Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Chemical engineers design and operate industrial processes that convert raw materials into valuable products. The need for more sophisticated products and sustainable processes means that chemical engineers are in great demand. The Cambridge course concentrates on the scientific principles that underpin the fields of modern chemical engineering and biotechnology. The aim is to produce graduates that meet the needs of today's process industries by providing technical competence, transferable skills, and a thorough understanding of the subject. 

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology has strong links with industry. The undergraduate course is supported by a consortium of 10 industrial companies which provide input on content and assist with teaching. These links also mean that there are plenty of opportunities for vacation placements with some of the world's top companies. The Department has excellent facilities, including an extensive network of computers equipped with modern applications used by practising engineers, and regularly tops national league tables.

It's possible to graduate with a BA degree after three years. However, virtually all students stay for four years, leading to the BA and MEng degrees (progression to the fourth year is dependent on satisfactory academic performance). The four-year course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, meaning that after graduation you can apply for Chartered Engineer status once you have four years of relevant experience, without any requirement to take further exams.

Within chemical engineering and biotechnology there are many well-paid career opportunities. You might work as a field engineer, be part of a research team, or become a senior manager within industry. The course also provides a broad range of transferable skills that make chemical engineers attractive for jobs outside of the discipline. About 50 per cent of our graduates go into the chemical, process, biotechnology and food industries; 20 per cent go into finance and management; and 15 per cent go into further education and research.

Chemical Engineering at Caius

About four students per year study Chemical Engineering at Caius. We have two Fellows in the subject, Professor Alex Routh and Professor Axel Zeitler. Our Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology students are fully included in the College's wider community of Engineering and Natural Science students, benefiting from subject societies, speaker meetings and cross-subject dinners.

Teaching Fellows


From 2023 onwards students wishing to study Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge apply directly for entry into the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology course. Please note that previously, entry into the Chemical Engineering course was via Natural Sciences or via Engineering but this is no longer the case. Applicants should note the requirement to take the University's Admissions Assessment in Natural Sciences as part of their application to study the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology course. Any questions about application should be directed to