Process engineering often involves close collaboration between engineers and scientists from a variety of disciplines. The MSc in Chemical Process Engineering at UCL is specifically designed to facilitate this collaboration and provides graduates from a variety of engineering and science disciplines with the advanced training required to enter the chemical or biochemical industries.
The MSc in Chemical Process Engineering aims to provide students with a solid academic background in a broad range of Chemical Engineering topics and advanced skills in problem-solving necessary for a successful career in the sector.
For 2017/18, the MSc in Chemical Process Engineering programme consists of seven modules selected from a list of available modules.
From 2018/19, the programme will be split into three different routes with different compulsory and optional modules. The routes are:
Apart from this, the programme remains unchanged.
All students undertake either a research project or a design project, which culminates in a project report and an oral examination.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lecture-based courses, individual and group activities, assessed coursework and tutorial sessions. Advanced design or research projects are provided to extend knowledge and understanding of the topics studied and to encourage critical thinking. Creativity and innovation is encouraged on the demonstration of sound judgement and assumptions. Assessment is mainly through examinations, coursework and reports.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Chemical Process Engineering MSc
Upon completion, our graduates can expect to play a major role in developing the technologies that make available most of the things that we use in everyday life and provide the expertise and technology to enhance our health and standard of living. These activities may involve the development of new materials, food processing, water treatment, pharmaceuticals, transport and energy resources as well as being at the frontline, addressing present environmental issues such as climate change.
Typical destinations of recent graduates include: Amec Process and Energy, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, National Grid, Health & Safety Executive. Career profiles of some of our recent MSc graduates are available on our website.
Students gain in-depth knowledge of core chemical engineering subjects and of the advanced use of computers in process design, operation and management. They receive thorough training in hazard identification, quantification and mitigation, as well as in risk management and loss prevention, and also learn how to design advanced energy systems, with emphasis on sustainability, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. Students learn how to make decisions under uncertain scenarios and with limited available data and receive training on how to plan, conduct and manage a complex (design or research) project.
UCL Chemical Engineering, situated in the heart of London, is one of the top-rated departments in the UK, being internationally renowned for its outstanding research.
The programme is the first of its kind in the UK and is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) as meeting IChemE's requirements for Further Learning to Master's Level. This recognition will fulfil an important academic qualification for MSc graduates with suitable first degrees in eventually becoming Corporate Members of IChemE.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemical Engineering
90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
This course will build upon your existing scientific/engineering knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering. This MSc course will provide you with chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and related process industries.
The course has been designed to provide a depth of knowledge in core and 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.
You’ll undertake a large research project and study a series of compulsory taught modules covering: chemical engineering principles; chemical process technology; chemical reaction processes, separation processes; plant design; batch process engineering; and chemical products design and development.
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.
The MSc in Advanced Process Integration and Design started in the Department of Chemical Engineering (UMIST) over twenty years ago. The programme was a result of emerging research from the Centre for Process Integration, initially focused on energy efficiency, but expanded to include efficient use of raw materials and emissions reduction. Much of the content of the course stems from research related to energy production, including oil and gas processing.
The MSc in Advanced Process Integration and Design aims to enable students with a prior qualification in chemical engineering to acquire a deep and systematic conceptual understanding of the principles of process design and integration in relation to the petroleum, gas and chemicals sectors of the process industries.
Overview of course structure and content
In the first trimester, all students take course units on energy systems, utility systems and computer aided process design. Energy Systems develops systematic methods for designing heat recovery systems, while Utility Systems focuses on provision of heat and power in the process industries. Computer Aided Process Design develops skills for modelling and optimisation of chemical processes.
In the second trimester, the students choose three elective units from a range covering reaction systems, distillation systems, distributed and renewable energy systems, biorefining, and oil and gas processing. These units focus on design, optimisation and integration of process technologies and their associated heat and power supply systems.
In two research-related units, students develop their research skills and prepare a proposal for their research project. These units develop students skills in critical assessment of research literature, group work, written and oral communication, time management and research planning.
Students then carry out the research project during the third trimester. In these projects, students apply their knowledge and skills in process design and integration to investigate a wide range of process technologies and design methodologies. Recent projects have addressed modelling, assessment and optimisation of petroleum refinery hydrotreating processes, crude oil distillation systems, power plants, waste heat recovery systems, refrigeration cycles with mixed refrigerants, heat recovery steam generators, biorefining and biocatalytic processes and waste-to-energy technologies.
The course also aims to develop students' skills in implementing engineering models, optimisation and process simulation, in the context of chemical processes, using bespoke and commercially available software.
Industrial relevance of the course
A key feature of the course is the applicability and relevance of the learning to the process industries. The programme is underpinned by research activities in the Centre for Process Integration within the School. This research focuses on energy efficiency, the efficient use of raw materials, the reduction of emissions reduction and operability in the process industries. Much of this research has been supported financially by the Process Integration Research Consortium for over 30 years. Course units are updated regularly to reflect emerging research and design technologies developed at the University of Manchester and also from other research groups worldwide contributing to the field.
The research results have been transferred to industry via research communications, training and software leading to successful industrial application of the new methodologies. The Research Consortium continues to support research in process integration and design in Manchester, identifying industrial needs and challenges requiring further research and investigation and providing valuable feedback on practical application of the methodologies. In addition, the Centre for Process Integration has long history of delivering material in the form of continuing professional development courses, for example in Japan, China, Malaysia, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Europe, the United States, Brazil and Colombia.
Assessment is a combination of examinations and submitted coursework.
Examinations take place in the January and May of each year at the University of Manchester. Distance learning students who do not live in mainland UK can take examinations at a local British Council office or University. You would be expected to meet the cost of the supervision of each exam if taken away from Manchester.
The Dissertation Project forms a major part of the MSc course and provides useful practice in carrying out academic research and writing in an area that you are interested in. You learn to apply your knowledge by solving industry-based problems and demonstrate the knowledge you have acquired by solving an original problem. You choose a topic from a wide selection provided by the University's teaching staff and by industry. Students have the opportunity of working with large engineering or engineering software development companies and The Process Integration Research Consortium (comprising approximately 30 international companies) also provides opportunities for students to discuss project work in a large number of engineering related areas.
A full list of course units is avaialble here
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The MSc course in Advanced Process Design and Integration typically attracts 40 students; our graduates have found employment with major international oil and petrochemical companies (e.g. Shell, BP, Reliance and Petrobras and Saudi Aramco), chemical and process companies (e.g. Air Products), engineering, consultancy and software companies (e.g. Jacobs and Aspen Tech) and academia.
This programme is accredited by the IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers).
Chemical Engineering is key in addressing global challenges relating to sustainable supply of clean energy, food and water, through the production of chemicals, functionalised products and fuels. The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering provides technical and management training that employers increasingly demand from chemical engineers. The programme offers a general Chemical Engineering option, which covers core chemical engineering subjects and a range of specialised optional modules; and a Biorefining option (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc), which provides advanced understanding of the production of bioenergy and biofuels while strengthening the knowledge on chemical engineering discipline.
The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as chemical engineering professionals.
Our general Chemical Engineering route equips you with diversified skills in advanced engineering, which includes theoretical and practical elements in operation, design, and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The Biorefining route (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc) equips you with fundamental understanding of chemical engineering and solid skills to address the challenges of the rapidly growing and dynamic bioenergy sector. This option covers the sustainable production of heat, power and fuels from biomass within the biorefining framework. Both routes include training in management applied to the energy sector which enables engineers to effectively fulfil a wider role in a business organisation.
Chemical engineering is a continuously evolving discipline linked to a variety of industries. Chemical engineers lead the design of large-scale facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and industrial biotechnology sectors.
A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. This MSc will provide you with the training and knowledge skill set that employers actively seek in a desirable engineering graduate. We recognise the importance of an interdisciplinary approach; as such the core and optional modules and course contents have been carefully developed to meet the engineering skill shortage currently faced within industry. In particular, no other university in the UK offers a MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering with a dedicated option in Biorefining. You will develop the professional profile required by the growing biobased sector (more than 480,000 jobs and annual turnover of about €50 million only in the European Union), with a high level of skills' transferability across the chemical and energy sectors.
Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university with distinctive expertise in technology and management. There are also numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study in here. These include:
The taught programme is delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules. The modules are delivered over one week of intensive delivery with the later part of the module being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the Course Director.
The Group Project, undertaken between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context, while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. Projects are often supported by industry and potential future employers value this experience. The group project is normally multidisciplinary and shared across the Energy MSc programme, giving the added benefit of working with students with other backgrounds.
Each group is given an industrially relevant problem to solve. During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a poster presentation to industry partners. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.
Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a Group Project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.
The individual research project allows students to investigate deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. The individual research project component takes place between May and September.
If agreed with the Course Director, part-time students have the opportunity to undertake projects in collaboration with their place of work, which would be supported by academic supervision.
Individual research projects undertaken may involve feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations, designs, simulations, and experimental investigations.
Taught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%
Industry driven research makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies competing in a range of industries, including chemicals, petrochemicals, biochemicals, conventional energy and bioenergy, food, materials, consultancy and management.
Those wishing to continue their education via PhD or MBA studies in the chemical or energy sectors will be greatly facilitated by the interdisciplinary, project-oriented profile that they will have acquired through this course.
The Humber is the largest trading estuary in the UK and the fourth largest in Europe, with a chemical and process sector worth £6bn a year. The region is one of the fastest-growing chemical bases in the UK, with investment in new build, expansion and maintenance exceeding £1 billion.
This makes Hull the ideal location to study Chemical Engineering, you benefit from studying near over 350 engineering and process giants – including Phillips66, Total, Novartis, BP Chemicals, Croda, Cristal, Smith & Nephew and Reckitt Benckiser. A strong emphasis is placed on the practical application of knowledge. The University has strong, direct links with industry, providing you with opportunities to work on real-world engineering projects.
Our MSc Chemical Engineering programme is designed for applicants who wish to enter, or enhance, a technical career in the chemical and process industry. The MSc is especially designed for those with a Chemistry, or similar, background, and for those who wish to refresh or strengthen aspects of a prior BEng in Chemical Engineering. It takes both a theoretical and practical approach to ensure graduates gain the knowledge, understanding and skills required by providing a range of modules to suit the individual background of students.
This programme integrates current and employer-relevant themes and enables you to acquire knowledge and skills across a wide range of topics in the chemical and process industry with an emphasis upon chemical engineering applications.
The programme comprises a combination of lectures, practical/design exercises, tutorials, computer-based process simulation and optimisation, and resource-based, problem-based and enquiry-led learning.
You will develop competence and confidence in the application of engineering knowledge and techniques to a range of industrial and real-world problems in the chemical and process Industry.
A final project and dissertation will enable you to identify and apply theory and practice to the analysis and solution of complex engineering problems.
* All modules are subject to availability.
The energy engineering industry is expanding rapidly and employment opportunities are high. An increased focus on renewable energy projects is creating demand for sector specialist engineers.
This programme provides you with the skills, competencies and knowledge to be successful in the workplace or will prepare you to advance to specialist PhD study.
This MSc has a host of industry advisors from companies and organisations likely to offer employment opportunities to students completing the programme.
Process systems engineering deals with the design, operation, optimisation and control of all kinds of chemical, physical, and biological processes through the use of systematic computer-aided approaches. Its major challenges are the development of concepts, methodologies and models for the prediction of performance and for decision-making for an engineered system.
Suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as process systems engineering professionals.
The course equips graduates and practising engineers with an in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of process systems and an excellent competency in the use of state-of-the-art approaches to deal with the major operational and design issues of the modern process industry. The course provides up-to-date technical knowledge and skills required for achieving the best management, design, control and operation of efficient process systems.
Process systems engineering constitutes an interdisciplinary research area within the chemical engineering discipline. It focuses on the use of experimental techniques and systematic computer-aided methodologies for the design, operation, optimisation and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes, e.g. from chemical and petrochemical processes to pharmaceutical and food processes.
A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. Throughout the years, the course has evolved from discussions with industrial advisory panels, employers, sponsors and previous students. The content of the study programme is updated regularly to reflect changes arising from technical advances, economic factors and changes in legislation, regulations and standards.
By completing this course, a diligent student will be able to:
This MSc degree is accredited by Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
The taught programme for the MSc in Process Systems Engineering is delivered from October to February and is comprised of six compulsory taught modules. There are four optional modules to select the remaining two modules from.
The Group Project, which runs between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. The group project is usually sponsored by industrial partners who provide particular problems linked to their plant operations. Projects generally require the group to provide a solution to the operational problem. Potential future employers value this experience. This group project is shared across the MSc in Process Systems Engineering and other courses, giving the added benefit of gaining new insights, ways of thinking, experience and skills from students with other backgrounds
During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industrial partner. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop interpersonal and presentation skills within a professional environment.
It is clear that the modern engineer cannot be divorced from the commercial world. In order to provide practice in this matter, a poster presentation will be required from all students. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.
Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.
The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is so closely related to industry, it is very common for our industrial partners to put forward real-world problems or areas of development as potential research topics.
The individual research project component takes place between April/May and August for full-time students. For part-time students, it is common that their research projects are undertaken in collaboration with their place of work under academic supervision; given the approval of the Course Director.
Individual research projects undertaken may involve designs, computer simulations, feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations and experimental investigations.
Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual Research Project 40%
To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.
The MSc Information and Process Systems Engineering programme is aimed at graduates of traditional engineering, science and related disciplines.
Graduates from non-IT or related disciplines tend to be ill-prepared for the information and knowledge-related challenges and demands of today’s business environments.
We offer a wide selection of modules spanning process engineering, information systems, business and management. All taught modules are delivered by qualified experts in the topics and academic staff, assisted by specialist external lecturers.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. Part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. The programme consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Modules related to the different groups are taught by a total of six full-time members of staff and a number of visiting lecturers.
An extensive library is available for individual study. It stocks more than 85,000 printed books and e-books, and more than 1,400 (1,100 online) journal titles, all in the broad area of engineering. The library support can be extended further through inter-library loans.
As part of their learning experience, students have at their disposal a wide range of relevant software needed to support the programme material dissertation projects.
In recent years, this work included the design of various knowledge-based and business systems on the internet, the application of optimisation algorithms, and semantic web applications, as well as modelling of process systems.
Numerous laboratory facilities across the Faculty and the University are also available for those opting for technology-based projects, such as the process engineering facility, a control and robotics facility and signal processing labs.
The work related to the MSc dissertation can often be carried out in parallel with, and in support of, on-going research. In the past, several graduates have carried on their MSc research to a PhD programme.
Process integration and systems analysis for sustainability of resources and energy efficiency are carried out within our well-established Centre for Process and Information Systems Engineering (PRISE).
Engineers and scientists are increasingly expected to have skills in information systems engineering and decision support systems alongside their main technical and/or scientific expertise.
Graduates of these programmes will be well prepared to help technology-intensive organisations make important decisions in respect of vast amounts of information, by adopting, combining, implementing and executing the right technologies.
The primary aims are achieved through a balanced, multi-disciplinary curriculum with a core of information systems engineering modules and decision-making and process systems engineering modules as well as a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue an element of specialisation relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.
An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme.
The programme draws on the stimulus of recent research activities in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The programme provides the students with the basis for developing their own approach to learning and personal development.
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.