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Chemical Engineering

  • Number of students per year: Chemical Engineering students are admitted first to either Engineering or Natural Sciences. We usually admit between 12 and 14 undergraduates each year to study Engineering, and 26 to 32 in Natural Sciences.
  • Typical offer: A*A*A or equivalent. Applicants offering four relevant A-Levels may be asked for A*A*AA or A*A*AB.
  • Essential subjects: Chemistry and Maths, plus Physics for the Engineering entry route.
  • Useful subjects: Physics, Further Maths, Biology, or their equivalents.

Jesus College has had a Fellow in Chemical Engineering since the 1980s and there are typically two to three students each year.

Once you've decided to study Chemical Engineering, you'll need to decide which first year course you'd prefer to study, either Engineering or Natural Sciences. There's no preferred route, and the number of students taking each subject varies.

You'll start studying Chemical Engineering in your second year. If you are admitted to study Chemical Engineering it is possible to continue with Natural Sciences or Engineering once you reach your second year if you change your mind.

Our subject is well catered for in the Quincentenary Library. Cambridge University Chemical Engineering Society (CUCES) brings students from the different Colleges together and regularly puts on talks and other events.

Find out more on the University webpage.


Our offers are typically for two A* grade A-Levels or equivalent. If you have four relevant A-Levels you may be asked for A*A*AA or A*A*AB. 

The requirements for Chemical Engineering depend on which first year course you would prefer to study, Engineering or Natural Sciences. For Chemical Engineering via Engineering, you will need Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A-level or equivalent. Further Maths or Biology are also useful. For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences, you will need Maths and Chemistry at A -level or equivalent. Physics, Further Maths or Biology are also useful for this route. 

You don't need to take a Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) or Advanced Extension Award (AEA).

Written assessment

You'll need to complete a written assessment for Chemical Engineering before your interview. This takes place on the 4th November at an authorised centre near where you live, most likely your school or college.

The purpose of the assessment is to give you an extra opportunity to show us your ability. Good performance in the test doesn't guarantee an offer, and poor performance doesn't necessarily rule out an offer. Find out more on the University undergraduate Chemical Engineering pages.


If your application to study Chemical Engineering is shortlisted you will be interviewed alongside either Natural Sciences or Engineering applicants, depending on the entry route you have chosen.

You'll be interviewed by two interviewers. If you're taking the Natural Sciences route you will have two interviews, one of which will usually be with the Director of Studies in Chemical Engineering. Interviews will cover aspects of mathematics and chemistry as well as your general interest in the sciences and chemical engineering.

If you're taking the Engineering route you will have three subject interviews. There are two subject interviews with Engineering Fellows. One is mainly concerned with mathematical skills and aptitude. Applicants are given some problems to look at and work through immediately beforehand, and these are then discussed as part of the interview. The other interview is with The Director of Studies and another Engineer and will be concerned with physical principles used by both engineers and chemical engineers.

Written work

You don't need to submit any written work with your application.

Deferred and post A-Level entry

The College positively encourages deferred entry for students intending to study Engineering who wish to take a gap year. There's no similar guideline for Natural Sciences but deferred entry is perfectly acceptable, and your intention to take a year out should be clearly stated in your application.


Hear from students


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