Naveen, Peter, Julie and Zsigi (4th year Chemical Engineers)
Welcome to the Chemical Engineering subject page at King’s. This provides an overview of Chemical Engineering at King’s, the Cambridge course, the Director of Studies at King’s, and information on how to apply for an undergraduate place.
- Chemical Engineering at King's
- The Chemical Engineering course
- A student perspective
- Chemical Engineering Director of Studies
- Applying to study Chemical Engineering
- Resources and events
- Further information
Chemical Engineering at King's
King’s first Fellow in Chemical Engineering was also the first head of the Chemical Engineering Department, founded with a bequest from Shell in 1948. He was Terence Fox, famous in the Chemical Engineering world for stating that, ‘God’s greatest mistake at the creation was to frame the Navier Stokes equations in such a complex form.’ King's second Fellow in Chemical Engineering is the current Director of Studies, Geoff Moggridge. Thus the subject has a short, yet distinguished, history in the College.
Chemical Engineering graduates go on to successful jobs in a broad range of fields, and a large number pursue careers in the chemical and related industries. Cindy Crawford and the President of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards, both studied Chemical Engineering (the latter is a graduate of the Department) – so really you can go on to do anything!
The Chemical Engineering Tripos (Tripos = course)
Naveen working in the Chemical Engineering Department
The Cambridge Chemical Engineering course starts with a year studying Engineering or Natural Sciences. Students move to the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Department in their second year, and study an intensive two year course which brings them up to B.A. level and fulfills most of the Institute of Chemical Engineering’s requirements to register for Chartered Engineer status.
An optional fourth year (taken by almost all students), includes a wide choice of modules and a research project, bringing students up to M.Eng. level, and completes the IChemE’s educational requirements. Full details of the course and its options are available on the Department’s website.
A student perspective
Having just finished the course, Zsigi wrote about his experiences of Chemical Engineering, including what it was like to start at King's, the teaching, timetable and workload, moving from his first year in Natural Sciences to the Chemical Engineering department, and what there is to do when you're not working. This is well worth reading to get a sense of what studying Chemical Engineering at King's is really like.
Chemical Engineering Director of Studies
Geoff Moggridge is the Fellow and Director of Studies in Chemical Engineering at King's. His research is concerned with structured materials, with a particular interest in environmental issues.
Applying to study Chemical Engineering
Applications are welcome from suitably qualified students from anywhere in the UK, Europe or elsewhere in the world. Women are underrepresented in university Chemical Engineering courses. We therefore actively encourage applications from women to study Chemical Engineering at King's.
For Chemical Engineering via Engineering the following subjects are essential: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Further Mathematics at AS or A2 (or equivalent) would be excellent wherever possible, or Biology can also be helpful. Please read about the core maths and physics needed for a competitive application. Please also see the further information.
For Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences the following subjects are essential: Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. For students taking A levels, Further Mathematics can be offered in place of Physics (mechanics modules within maths are better preparation than most physics modules). See further information.
For our most common offers in a range of examination systems see the entrance requirements page.
The application process is explained on the how to apply page, which we advise applicants to read thoroughly. If invited for interview, applicants for Chemical Engineering have the same interviews as either Engineering or Natural Sciences (Physical) candidates, except that one of the interviewers will be a Chemical Engineer. You will also sit the written test for either Engineering or Natural Sciences (Physical Sciences) whilst in Cambridge for interviews, for which no specific preparation is required.
Typically two to four students are accepted each year to read Chemical Engineering at King’s, although there are no quotas.
Resources and events
- See our general advice about developing your interests.
- There are no particular books that prospective Chemical Engineers are required to read, but do look at the Faculty reading advice.
- Your school work in Mathematics is essential preparation for Chemical Engineering at Cambridge. If you are studying in a different qualification system and wish to consult an A level textbook, we suggest L. Bostock and S. Chandler. 2013. Core Maths for Advanced Level. 3rd edition. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
- For Chemical Engineering via Engineering: core maths and physics for a competitive application.
- The NRICH website has some excellent resources for extension work. See in particular the article about mathematical issues, curriculum links, and chemNRICH, as well as engNRICH, and physNRICH.
- The subject resources page has a tag for sciences posts, which you might like to browse.
- If your school does not offer Further Mathematics and you would like to take it, you may be able to get support through the Further Mathematics Support Network. See the flowchart.
- Events which may be of interest in the year before you apply (year 12 in the UK) include the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, Headstart, CU Masterclasses, CU Science Festival, and King's Open Days. Students from backgrounds where there is little tradition of entry to Higher Education might like to think about applying for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools or the CUSU Shadowing Scheme.
- Course outline
- Chemical Engineering Department website
- Why not ChemEng? - careers information
- Applying with limited support or advice
- Extenuating Circumstances form
- International Students
- If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact King's Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.