Engineering at Cambridge

Engineering is about solving problems: about designing processes and making products to improve the quality of human life. From reservoirs to robots, aircraft to artificial hips, microchips to mobile phones, engineers design and manufacture a huge variety of objects that can make a real difference both to individuals and societies.

The aim of the Cambridge Engineering course is to provide you with all the analytical, design and computing skills that underpin modern Engineering practice, while encouraging the creativity and problem-solving skills that are so important to a good engineer.

Full details are provided on the Department of Engineering website, and summarised in the University Undergraduate Prospectus.

The Department of Engineering has a website dedicated to the Undergraduate Admissions Prospectus where you can find detailed programme information, course content and other useful information, including how to apply.

Engineering at Churchill

Churchill College is the ideal place to study Engineering. The College was founded to pursue excellence in teaching and research with a special emphasis on science and technology. It is the role of engineers to put science and technology to use in solving the technical problems facing the world, and to exploit the opportunities technology presents in an environmentally, socially and politically responsible manner. In this way, engineers provide a crucial interface between the sciences and society.

Engineers are therefore at the heart of Sir Winston Churchill's vision of Churchill College in the 21st century and beyond. Engineers of the 20th century have been concerned with the design of machines, structures and electronics, but this is only the start. In the future, engineers will also be at the forefront of developments to tackle challenges such as climate change, and ensuring the safe, effective and efficient use of scarce resources such as oil and fresh water on a global scale.

In Churchill, we are uniquely positioned to engage with the challenges ahead, both quite literally in our geographical location and also by building on our short but rich heritage. Churchill's location to the west of the city centre used to be on the fringes of Cambridge University. However, over recent decades significant portions of the University have moved to West Cambridge, including approximately half the Engineering Department. West Cambridge currently houses centres for geotechnical engineering, turbomachinery, electronics and photonics, and communications, which are all within a few minutes' walk of the College.

Churchill has a dedicated suite of rooms for Engineering teaching, and boasts one of the highest numbers of Engineering Fellows of any of the Cambridge Colleges. The majority of these Fellows are active in teaching and research either in the College or in the Engineering Department.

Women in Engineering at Churchill

In 2017 Churchill had it's highest ever intake of female Engineers. As part of International Women's Day 2018, a special panel discussion with past female Engineers from Churchill spoke about their experiences in industry, their career development and give advice to current students.

Watch the video


Engineering is, by its nature, a broad discipline, and professional engineers are routinely expected to apply their understanding, experience and knowledge to a vast range of problems. The Cambridge Engineering course emphasises this generality by making the first two years common to all students, regardless of the specialism you might intend to pursue in years three, four, and beyond.

This demands great flexibility of you, since we would need you to be an independent thinker with the agility to turn your minds quickly to unfamiliar problems. The common language that binds the different facets of Engineering together is Mathematics, so a high level of mathematical aptitude is a prerequisite.

Practical skills and creativity form a large part of Engineering; making models and prototypes, and designing and performing experiments are daily work for many professional engineers. An innate curiosity for how things work is also admirable.

Admission to the Engineering course at Cambridge is highly competitive, both in terms of the numbers and quality of applicants. Although academic requirements are expressed here in terms of A Levels, equivalent qualifications in other school, national and international examinations are acceptable.

In considering applicants, Churchill looks for evidence both of academic ability and of motivation towards Engineering. The standard minimum A Level offer for Engineering is A*A*A but individual offers frequently differ from this depending on an applicant's circumstances, sometimes including conditions on four A Levels. It should be noted that the average Engineering entrant to Churchill achieves three A* grades.

If you're an A Level applicant to Engineering, you are required to take A Levels in Maths and Physics, and Churchill normally requires Engineering applicants to be taking a third subject that is relevant to Engineering as well. If your school or college is able to offer Further Maths or you can access it through the Further Mathematics Support Programme, you are very strongly encouraged to take it. Other suitable subjects for your third A Level include (in alphabetical order) Chemistry, Computing, Design Technology, and Electronics.

There is no requirement to offer more than three A Levels, and it is recognised that not all schools are able to accommodate students taking four A Levels. Excelling in three A Levels relevant to Engineering is almost always preferable to performing well but not as highly in more than three. It is worth noting, however, that there is a high level of synergy between Maths, Further Maths, and Physics. This means that, for students who are taking this combination, offering a fourth A Level allows an applicant to demonstrate both high achievement in Maths and the ability to cope with a broad syllabus and demanding workload.

Subject pre-requisites

Essential Highly desirable/useful
A Level / IB Higher Level Mathematics and Physics A Level / IB Higher Level Further Mathematics is strongly encouraged; a third science/technology subject is highly desirable

For other qualifications, see our Typical Offers page.

Written assessments

Cambridge University uses a system of common format written assessments, specifically tailored to each subject. These give us valuable additional evidence of your academic ability, knowledge base, and potential to succeed at Cambridge. For more information about written assessments in this subject, click on:

Written assessments

Written work

You will not be required to submit any written work as part of the application process.


If called, you will normally have one interview with academic Fellows of the College.


A useful guide to preparing for Engineering interviews at top universities:

Other Information

If you would like to visit us on an Open Day, please be aware that the University's Engineering Department is only open to visitors during our summer events. We'd therefore particularly recommend these dates because seeing the Department will give you a really good sense of what it would be like to study here.

For more information and for all admissions enquiries, please contact the Admissions Office. 

Admissions Office

Photograph: Tibet Fonteyne - 'Speed Engineering' © University of Cambridge

Teaching Fellows in Engineering

Dr Chris Hicks

Director of Studies Part IA & Part IB

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Dr Sumeetpal Singh

Director of Studies Part IA & Part IB

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Dr Dongfang Liang

Director of Studies IIA & IIB

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Dr Tawfique Hasan

Director of Studies IIA & IIB

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