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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.

The Chemical Engineering course is changing. Those starting in October 2022 will take the Chemical Engineering Tripos, where in the first year you study Engineering or Natural Sciences and move into Chemical Engineering for years 2-4. There's no preferred route for year 1, and the number of students taking each subject varies.

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.

Those starting in October 2023, which includes those applying for deferred entry in the 2021 admissions round, will take the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Tripos, which is a new four year course starting in year 1.

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 in early 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.


In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2021 interviews will be held online.

The interview process aims to assess your intellectual ability, potential, and commitment to the subject. Candidates are typically interviewed by at least three subject specialists, including the Director of Studies, and total contact time will be between 35-50 minutes in total. This could be in a single interview, or in two separate interviews. Further details will be made available to candidates closer to the time.

Find out more about the interview process on the University website.

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.


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