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Chemical engineering: what Cambridge college?

I'm applying for Chemical Engineering at Cambridge this year and am having difficulties choosing a college.

I've narrowed it down to 4: Trinity Hall, Christ's, King's or St. John's.

The main things I was considering were proximity to the department (not that different cycling from any of these - Christ's is closest though), accommodations having en-suites, student financial support (e.g. language class grants), college tutors in science/engineering, catering system + options, and traditional architecture of the college.

It would be useful to hear from people from any of these colleges firsthand, but I am open to any sort of advice or insights regardless

Thanks :wink:
(edited 4 months ago)
What sort of size college are you looking for? Trin Hall vs Kings is completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Trying to figure out whether you want a bigger college that is more likely to have many people in your course or whether you don't care about that and would prefer a much smaller college will help you narrow down your options.
Original post by T_ataraxia
I'm applying for Chemical Engineering at Cambridge this year and am having difficulties choosing a college.

I've narrowed it down to 4: Trinity Hall, Christ's, King's or St. John's.

The main things I was considering were proximity to the department (not that different cycling from any of these - Christ's is closest though), accommodations having en-suites, student financial support (e.g. language class grants), college tutors in science/engineering, catering system + options, and traditional architecture of the college.

It would be useful to hear from people from any of these colleges firsthand, but I am open to any sort of advice or insights regardless

Thanks :wink:

Cambridge is tiny. They are all about 500 metres apart. I could throw a ball from Trinity Hall and hit King's and from St John's to Christ's is a 5 minute walk through the centre of town.

They are all based on traditional architecture.

You've got to love tourists to enjoy any of those 4, because they are infested with them.

Old Colleges tend to have far fewer en-suites than newer Colleges, you can't retro-fit en-suites in listed (generally pre1850) buildings, so living in old buildings and having en-suites is very rare. Besides, accommodation is organised by student ballot, so you only get 2 years of your choice.

Choosing a College by whether it has Fellows in your subject is rather like choosing to live with your Head Teacher for 3 years. It suits some people, but consider whether you really want to live in the same space as your academic markers. When you've got a late paper to submit and you've hung one on the might before, you really don't wnat ot meet your Tutor in breakfast!

Choosing the College with your favourite scarf colours is as valid as most other measures.
Reply 3
I had thought King's was the only one out of them that was really tourist - not a major put-off though.

That's a good point about the College Fellows and Tutors, though it makes me question how the college interviews run. Are there cases where a college doesn't have tutors in the area an applicant is applying for? Like no science tutors for Chemical engineering applicants for example.
Who exactly is supposed to interview you - will it always be someone from within the college?

HA! Looking up scarf colours right now then!
Original post by T_ataraxia
I had thought King's was the only one out of them that was really tourist - not a major put-off though.

That's a good point about the College Fellows and Tutors, though it makes me question how the college interviews run. Are there cases where a college doesn't have tutors in the area an applicant is applying for? Like no science tutors for Chemical engineering applicants for example.
Who exactly is supposed to interview you - will it always be someone from within the college?

HA! Looking up scarf colours right now then!


Any of the central Colleges has masses of tourists, once you step outside the door of College you are in one of the busiest tourist cities in the UK. Tourists are allowed in all the central Colleges except exam season, Kings probably gets the most, but Trinity and St Johns will have a near constant stream throughout the year. If you pick a central College, you can't avoid tourists.

Every College has tutors who can interview across all the subjects they accept, that's why they accept them. There's no College that doesn't have science tutors!
Reply 5
There are a varying number of fellows within each college, and you may want to check the website for each college's Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology department if you are concerned with that.

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