Course outline

Combining elements of science and engineering, the chemical engineering degree course offers you both challenges and rewards. Each university and degree course is unique, but here are some common elements:

Lectures & seminars

These cover the basic principles of chemical engineering that build on the maths and chemistry you already know. You will learn to understand, design, control and investigate streams of materials, their mixing, reaction, heating, transport and cooling.

You will also learn about business, economic, safety and environmental considerations.

Practical elements

All courses contain practical elements including:

  • Lab work
  • Operating computer simulations
  • Operating small-scale industrial rigs or pilot plants


These activities are an opportunity for you to practice and observe chemical engineering.

The design project

This major project usually takes place in your final year and is an opportunity to put your knowledge to the test. The design project involves working in a team to design an industrial process and presents a chance to be creative with chemical engineering. It also develops your team working, communication and interpersonal skills – skills that are valued highly by employers.

Other options

Courses are focused on chemical engineering, but many include options to take additional modules in other subjects such as a foreign language or business, while others provide the opportunity to specialise early on in areas such as pharmaceuticals, food or the environment.

Combined or double degrees allow you to spend more time at university to enhance your skills by studying another discipline. Common combinations are chemical engineering with science, arts, economics or law. There are many other possible combinations which vary between universities.