Chemical Engineering

Number of students per year: 1 - 2

Typical offer: A*A*A at A-level or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) in the IB. For other qualifications, please click here

Essential subjects: For the Natural Sciences route: Mathematics and Chemistry at A-level or equivalent. For the Engineering route: Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics at A-level or equivalent. 

(Please note that IB applicants starting the new IB Mathematics syllabus are expected to take IB Higher Level 'Analysis and Approaches' if it's available at your school. If this isn't an option for you, please drop us an email at admissions@clare.cam.ac.uk and we'll be very happy to advise you.)

Useful subjects: Further Mathematics at A-level/IB Higher Level or equivalent may be useful preparation for Chemical Engineering.

Chemical Engineering at Clare 

Clare is a great place to study chemical engineering. The main college site is right in the heart of the city centre, but with easy access from the Backs to the department on the West Cambridge site.

Clare is also strong in Natural Sciences and Engineering, providing excellent teaching support for either first year entry route, as well as complementing your ongoing chemical engineering studies from the second year onwards.

Chemical Engineers are involved in the conversion of raw materials into valuable products, usually on an industrial scale. This can take many forms including the production of plastics, the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, the conversion of sunlight to electricity or chemical fuels, the refining of oil to produce petrochemicals, food processing, and wastewater treatment. Many Chemical Engineers now work in the area of biotechnology where biological organisms are used to perform the desired transformations (e.g. to make a particular molecule). The Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology in Cambridge covers many of these areas, and has a strategic focus on sustainability, energy and healthcare.

Chemical Engineering is a very broad discipline involving elements of Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering. Chemical Engineers also need to know about Economics, Safety, the Environment and Sustainability.

When submitting your application through UCAS, candidates applying through the Natural Sciences route should register for the NSAA pre-interview assessment, and those entering via Engineering should register for the ENGAA assessment.

Clare offers a very good balance between college and department, allowing students to get the most out of their time in Cambridge.  

We are searching for bright applicants who have an enquiring mind and an interest in applying science practically to solve real-world problems. 

Key People


Dr Sam Stranks

Director of Studies & University Lecturer in Energy

Dr Stranks' research focuses on the optical and electronic properties of emerging semiconductors including halide perovskites, carbon allotropes and organic semiconductors for low-cost electronics applications such as photovoltaics and lighting. 

He received the 2016 IUPAP Young Scientist in Semiconductor Physics Prize, the 2017 Early Career Prize from the European Physical Society, the 2018 Henry Moseley Award and Medal from the Institute of Physics, and the 2019 Marlow Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In 2016 he was named a TED Fellow, and in 2017 he was listed by the MIT Technology Review as one of the 35 under 35 innovators in Europe. Sam is a co-founder of Swift Solar, a startup developing lightweight perovskite PV panels