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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Chemical Engineering

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Chemical Engineering at Cambridge

The 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, students study either first-year Natural Sciences or first-year (general) Engineering. The following years are spent learning Chemical Engineering. The course covers the fundamental principles that underpin modern chemical engineering science. Core chemical engineering topics are covered in years 2 and 3. These culminate in a major Design Project at the end of year 3. Students take optional modules in year 4 that reflect their particular interests, and undertake a major Research Project.

The opportunity to study a broad range of subjects in year 1 is one of the great advantages of the Cambridge system. Another example is its flexibility. For instance, if a student changes 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.

Further details about the structure and content of the course can be found at the Departmental website

Chemical Engineering at Murray Edwards College

The College has an average of 2 undergraduate students in Chemical Engineering each year.  Students normally establish strong friendship groups with those doing Natural Sciences or Engineering in their first year. After that time, students will establish friendship groups with students studying Chemical Engineering in other Colleges. Within the Department, there is a lively Chemical Engineering Society that arranges many social events (and occasional work-related ones).

The examination results for Chemical Engineering students at Murray Edwards College are comparable with those at other Colleges, with our students often improving in grade from one year to the next as they build their knowledge and understanding.

Our Director of Studies for Chemical Engineering is Dr Patrick Barrie. He arranges supervisions and monitors the academic progress of students. He takes a keen interest in students at Murray Edwards College and has been awarded a Pilkington Prize by the University for excellence in teaching.

Applying to study here

We look for students who are enthusiastic about their subject, motivated to learn more and have achieved highly in their examinations to date.  At interview we are trying to assess academic potential and identify those applicants who will go on to do well on the course. We will test an applicant's understanding of material covered at school and then see if the applicant can apply that knowledge to solve a problem.

The College has no preference on which route students should take into Chemical Engineering – the choice should reflect the personal interests of the student. Applicants for Chemical Engineering via the Natural Sciences route are normally interviewed by the Directors of Studies of both Chemical Engineering and Natural Sciences (Physical). Applicants for Chemical Engineering via the Engineering route are normally interviewed by the Directors of Studies of both Chemical Engineering and (general) Engineering.

We usually set conditional offers consistent with typical/standard offers across the University ie usually A*A*A at A level in concurrently studied subjects (or their equivalent). Full details of entry requirements and selection processes for Chemical Engineering across all colleges can be found on the central University webpages.

Moving into a career

Our students follow a wide range of careers when they leave: some get jobs closely involved with the process industries, while others apply the skills and attributes they developed while studying here to follow other career paths.  Recent graduates from Murray Edwards College in Chemical Engineering have taken up roles in the oil & gas industry, in the water industry, and in the consumer goods industry.

We support students in developing their skills and in exploring varied career options through our Murray Edwards Gateway Programme.

Find out more

Many students find it helpful to contact us by email or to visit us to find out more.