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The MSc Chemical Engineering course is built upon the wide range of research in chemical engineering at Swansea University. This includes engineering applications of nanotechnology, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, cell and tissue engineering, chemical engineering, colloid science and engineering, desalination, pharmaceutical engineering, polymer engineering, rheology, separation processes, transport processes, and water and wastewater engineering.
The MSc Chemical Engineering research project provides an opportunity to work with a member of academic staff in one of the above, or related, area of research. The project may also involve collaboration with industry.
The taught component of the MSc Chemical Engineering course covers specific areas of advanced chemical engineering as well as the complex regulations that are found in the engineering workplace. It also provides an opportunity for the development of personal and transferable skills such as project planning, communication skills, and entrepreneurship.
As a student on the Master's course in Chemical Engineering, you will advance your technical knowledge, which can lead to further research or a career in chemical engineering.
Modules on the MSc Chemical Engineering course typically include:
Complex Fluids and Rheology
Entrepreneurship for Engineers
Colloid and Interface Science
Communication Skills for Research Engineers
Water and Wastewater Engineering
Environmental Analysis and Legislation
Polymers: Properties and Design
Principles of Nanomedicine
Nanoscale Structures and Devices
Pollutant Transport by Groundwater Flows
MSc Research Practice
MSc Dissertation - Chemical Engineering
The MSc Chemical Engineering at Swansea University is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
The MSc Chemical Engineering degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.
Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.
One of the major strengths of Chemical Engineering at Swansea University is the close and extensive involvement with local, national and international engineering companies. The companies include:
Swansea staff have research links with local, national, and international companies. An industrial advisory board, consisting of eight industrialists from a range of chemical engineering backgrounds, ensure our courses maintain their industrial relevance.
Our new home at the innovative Bay Campus provides some of the best university facilities in the UK, in an outstanding location.
The demand for Chemical Engineering graduates remains excellent with the highest starting salaries out of all engineering disciplines.
Chemical engineers find employment in a variety of public and private sector industries, applying the principles of chemical engineering to health, energy, food, the environment, medicine, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranks Engineering at Swansea as 10th in the UK for the combined score in research quality across the Engineering disciplines.
The REF assesses the quality of research in the UK Higher Education sector, assuring us of the standards we strive for.
The REF shows that 94% of research produced by our academic staff is of World-Leading (4*) or Internationally Excellent (3*) quality. This has increased from 73% in the 2008 RAE.
Research pioneered at the College of Engineering harnesses the expertise of academic staff within the department. This ground-breaking multidisciplinary research informs our world-class teaching with several of our staff leaders in their fields.
This programme will provide you with advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and process industries. This programme also prepares graduates for a PhD study.
If you’ve studied chemical engineering before, you’ll develop your knowledge in key areas such as reaction engineering, process modelling and simulation, pharmaceutical formulation, and fuel processing. If your degree is in chemistry or another related science or engineering discipline, you’ll build your knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering.
The course has been designed to provide a greater depth of knowledge in aspects of advanced chemical engineering and a range of up-to-date process technologies. These will enable you to design, operate and manage processes and associated manufacturing plants and to provide leadership in innovation, research and development, and technology transfer.
Your Research Project module gives you the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical engineering.
We have world-class facilities for carrying out research in manufacturing (including crystallisation), processing and characterising particulate systems for a wide range of technological materials, as well as facilities for nanotechnology and colloid science/technology.
We also have high performance computing facilities and state-of-the-art computer software, including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), for modelling and simulation of a wide range of processes. This will provide a strong background knowledge in industrial process and equipment design and optimisation.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. This adheres to the requirements of further learning for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
The path you take through this programme will depend on your background. If your degree is in Chemical Engineering, you’ll take a suite of compulsory modules on advanced topics such as recent advances in chemical engineering, reaction engineering, multi-scale modelling (including CFD), pharmaceutical formulation and fuel processing. If your degree is not in Chemical Engineering, you’ll build the knowledge you need to succeed in this area with modules such as Separation Processes, Reaction Engineering and Chemical Process Technology and Design.
You’ll then complement this with a choice of optional modules, allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a topic that suits your career plans or personal interests. Different modules will be available to you depending on your background – for example, if your degree is in Chemical Engineering you could study Process Optimisation and Control, while if your degree is in another subject you might want to gain an understanding of energy management.
Every student undertakes a research project that runs throughout the year. You’ll focus on a topic of your choice that fits within one of the School’s research areas and produce an independent study, reflecting the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. This will enable you to gain experience of planning, executing and reporting a research work of the type you will undertake in an industrial/academic environment.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Chemical Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, practicals, tutorials and seminars. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including problem sheets, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessments.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects by students in MSc Chemical Engineering have included:
A proportion of projects are formally linked to industry, and may include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer
Career prospects are excellent. There is a wide range of career opportunities in the chemical and allied industries in process engineering, process design and research and development as well as in finance and management.
Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles at companies like National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement, the National Centre of Science and Technology Evaluation, Invensys Operations Management, Worley Parsons, Hollister-Stier Laboratories, BOC, ASM Technologies and more.
The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Students also learn to take environmental and safety issues into account during all phases of the process.
Two guiding principles of sustainable development – the rational exploitation of resources and energy, and the application of the best available technology – are emphasised, as is the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.
As a chemical engineering student, you will learn to think in a process-oriented manner and grasp the complexity of physico-chemical systems. Even more than other specialists, you will be asked to solve problems of a very diverse nature. Insights into processes at the nano and micro scale are fundamental for the development of new products and/or (mega-scale) technologies.
While students should have a foundational knowledge of chemistry, the underlying chemistry of the elements and components, their properties and mutual reactions are not the main focal points of the programme.
With a focus on process, product and environmental planet engineering, the programme does not only guarantee a solid chemical engineering background, it also focuses on process and product intensification, energy efficient processing routes, biochemical processes and product-based thinking rather than on the classical process approach.
The programme itself consists of an important core curriculum that covers the foundations of chemical engineering. The core curriculum builds on the basic knowledge obtained during the Bachelor’s. In this part of the programme, you will concentrate on both the classical and the emerging trends in chemical engineering.
Students also take up 9 credits from ‘Current trends in chemical engineering’-courses. These courses are signature courses for the Master’s programme and build on the research expertise present within the department. These courses encompass microbial process technology, process intensification, exergy analysis of chemical processes and product design.
The curriculum consists of a broad generic core, which is then strengthened and honed during the second year, when students select one of the three specialisations: product, process and environmental engineering.
This choice provides you with the opportunity to specialise to a certain extent. Since the emerging areas covered in the programme are considered to be the major challenges within the chemical and related industries, graduating in Leuven as a chemical engineer will give you a serious advantage over your European colleagues since you will be able to integrate new technologies within existing production processes.
During their Master’s studies, students are encouraged to take non-technical courses (general interest courses), organized for instance by other faculties (economics, social sciences, psychology…) in order to broaden their scope beyond mere technical courses.
An important aspect of the Master’s programme is the Master’s thesis. Assigning Master’s thesis topics to students is based on a procedure in which students select 5 preferred topics from a long list.
The Master’s programme highly values interactions with the chemical industry which is one of the most important pillars of the Flemish economy. As such, some courses are taught by guest professors from the industry.
One or two semesters of the programme can be completed abroad in the context of the ERASMUS+ programme. Additionally, you can apply for an industrial internship abroad through the departmental internship coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.
The department also offers a new exchange programme with the University of Delaware (United States) and with the Ecole Polytechique in Montréal (Canada).
The faculty’s exchange programmes are complemented by the BEST network (Board of European Students of Technology). This student organisation offers the opportunity to follow short courses, usually organised in the summer months. The faculty also participates in various leading international networks.
You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty website.
The chemical sector represents one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium. It provides about 90,000 direct and more than 150,000 indirect jobs. With a 53 billion euro turnover and a 35% share of the total Belgian export, the chemical sector is an indispensable part of the contemporary Belgian economy.
As a chemical engineer you will predominantly work in industrial branches involved in (the production of) bulk and specialty chemicals, oil and natural gas (petrochemical companies and refineries), non-ferrometallurgics, energy, waste treatment, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The following professional activities lie before you:
Apart from the traditional career options, your insight into complex processes will also be much appreciated in jobs in the financial and governmental sector, where chemical engineers are often employed to supervise industrial activities, to deliver permissions, and to compose regulations with respect to safety and environmental issues.
As self-employed persons, chemical engineers work in engineering offices or as consultants. Due to their often very dynamic personality, chemical engineers can also be successful as entrepreneurs.