Cambridge Engineering Review

Thinking about applying for Engineering at Cambridge? We will cover all of the background information you need to know when studying Engineering at Cambridge.

Last Updated: 28th March 2022

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Thinking of studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge, it is beneficial to know more about the university and what it offers to you.

In this Cambridge Engineering guide, we cover the background information you need to understand what studying Engineering at Cambridge is like, from the application process to career prospects.

About Cambridge Engineering

If you are considering applying for Engineering at Cambridge, do not expect to see specialised degrees to be offered. Instead, Cambridge offers a General Engineering course with scope for specialisation further down the line.

Admission to the course is highly competitive, with 12.5% of applicants successfully being accepted in 2022.

Applications per place8
Number accepted328

The Cambridge Department of Engineering is a leading international centre for research, consistently ranked the highest achieving amongst UK universities. They have strong links with industry, with many research projects funded by industrial companies.

You are also required to complete six weeks of industrial experience by the end of the third year, obtained by deferring entry or during holidays.

The Engineering course normally lasts four years and leads to two degrees: BA (with Honours) and MEng. The first two years are essentially the same for all students and aim to give a broad overview of the subject.

From the third year, students are required to specialise. The branches of Engineering available are:

You can also choose to remain on a General Engineering path.

Students may transfer to Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology after the first year, or Management Studies or Manufacturing Engineering after completing Engineering Part I. Students may change into the Engineering third-year course, typically from Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Students from Medicine and Veterinary Medicine may take Engineering as their third-year specialisation.

Early preparation is the key to a successful Cambridge Engineering application.

Writing the perfect Personal Statement, scoring highly on the ESAT and interviewing like a pro is how you get your dream Cambridge Engineering offer.

Discover our Engineering Programme for comprehensive admissions support by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

Cambridge Engineering Entry Requirements

If you are considering applying for Engineering at Cambridge, it is important to know the A-Level requirements.

Applicants applying to Engineering at Cambridge will typically receive an offer of A*A*A to include A-Level Mathematics and Physics.

Those who have taken Advanced Highers typically receive offers of AA/AAB, and International Baccalaureate students need 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level.

A-Level Further Maths is very strongly encouraged. If the subject is not available to you or you have recognised its desirability too late, the best advice is to do as much additional pure maths and mechanics as possible – e.g., by studying advanced material or Further Maths AS Level.

Some colleges do require A-Level, or its equivalent, in a third science/mathematics subject, and some also require you to take the STEP.

In addition, all applicants are required to sit an Admissions Test, the ESAT, which assesses your understanding of Mathematics and Physics. Your performance in the assessment will not be considered in isolation but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application – such as the Interview.

Cambridge Vs Oxford Engineering

Being the most prestigious universities in the UK, it is interesting to compare the Engineering degrees at Cambridge and Oxford.

Engineering at Cambridge and Oxford are very similar, with neither offering specialised degrees from the offset with the opportunity to specialise in later years.

The structures of the courses are very similar, with both spending two years teaching the broad foundations of Engineering and allowing students to specialise in their final two years of study.

Of the two, Cambridge is better known for its prestige in Engineering, and graduates go on to have a higher rate of employment and job satisfaction than Oxford graduates.

Interestingly though, Oxford Engineering graduates that find themselves in employment are more likely to earn a higher wage within 15 months of graduation than Cambridge graduates.

Regardless, neither course has low employment rates, and both have high amounts of graduates in highly skilled jobs. The overriding choice is the potential for higher job satisfaction or higher wages.

Career Prospects for Cambridge Engineering Graduates

Demand for Engineering skills is high, and so unemployment rates are low. Graduates are able to specialise enough to be working in jobs in Engineering – especially in design and development, and also Engineering project management.

IT and management consultancy were some of the more common jobs outside Engineering.

Looking at six months after graduation, the average annual salary for graduates is £28,500 with 98% of graduates in employment or further education. Of those employed, 92% are in a role where degree is essential or beneficial.

Of the industries that graduates find themselves in, 52% find themselves in Engineering professions, 20% work in information technology and telecommunications, and 10% work in business, research, and administrative professions.

Looking at the graph shown above, it shows the median annual salaries of Cambridge Engineering graduates one, three and five years after graduating. As it shows, in their first-year graduates earnt a median of £31,000, which by the time they are in their third year of employment has risen to £41,000. In their fifth year of employment, Cambridge graduates’ median earnings reach £44,000.

It is important to note that this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or in further education) and covers and broad sample of graduates and the various paths they have taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.


With all this information you should hopefully now have a better idea and understanding about studying Engineering at Cambridge. 

Studying Engineering at Cambridge opens up a number of different opportunities to you, aided by the prestige that comes with being a student at the university. 

Boasting strong career prospects, by studying Engineering at Cambridge you will find yourself well placed as you head out into the world of employment. 

As with any course at Cambridge, admission is incredibly competitive so it is essential you have the strongest application to make your mark on the Admissions Tutors. 

Our expert tutors will guide you to Cambridge Engineering success.

Applying to Oxbridge is immensely competitive, and you must give yourself the best chance of success. We help you craft the perfect Personal Statement, achieve a highly competitive ESAT score and teach you how to Interview effectively – covering all areas of your Oxbridge application.

Discover our Cambridge Engineering Premium Programme for comprehensive admissions support by clicking the button below to enrol and triple your chances of success.

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