There is no such thing as a typical week for a Cambridge student, but there are patterns which do arise with noticeable regularity. A significant feature of student life at Cambridge is the relatively short length of the terms; there are two eight-week-long teaching terms (Michaelmas and Lent) separated by Christmas, followed by a seven–week–long term (Easter) featuring teaching followed by most University examinations. Administrative arrangements are made before the lecturing period begins and project work often extends beyond the end of the lecturing period. A large amount of activity is concentrated into these periods and consequently few students spend weekends away.
The pattern in the first year depends on the route chosen, but a likely workload would be 12 hours of lectures per week and three afternoons spent on laboratory or project work. In the first year, there would normally be three hours of small–group teaching each week.
After the first year, all lectures and laboratories are organised by the Department. Lectures are concentrated into the mornings, leaving the afternoons free for laboratory classes, project meetings, small group teaching, presentations and seminars. There are on average 10 hour-long lectures each week, and the second year involves around four hours per week of set laboratory or computing classes. The remainder of the week is not timetabled, but preparation for small group teaching sessions and project work can easily occupy most afternoons.
There are plenty of extra-curricular activities that are undertaken by chemical engineering students. These include sport, music, drama, and events arranged by the numerous University and College Societies. The Chemical Engineering Society (CUCES) also organises social activities.