Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering is a four year course leading to the BA and MEng degrees, though it is possible to graduate after three years study with just the BA degree. Students apply through different routes according to how they wish to study in year 1. In the first year, students choose whether to study general Engineering or Natural Sciences. Teaching in years two, three and four is entirely within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (

Applicants for both entry routes for Chemical Engineering will take a written assessment in their schools  or colleges in the November of the year of application. Further information about the format and content for this assessment is available in the online Prospectus .

Chemical Engineers are involved in the conversion of raw materials into valuable products, usually on an industrial scale. The Cambridge course covers the fundamental science behind processes and products at a variety of length scales. On a molecular level, chemical engineers need to know about molecules and how they interact. However, chemical engineers also need to know how to design processes that can perform transformations on a large scale. There are excellent employment prospects for graduates of the course, particularly in the chemical, process and food industries, but also in other areas including biotechnology, finance and management.

Homerton has a formidable track record in Chemical Engineering with students coming to it from both routes routinely doing well in their exams, particularly those continuing into year four.We usually have 4 or more Chemical Engineers going into year 2. Our Director of Studies, Dr Joanna Stasiak, is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engieering and Bio-Technology.

Chemical engineering students at Cambridge have a choice between studying Engineering or Natural Sciences in their first year at University.

These routes provide equally good preparation for the chemical engineering undertaken in subsequent years. Prospective students therefore can select which course they would most like to do in their first year.

  • Chemical Engineering via Engineering (UCAS code H810)

A typical offer for admission is A*A*A at A2-Level (or equivalent qualification). Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry are essential. It is highly desirable to take Further Mathematics at AS or A2-level.

The Engineering route gives students an excellent background in general engineering. It suits students who are particularly interested in applying science to solve real-world problems.

  • Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences (UCAS code H813)

A typical offer for admission is A*A*A at A2-Level (or equivalent qualification). Mathematics and Chemistry are essential. Further Mathematics and/or Physics is highly desirable at AS or A2 level. Biology may be helpful at AS or A2-Level.

The Natural Sciences route gives students an excellent broad scientific background. It suits students who enjoy understanding how things work at a fundamental level. In the first year, students choose three scientific subjects from a choice of eight. In addition, they must also study Mathematics or Mathematical Biology in the first year.

Admissions assessment

All applicants for Chemical Engineering are required to take the pre-interview written assessment at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).

Assessment format

Applicants to Chemical Engineering will sit the assessment in their chosen route (Natural Sciences or Engineering).

Natural Sciences

Maths/Science MCQs (80 minutes)
In-depth Science questions (40 minutes)


Maths/Physics MCQs (80 minutes)
Engineering specific questions (40 minutes)

You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is 15 October in the year of application. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment; you’re not able to register yourself. See the admissions assessments page for information about the content, assessment centres and registration.

Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

Homerton will ask those applying via Engineering to take a short maths and physics test at interview.

As applicants are looking to study either Engineering or Natural Sciences in their first year the interviewing (2 interviews of about 25 minutes each) is done largely by subject specialists in these respective areas. However, in Homerton, our Director of Studies in Chemical Engineering who takes over for both routes in year 2, will normally be one of the inteviewing panel.