Choosing the right course

With the huge variety available, how do you choose the best chemical or biochemical engineering degree course for you?

There is no easy answer to this question other than to research the range of options available and choose the one that seems to fit your circumstance best. Here are some factors to consider:


Chemical, biochemical and process engineering courses are offered at two levels:

    • BEng (Batchelor of Engineering) courses are usually over 3 years and give graduates a sound education in core chemical engineering subjects and a solid skills base
    • MEng (Master of Engineering) courses are over 4 years and enable you to become an expert in chemical engineering science with a greater breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding

Most universities offer a choice of BEng and MEng courses, both of which offer a sound basis for a career in chemical engineering industry.


Is your chosen course accredited? You can ask the university or check with the UK's Engineering Council.

Industrial experience

Do you wish to take an industrial work placement as part of your degree programme? Things to consider are:

    • does the university allow students to take time our for industrial experience? (most universities are happy for students to do this, but make sure to check first)
    • length of placement (ie summer vacation or the whole year)
    • will the university help you find a placement (if not, the Year in Industry scheme may be able to assist)

Optional modules

Do you wish to take a foreign language whilst at university, or to take management or an engineering specialism along with your chemical engineering programme?

Ability to switch between degrees

Does the university allow transfers between degree programmes?


Small departments may offer a more intimate learning environment where all students are known by staff, whereas large departments may be able to offer a wider choice of modules.


Do you want to live in a town or city? Are you keen to be near to industry? Do you prefer a more rural location for study? It's best to attend some university open days to get a feel for which location will help you to feel at home - details should be on the university's website.


    • does the university guarantee accommodation?
    • what standard of accommodation is offered and what does is cost?
    • is it close to where you study
    • are there shops, restaurants and places to socialise nearby? 
    • are there good transport links?


For an overview of degree courses available at universities in the UK and Ireland please click here.