Chemical engineering and biotechnology at Sidney Sussex is interdisciplinary, applied, and dynamic. If you are keen to address some global challenges, this is the subject to choose.

Chemical engineering and biotechnology very much aim to provide practical solutions to some of the biggest challenges: environment and sustainable manufacturing, energy, food production and healthcare.

Such ambitious goals require building strong bridges across various disciplines; chemistry often meets mathematics, physics ventures into medicine, hard-core engineering learns from biology and all of them need to be aligned with the societal needs and ethics. There is no better way to dive into the subject than becoming a part of the diverse College community, where you can meet researchers and fellow students from all of these fields.

Many successful projects have been initiated over a lunch in the Hall, a stroll in the gardens, not to mention numerous sporting or cultural get-togethers; Sidney Sussex College provides that extra creativity boost that helps ideas to get turned into a possibility and a solution.  

Besides a Fellow in Chemical Engineering, who is a head of a research group and teaches within the Department of Chemical engineering and Biotechnology, Sidney has both Fellows and students from Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Medicine, who can provide insight, a piece of critical thought or simply a bit of comfort when concepts seem too complex.

Undergraduate Study

Modern chemical engineering and biotechnology is an interdisciplinary subject that requires excellent background in mathematics and natural sciences.

No matter which route you choose, second year will provide some courses aimed to level the knowledge of the students and aid them in getting further into the field.

Internships in companies are available and encouraged, and a Director of Studies is often on hand to provide support in choosing appropriate timing for extracurricular activities.

Final year offers a breadth of specialised subjects such as bionanotechnology, biosensors, or advanced healthcare.  

Written work

We will not ask you to submit any written work as part of your application.

Admissions assessment

Applicants are required to take a pre-interview written assessment.


Three interviews. Two will be with Directors of Studies in your chosen first-year subject and will involve, in part, working through some scientific or engineering-based problems. The third interview will be with the Director of Studies for Chemical Engineering and will focus more on questions directly related to Chemical Engineering.

Subject requirements
  • Learn about our standard entry requirements for Chemical Engineering on the University website.
  • Engineering route: At Sidney, in addition to the essential subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry), you might find it helpful to study Biology or Further Mathematics if they are available to you.
  • Natural Sciences route: At Sidney, in addition to the essential subjects (Mathematics and Chemistry), you might find it helpful to study Physics, Biology, or Further Mathematics if they are available to you.
  • Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.
Beyond the syllabus

Are you excited to learn more about the subject by delving beyond the school syllabus? Explore our Beyond the syllabus resource hub to discover interesting websites, podcasts, videos, and books related to the subject you love!

Typical intake

2 - 3

Typical A-level offer


Typical IB offer

42 points overall, with 776 at Higher Level

Postgraduate Study

You might choose Sidney for your postgraduate studies because its research and academic community is well-aligned with your postgraduate project, or simply because of the students that study related fields.

No matter why you choose Sidney, as a postgraduate student you automatically become a member of the College’s postgraduate community, also referred to as the Middle Combination Room (MCR). Sidney’s MCR is renowned in Cambridge for its creative and well-organised themed-formal dinners, organic gardening community with their own vegetable garden in Herne Lodge, and excellent sporting and creative activities.

At the University of Cambridge applications for postgraduate study are processed centrally by the Postgraduate Admissions Office. The application form and supporting documents are submitted electronically via their website and the online self-service system, though academic decisions on applications are made by the Faculty or Department.


There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, Departments, Research Councils and central University funds. You can use the Postgraduate Admissions' Cambridge Funding Search to find out which type of funding you might be eligible for, and how and when to apply. They also operate a Postgraduate Funding Competition to co-ordinate some of these funding opportunities and make the process easier for you as an applicant.

To find information about the funds available for postgraduate students at Sidney, visit our Studentships and funding page.

Useful links

Course directory | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

Funding | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

How do I apply? | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

International students | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

Opportunities to work, travel, and study

The College is able to offer financial support for a number of student pursuits including:

  • Professional and research internships
  • Study awards
  • Vacation travel
  • Arts and music
  • Sport

While it will not be possible to provide support in all cases, current students are strongly encouraged to apply if they have a project which would benefit from financial support.

Discover more on our Opportunities to work, travel, and study page.