Guide to Studying Chemical Engineering

What is Chemical Engineering?

  • Chemical engineering applies physical sciences like chemistry and physics, together with life sciences like biology, along with mathematics and economics to produce chemicals, materials and energy.
  • Modern chemical engineers are mostly concerned with attempting to convert raw materials into more useful items. They are also concerned with pioneering techniques, like nanotechnology and bioengineering.

Why study Chemical Engineering?

  • Chemical engineers not only have knowledge of chemistry, engineering, materials science and IT; they also learn about the economics, management and safety of modern science.
  • Chemical engineers are one of the most employable people in the modern market. Chemical engineering is also one of the best-paying professions in the UK.
  • Chemical engineering opens up many career possibilities. Graduates can do anything from groundbreaking scientific research, to working as a field engineer, or occupy a senior management position.
  • Even those graduates who choose not to accept jobs directly related to chemical engineering are highly employable due to experience at solving problems and good analytical and management skills. 
  • Chemical engineers, to put it bluntly, are changing the world. Most items used by people everyday have needed chemical engineering knowledge. Chemical engineers are helping to end starvation, disease and poverty.

Coursework, Assessment and Exams

  • Most universities have continuous assessment in the form of module essays and reports. Others have design and research projects which are assessed on written reports and presentations. Written examinations are held at the end of each semester for almost all courses.
  • In the BEng programmes, Years 2 and 3 contribute to the final degree award, whilst for MEng programmes, it is Years 2, 3 and 4.

What degree can I get? 

  • BEng Chemical Engineering (three years)
  • MEng Chemical Engineering (four years)
  • BEng Chemical and Energy Engineering
  • BEng Chemical Engineering with Business Management

What qualifications do I need?

  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in. Requirements are subject to change.

Use the CUG Course Chooser to search through Chemical Engineering courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include an MSc Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Theorestical Chemistry, Industrial Automation, Polymer Engineering and Petroleum Engineering.

Graduate job prospects 



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities

  • Chemical Engineering degrees teach students a theoretical basis for introducing new technology and advancing existing technology. You gain an awareness of the context in which engineering solutions are applied.
  • Particular job areas include as a chemical engineer, energy engineer, petroleum engineer, and product development scientist.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Chemical Engineering graduates, such as BP.