Chemical Engineering

BEng/MEng (Hons) Single

Chemical engineers develop innovative processes to turn raw materials into useful products like fuels, plastics, foods and medicines. They are also leading efforts to make the modern world a cleaner, safer and more sustainable place to live. The course is taught by the Department of Chemical Engineering within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

On this course you will learn the key set of chemical engineering principles and understand how to use them for a huge range of applications, such as eliminating harmful emissions of greenhouse gases or turning living cells into tiny factories for making life-saving drugs.

Why study Chemical Engineering at Thornton?

According to the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Salary Survey in 2012, chemical engineering is the highest paid engineering discipline – very close to medicine and dentistry. A degree in chemical engineering opens the door for rapid career progression and senior management.

What Students and Employers are saying:

Many of our students secure industrial placements as early as their first year of study, whether with engineering companies on-site, nearby in the heart of the North West chemical industries or as far afield as Norway, making this a favourite part of studying chemical engineering at Chester.

“Matt and Joe did a first class job looking at how we can optimize the efficiency of our heat exchangers and granulation process, respectively. We are keen to have them back again this year.”

Mr Mike Walton, Technical Manager at the nearby CF Fertilisers ammonia plant was so impressed with the first year placements done by students Joe Cholmondeley and Matthew Allman that he has invited them back for their second year placements.

“I was delighted to be offered several placements and I chose one at Mexichem because it is a global chemical business that offered a very interesting project and has a site near the university.”

Abby King is looking forward to her first year placement which she secured after attending our industrial ‘speed dating events’ in which students had 5 minutes to talk to companies looking for chemical engineering placement students.








Here at Chester, from Year 1 onwards, you will be working in state-of-the-art industrial research facilities, previously forming Shell’s main R&D centre in the UK. Situated in the attractive Thornton Science Park, adjacent to Britain’s second largest oil refinery, we also enjoy close links with many innovative chemical engineering companies both on-site and nearby.

Our course has been designed from scratch in consultation with major recruiters of chemical engineering graduates, as well as professional bodies such as the Institution of Chemical Engineers. The inherently interdisciplinary philosophy of our course reflects the integrated approach necessary in today’s academic and industrial research.

All students complete work placements during their degree, giving students valuable professional experience. In addition, we have a strong, supportive culture underpinned by interactive, problem-based learning delivered by research-active faculty. This style of teaching challenges our students to find creative solutions to difficult engineering problems and makes our graduates highly employable.

The modules given below are the latest example of the curriculum available on this degree programme.  Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to change from time to time as part of the University’s commitment to curriculum enhancement.

We offer a three-year BEng degree and a four-year MEng degree. Both courses share modules with the Natural Sciences and other engineering courses taught at the Thornton Science Park, giving you a strong foundation in science and engineering and a high degree of flexibility. For example, it is possible to transfer between programmes subject to approval. The MEng degree requires a higher level of performance and it is possible to transfer from BEng to MEng if this standard is met.

Before your final year of study, on both the BEng and MEng programmes, you will have the opportunity to undertake a year-long work placement using your training to make a significant contribution to one of our industrial partners. Alternatively, you can proceed directly to the final year of study.

Year 1 (Level 4)

In Year 1, you will study from a range of topics, including:

  • Professional Skills for Scientists and Engineers
  • Materials Processing and Manufacture
  • Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers
  • Chemistry Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Fluid Mechanics and Transport Processes
  • Introduction to Thermodynamics
  • Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

Year 2 (Level 5)

Year 2 is focused on the core areas of chemical engineering. The aim is to deepen your understanding of the chemical and physical principles required for safe design and operation of process plants. Modules offered are:

  • Mathematics and Modelling
  • Separation Processes
  • Chemical Engineering Integrative Design Project 
  • Chemical Engineering Industry Based Project
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Process Analysis
  • Engineering Control
  • Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • Advanced Thermodynamics
  • Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning

Year 3 (Level 6)

Year 3 students gain broader knowledge for technical and strategic decision making. This is brought together in the BEng Design Project, which is a major exercise that involves working in teams to design a complete process with proper consideration to safety and economics. In your third year, you will also study a range of modules focused on specific industry areas:

  • BEng Design Project
  • Process Design Principles
  • Mapping the Modern Business Landscape
  • Environmental Science and Process Safety
  • Chemical Reactors and Catalysis
  • Sustainable Energy and Waste

Year 4 (Level 7)

Students studying for the MEng degree have a further year of study, in which they complete the MEng Research Project.  This is a current research problem highlighted by our industrial partners.

Modules offered are:

  • Research Project
  • Project Management, Teamwork and Leadership
  • Advanced Process Modelling and Simulation
  • Nuclear Technology and Environmental Engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals and Food Technology
  • Process Systems Optimisation

Assessment will be by examination and through coursework and lab work assignments, which will include presentations, reports and practicals.

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and specialist laboratory work which will be delivered at our Thornton Science Park site, which is specifically designed for University of Chester undergraduate and postgraduate engineers and industrial and commercial business partners.

Focused on the current trends in UK industrial practice, our BEng and MEng courses in Chemical Engineering are uniquely career-oriented. You will obtain the grounding that you need for a broad choice of chemical engineering careers from energy and chemicals to food and pharmaceuticals.

Our course will also provide you with the opportunity to supplement your academic learning with practical hands-on work experience and a broad range of the transferable skills that are now sought after by today’s employers.

During your degree, you will develop a wide range of transferable skills, further enhancing your employability and the range of careers open to you. These include:

  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • computing and modelling expertise
  • data analysis, evaluation and interpretation
  • high-level numerical skills
  • health and safety best practices
  • project management and leadership
  • business and commercial awareness
  • professional ethics
  • teamworking
  • organisation and time-management
  • oral and written communication

These skills are integral to our course and are developed  from Day One via dedicated lectures and seminars, and reinforced through classroom, laboratory and project work. Many of our students have taken up leadership roles in student societies within the university.

A degree in Chemical Engineering opens the door to many different careers. Some of the opportunities for Chemical Engineering graduates are listed below:

  • Environmental engineer
  • Manufacturing process engineer
  • Research scientist
  • Plant or laboratory manager
  • Product developer
  • Technical consultant
  • Project manager
  • Technical sales
  • Science journalist or writer
  • School science teacher
  • Further or Higher Education lecturer

Chemical engineers work in these roles, and many more, around the world in a vast range of industries, as well as in non-profit organisations and the public sector. Our students learn about these roles and opportunities in industry-specific courses and through their work placements.

UCAS points: BEng/MEng: 280/300 UCAS points from GCE A Level or equivalent. Typical offer BBC/BBB.
GCE A Level: Chemistry and Maths - (minimum grade C/B for BEng/MEng)
BTEC: BTEC Engineering plus A2 Level Chemistry
International Baccalaureate: 28 points, inc. 5 in HL Maths and 5 in HL Chemistry; 30 points for the MEng route
QAA: Access to HE Diploma Science and Engineering (Maths and Chemistry at Level 3), to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit
Extra Information:

Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and General Studies A Level will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A levels and BTECs/OCRs.

Although not part of the entry requirements, we would recommend that students take mechanics modules as part of their A2 level course.

Contact us

For details about your course or your application please get in touch.

Thornton Science Park

Engineers have the minds and imaginations to design and develop the technology systems that underpin our everyday lives."

University of ChesterThornton Science Park

Jennifer Povall

Getting my current job would not have been possible without getting my degree and the help I received whilst studying.”

University of Chester GraduateJennifer Povall