical Engineers, meaning that graduates are eligible (after a period of relevant industrial experience) to apply for chartered professional engineer status.

In your first year you may choose to read Natural Sciences or General Engineering, either of which will provide you with the basic skills in mathematics, physics and chemistry that are essential for the study of Chemical Engineering.

In year two your studies will be based at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology – an impressive new building on the West Cambridge site. You will learn about the core principles Chemical Engineering through lectures, laboratory work and assessed project work. Courses include:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat & Mass Transfer
  • Biotechnology
  • Homogeneous Reactors
  • Separation Processes – including Distillation
  • Engineering Mathematics and computing

In your third year you will continue to cover the core subject matter of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. This will include a Design Project, for which you will work in small teams to design a complete chemical plant. Other courses include:

  • Fluid Mechanics 2
  • Separation Processes 2
  • Further Mathematics
  • Radiative heat transfer
  • Equilibrium Thermodynamics
  • Heterogeneous Reactors
  • Process Synthesis 
  • Bioprocessing
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Corrosion and Materials
  • Particle Processing
  • Safety, Health and Environment
  • Engineering Ethics

Most Cambridge Chemical Engineering students stay on for a fourth year, in which they undertake a research project and choose further courses from a wide range of advanced topics offered by the Department’s research groups. The courses currently offered are described in detail on the Faculty website.

Chemical Engineering at Queens’

Queens' has a dynamic community of Chemical Engineers. Through regular social events we encourage communication across the year groups, so that new students can hear about options for their future years and exchange ideas. Applicants will be required to take a pre-interview written assessment

Chemical Engineering Fellows 

Research interests: polymers, structure related properties of materials, polymer processing and analysis.
My actual research project is focused on development of a polymeric heart valve prostheses for surgical and transcatheter application including, design of the device, manufacturing and in-vitro testing of prototypes.

Current research: Novel sensors for monitoring of industrial stack gas emissions, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through implementation of advanced process control strategies.

Analytical Biotechnology