I decided to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge because I enjoyed all of my science A-Levels and wasn’t sure which one I wanted to study for my degree; the broad first year thus made NatSci the perfect choice for me. Following a year of Physics, Chemistry and Geology, I decided to switch to Chemical Engineering due to the more vocational nature of the course (plus the lack of Saturday morning lectures!).
The course is well structured and covers all the fundamental areas of Chemical Engineering. There is a mixture of individual study and group work, and assessment is through both coursework and examinations. In the fourth year, all students complete a research project and there is the opportunity to choose which areas of Chemical Engineering you wish to study. The department is much smaller than many other courses, with typically 60 people in a year; this enhances socialising between members of different Colleges and results in a very friendly atmosphere.
The department has close links with industry and it provides opportunities to meet with potential employers via external presentations and workshops. I found this useful and completed a summer internship with ExxonMobil which gave me a taste of Chemical Engineering in Industry.
Following graduation I will begin work with ExxonMobil as a graduate chemical engineer at the oil refinery in Fawley (near Southampton). Hopefully this will give me an opportunity to apply the knowledge and problem solving skills that I have learnt during my degree.
Chemical engineering is an interesting subject and it doesn’t close many doors at all in terms of future career opportunities. If you enjoy science and problem solving then Chemical Engineering might be the ideal course for you.
Route: Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences
A-Levels: Maths, Chemistry, Physics
AS-Levels: Further Maths, Biology