Engineering

Technology is advancing faster than ever. The Engineering degree at Cambridge equips you with the deep understanding of various branches of engineering you need in order to collaborate widely, contribute to breakthroughs and succeed as a top-tier engineer today.

Why study Engineering at Christ’s?

At Christ’s we welcome Engineering students from all across the world. Our six Fellows work together with research students and external academics to cover all aspects of Engineering at a high level, so you can be confident of an outstanding start in the subject. Almost half of our first-years achieved Firsts in 2018.

Our graduates go on to work in a range of sectors, including in traditional engineering companies, consultancies, management consultancies, investment banks, hedge funds, start-ups, research and for online giants such as Google and Facebook.
 

Course content and structure

Please visit the University website for full details of the Engineering course content and structure.

Cambridge offers two courses (or ‘triposes’) in Engineering:

  • Engineering (with specialisation in one of the main engineering disciplines in 3rd and optional 4th year)
  • Manufacturing Engineering (specialist training in marketing, design, manufacturing engineering and factory operation in the third and fourth years).

After one year of Engineering or Natural Sciences (Physical), you can choose to change to Chemical Engineering. After two years of Engineering you can opt for the one-year Management Studies course to gain a BA degree after a total of three years of study.

Please visit the University website for full details of the Engineering course content and structure.
 

Teaching

Christ’s College has six Engineering Fellows whose broad collective expertise means we’re well placed to support your studies.

The University’s Engineering Department arranges all your classes, lectures and practicals. Christ’s Director of Studies in Engineering Dr Elena Punskaya helps organise your work and ‘supervisions’. These weekly small-group tutorial sessions with College Fellows, university lecturers or research workers give you the advantage of personally-tailored tuition and guidance. And we’re willing to provide extra sessions if needed.

Christ’s is handily located right in the heart of Cambridge, only 15 minutes’ walk from the Engineering Department.
 

What do our students think?

Read about the experiences of Andrew, Ollie, and Hiral studying Engineering here at Christ’s. There's also Statos, who did first year Engineering before changing to Natural Sciences (Physical).

If you’d like to hear from other Christ's students, please watch the Christ's student Q&A film, and visit our Student Profiles page.

"I'd advise any applicants to go into the course with an open mind about specialisms – often people change their minds after studying all of Engineering for the first two years!"

Hiral

How to Apply

Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.

News

27 Aug: The date of the pre-interview Admissions Assessment for Engineering has changed from 4 Nov to Thursday 5 November as part of the Covid 19 updates. See updates on the Cambridge Admissions website.

July: University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can.

At Christ's we have a page for Coronavirus disruptions and applying this year - we recommend reading and then keeping an eye on it.


Subject requirements

To apply for Engineering, you should take

  • Mathematics (For International Bacclaureate students, this should be 'Analysis and Approaches')
  • Physics
  • A third mathematical / science subject at A-level, IB Higher or equivalent. If you are an A-level candidate and your third maths/science subject is not Further Mathematics, you will be more competitive if you can offer Further Mathematics as an AS-level.

If we make you an offer, we will also ask you to take STEP (normally STEP Mathematics paper I). Support for this is available through the STEP Support Programme. This includes online modules and an online discussion forum

If your school does not offer Further Mathematics, you may be able to get support through the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme. It can support you by offering advice about choosing Further Mathematics, revision events, university applications, enrichment materials and activities, and tuition, when it is not available through your school or college.

A number of our international candidates from countries where you study a wide range of subjects at school in the final two years find it helpful to take part in mathematics competitions as a way to focus on extending their mathematical knowledge and ability. 

Pre-interview Admissions Assessment

All students applying to the University of Cambridge for Engineering (or Chemical Engineering via Engineering) must sit a pre-interview admissions assessment called the Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA). This will take place in your school, college or local testing centre on 5 November 2020. The same assessment is used regardless of which College you have applied to. The Engineering Admissions Assessment examines your academic abilities, knowledge-base and potential, and forms part of our holistic admissions process: there is no set score that we are looking for. When applying, it is important to be aware of the registration and assessment dates:

  • All Engineering applicants applying in 2020 must be registered to take the Engineering Assessment by 18:00 UK time on 15 October 2020. See how to be registered.
    Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre.

     
  • All Engineering applicants applying in 2020 sit the assessment on 5 November 2020 (updated date).

Information about the assessment including example papers and subject content is available on the University Admissions website from March each year.

Interviews

University-wide statement: In order to minimise Covid-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can. This does mean that there may be changes to the details of interviews below (which sets out what normally happens).

If you are invited for interview in Cambridge, this will take place in very late November or early December. In admissions interviews with our fellows (one interview will be with the Director of Studies) we will ask you to tell us more about your desire to study Engineering and, probably, about your achievements to date given in your personal statement: we are also likely to discuss your interests, motivation and ability to study independently. During these interviews, you will have an opportunity to show us your academic potential, your approach to solving problems and your ability to generate ideas. What the interviews are not designed to do, however, is to test your current level of knowledge in each particular subject, although sometimes you may be asked to show us some particular skills.

Do not forget that the interviews are not just there for us to ask you questions. They provide you an excellent opportunity to ask us about the course, the College and the University. Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section.

We also hold interviews in a number of locations overseas. If this may be relevant for you, please see the international students section

Offers

We typically admit between eight and twelve engineering students per year. Offers for Engineering are likely to be minimum A*A*A at A-level including A* in A-level Further Maths (or minimum grade A at AS level Further Maths), 42 points overall in the IB with 7,7,6 in relevant Higher Level subjects, or equivalent in other qualifications. All conditional offers for Engineering will usually also include STEP, typically grade 1 in STEP Mathematics I. Further information and preparation materials are available in the STEP section below.

The international students section has further information about typical offers for other qualifications. If you will have already finished school when you apply, please see our page for post-qualification applications.

STEP Mathematics

As mentioned above, our offers include STEP Mathematics paper one. This is take in June. Most students (including international students if you make the arrangements) can take the STEP I exam at school. The Cambridge Admissions Testing website has the practical information you'll need, including how to register, what to do if you can't sit STEP I at a school, and the date and costs. If you have practical questions about taking STEP I that you can't find the answer to on the website, we recommend that you contact the Cambridge Admissions Testing Support Team. We recommend that all applicants and offer holders make use of the free online STEP Support Programme, which includes weekly online modules and a discussion forum. Further resources are available below.

Taking a gap year

For those who are considering a gap year, deferred entry applications and post-qualification applications for Engineering are encouraged by the College. A  gap year can offer a valuable opportunity to travel and/or gain work experience in an industrial setting (via, for example, the Year in Industry Scheme), which can be a major advantage during the undergraduate course. See the industrial placements information on the Engineering Department website.
 

Helpful Resources

Additional in Coronavirus times MEI (Maths Education) resources for students studying at home
Additional in Coronavirus times NRICH Maths at Home
I want to study Engineering Cambridge Engineering Department resource to help you to develop and practice problem-solving skills for Engineering courses at competitive universities. 
Advanced Mathematics Support Programme This website offers advice about choosing Further Mathematics, revision events, enrichment materials and activities, and tuition, when it is not available through your school or college. See in particular A level Mathematics resources and A level Further Mathematics resources. If you are studying independently, Integral offers an online Further Mathematics course.
STEP Support Programme

Free online support programme from Cambridge Mathematics Department & NRICH, to help you develop advanced problem-solving skills and prepare for sitting STEP Mathematics examinations (STEP I required for Engineering at Christ's). This includes weekly online modules for individual study and a discussion forum.

STEP questions with solutions The Underground Mathematics website, previously funded by the DfE and based at the University of Cambridge, offers free resources to support the teaching of A level mathematics, as well as selected past STEP questions with fully worked solutions and explanations.
Advanced Problems in Mathematics Revised and extended version of  the book by Dr Stephen Siklos, free to dowload in pdf format. This book analyses recent STEP questions selected to address the syllabus for Papers I and II. Each question is followed by a comment and a full solution. The solutions point students to the methodology required to address advanced mathematical problems critically and independently.
All STEP past papers from 1998

Past papers available to download from Cambridge Assessment, including answers to all questions from 2004, and solutions with explanation and mark scheme for the 2011 STEP I paper.

Meikleriggs Mathematics  Dr Peter Mitchell's website contains lots of useful mathematics including complete solutions to STEP papers from past years.
HE+ Mathematics Resources for students who would like to explore Maths beyond the school curriculum.
Isaac Physics  Website to help you develop problem-solving skills in Physics from GCSE to A-level through to the transition to university. See A-level resources and student support. There is also a mentoring scheme
HE+ Physics Resources for students who would like to explore Physics beyond the school curriculum.
Nuffield Research Placements Year 12 opportunity to work on a summer research project. Strict eligibility criteria apply.

F1 in schools or Greenpower Education Trust

Use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.
CamGuides Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working


Open Days and Online Events

Online events: Our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge.

Visit us in person on one of our College Open Day to learn more about Christ's and studying Engineering here. If you’d like to tour the Engineering Department, come to the Cambridge Open Days, in July. Booking opens in April each year and you can visit Christ's College on the same day.
 

Want to know more?

For a full picture of what the course involves, please read the University's Engineering course prospectus, take a look at Undergraduate Engineering admissions and the Department of Engineering information for prospective students too.

If you have any queries, send them to admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk and we’ll help however we can.
 

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