Course Guide

Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology

Introducing your Student Rep

Ryan Tam

Hi everyone, I'm Ryan and I'm currently a Second Year Chemical Engineer at Trinity! I'm the Undergraduate Academic Rep for Chemical Engineering, so I'm here to explain what the course is like and what my day-to-day workload is like!

Key Facts

Average offer: A*A*A

4 years

Available at all colleges except Corpus Christi

Key subjects for admission: Key subjects for admission: Chemistry, Maths

NSAA (preregistration required)

Inclusive prayer space in department


Why did you want to study Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology?


I really enjoyed Maths, Chemistry, and Physics at school, and Chemical Engineering is a great way to combine all of these disciplines together in a practical application! I've always loved learning about how things are made, and the Chemical Engineering Tripos is a fantastic way of learning how chemical processes can be harnessed to help us make and design things!

How is the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology course structured?


From the 2023 Academic Year onwards, the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB) will be introducing a new first-year course, and a modified second year course. Under the previous system, the Chemical Engineering course was second year entry only, and during first year, students are required to complete either Part IA Natural Sciences or Part IA Engineering. However, under the new course, it will begin entry at first year! The first year course will include Chemical Engineering Fundamentals, Cell Biology, and Material Science; and Chemistry and Maths classes will be done in conjunction with the Part IA Natural Sciences courses. The second year course builds further into core Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology topics, including process thermodynamics, reaction engineering, and biotechnology fundamentals. The third year course aims to further deepen students' understanding, and also includes a group project on designing a chemical plant. Students may choose to stay or graduate with a B.A. upon completion of the third year. During the fourth year, students study some compulsory and some optional modules, and conduct a year-long research project.

What is the faculty building like?


The CEB building is located in the West Cambridge Site, and is a relatively new and modern building! The smaller cohort size means that it's very easy for you to get to know everyone in your year, as well as people from other years! Everyone is very friendly, and there is a lot of time available to socialise with others! Lectures are organised such that there is a 20 minute tea break every day for everyone to grab a free cup of tea and relax. Our department is markedly different in comparison to other departments, facilitated through our relatively small but tight-knit cohort!

What is the workload like?


Every day we have approximately 2-3 hours of lectures, and there are about 2-4 supervisions organised each week. Each fortnight there are also labs to be completed, each of which require a lab report to be submitted upon the completion of each lab. Every 2-3 weeks, we are issued with Exercises, unique to our department, which are open-ended problems to solve using knowledge from lectures - they don't necessarily have a right or wrong answer; as long as you can justify your choices, you'll be awarded credit!


Have more questions? Talk to an academic rep

Email to be put in contact.

Academic Reps are the voice of students in faculties, departments and schools. Reps have the power to enact changes to education, individually based on their priorities and collectively, working with other representatives across the University. Their responsibilities include taking students’ ideas and concerns to faculty and department boards, relaying important information from those boards back to students, and organising with their peers to foster a subject community.