Clare College Cambridge

Studying Chemical Enginnering at Clare


Chemical Engineering is an interesting discipline that is useful to society. Within the discipline, there are many career opportunities. 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. It's also worth noting that Chemical Engineers are, on average, better paid than pure scientists and engineers from other disciplines. The wide variety of skills acquired during a Chemical Engineering course also provides career opportunities outside the discipline.

The Course

The Cambridge Chemical Engineering course is a four-year full-time course qualifying students for both the BA and MEng degrees. The course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers. It is possible to graduate after three years with just the BA degree.

In the first year of chemical engineering students study either first-year Natural Sciences or first-year Engineering. Chemical Engineering students entering via the Natural Sciences route are required to take at least one of Chemistry, Physics and Biology of Cells in their first year, and to take Mathematics or Mathematical Biology. Natural Science students that elect to enter Chemical Engineering without taking Chemistry may be expected to take Chemistry alongside students who have entered the course via first-year Engineering. All teaching in years two, three and four is done within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

The choice between 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 is one of the great advantages of the Cambridge system. Another example is its flexibility. For instance, if a student changes his or her mind after the first year, it is usually possible to continue studying either Engineering or Natural Sciences rather than joining Chemical Engineering. Equally, it is usually possible to change to Chemical Engineering even if this wasn't stated on the original application form if an appropriate first-year course is studied.