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Sustainable Chemical Engineering (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc in Sustainable Chemical Engineering is designed for ambitious graduates who aspire to play leading roles in managing, innovating and delivering resource efficient products, processes and systems in a sustainable way.

Why study Sustainable Chemical Engineering?

The process industry has a high dependence on material and energy resources. Because of this, there is a strong interest in improving resource efficiency to increase competitiveness and decrease environmental impact.

Resource efficiency is about 'doing more and/or better with less' and delivering this sustainably presents a major opportunity and challenge for engineers and scientists. Industry needs skilled graduates with the expertise to take up this challenge now.

This course benefits from the support of our multidisciplinary EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training:

- Sustainable Chemical Technologies (University of Bath)
- Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (Universities of Bath, Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff)
- Catalysis (Universities of Bath, Cardiff, Bristol).

The three Centres for Doctoral Training offer excellent opportunities for cross-disciplinary projects in engineering and science as well as access to a lively programme of talks and other events throughout the year. At the start of the MSc programme you will be assigned a doctoral student who will act as your mentor in addition to an academic tutor and supervisor.

Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals

If you are interested in sustainability, you can sign up for our free MOOC (massive open online course) Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/sustainability-for-professionals). The course starts in April.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/engineering/graduate-school/taught-programmes/sustainable-chemical-engineering/index.html

Learning Outcomes

This course teaches and builds on advanced concepts and technologies core to sustainable chemical engineering. It will train you how to integrate systems thinking and economic, environmental and social objectives in problem solving and decision making. You will graduate with the practical and interpersonal skills required by professionals to work in the emerging and expanding employment market in the green sector.

You will:

- gain a holistic understanding of the environmental, social, ethical, regulatory and economic dimensions of sustainable chemical engineering and how they interact

- apply methodologies and tools to design and evaluate alternative products, processes and systems based on sustainability criteria

- apply your knowledge of resource conservation to deal with complex scenarios, real-life problems and decision making in the face of incomplete or uncertain information

- develop 'big picture' thinking to evaluate alternative products, processes and systems using whole systems approaches, which consider the multiple criteria and stakeholders along the process industry value chain

- develop the skills to formulate and implement research and design projects independently and in professional multidisciplinary teams.


The programme creates many opportunities for interdisciplinary and active learning through authentic, industrially relevant case studies, games and project work. There are guest speakers from industry and other organisations, as well as opportunities for industrial visits. Transferable skills development, such as problem solving, teamwork, effective communication, networking and time and resource management, is embedded throughout the programme.

- Semester 1 (September to January):
The first semester consists of five taught compulsory units that provide you with a foundation in sustainability and systems analysis to apply throughout the programme.

The units advance your understanding of the concepts, technologies and issues in resource recovery, including the valorisation and the re-use of waste streams (waste2resource). You will examine in detail how resources can be conserved by transforming wastes and other feedstocks into high value products in the bioeconomy.

Each unit consists of lectures, tutorials and case studies, and is supplemented by private study and preparation for in-class activities.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

- Semester 2 (February to May):
In the second semester you will take two further technical specialist units on resource conservation. These cover a range of advanced technologies and concepts, including process intensification and waste, water and energy integration.

You will also develop your understanding of Sustainable Chemical Engineering in a design, research and management context through three project-based units, focused on resource efficiency and conservation.

In the group activity, you will apply engineering and project management techniques to solve a design problem, just as an industry-based design team would.

Project unit 1 introduces you to research methods and project planning. You will then apply this to detailed background research in your discipline area to prepare for your individual summer dissertation project in Project unit 2.

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

- Semester 3 (June to September):
The final semester consists of an individual project leading to an MSc dissertation. Depending on your chosen area of interest, the project may involve theoretical, computational and/or experimental activities. You will conduct your individual project at Bath under the supervision of a member of academic staff, with opportunities for industrial co-supervision. You will have access to the state-of the-art facilities in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Assessment is through a written dissertation and an oral presentation.

About the Department

This is a dynamic department, actively pursuing advanced research in many areas of chemical, biochemical and biomedical engineering, and also offering taught Masters courses. The Department is internationally recognised for its contributions to research, many of which are achieved in partnership with industry and prestigious research organisations. Our staff are highly skilled with excellent international reputations, and our facilities are amongst the best in the country.

Facilities and equipment
The Department has a full range of research facilities with pilot plants for all major areas of research. Our analytical facilities include gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), UV-VIS, FTIR and Raman, photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), microcalorimetry, adsorption measurement systems, surface and pore structure analysis systems and particle sizing equipment. Within the University, there is access to atomic force, scanning and transmission electron microscopes.

International and industrial links
We have active links with UK universities - Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, Leeds, Imperial College, Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, Edinburgh - and with European institutions including the CNRS laboratory at Toulouse and Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland together with the Universities of Alicante, Delft, Oveido, Porto, Paris, Aachen and Wroclaw.

Research Excellence Framework 2014
We are proud of our research record: 89% of our research was graded as either world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, placing us 10th in the UK for our submission to the Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Careers information
We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their research training including personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and career management. Most of our graduates take up research, consultancy or process and product development and managerial appointments in the commercial sector, or in universities or research institutes.

Other resources
Postgraduate students are encouraged to become members of professional societies and to present the results of their research at national and international scientific meetings. The Department runs a vibrant weekly research seminar programme where students are given the opportunity to present their research.

Find out how to apply here - https://secure.bath.ac.uk/prospectus/cgi-bin/applications.pl?department=chem-eng

Visit the Sustainable Chemical Engineering (MSc) page on the University of Bath website for more details!

Student Profiles

Faculty of Engineering and Design Elite MSc Scholarships - 20+ Awards

See the website

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 discount on tuition fees


- for full-time study only on any MSc programme in the Faculty of Engineering and Design (not distance learning programmes)
- international applicants who have firmly accepted a conditional or unconditional offer for a full-time MSc programme and pay overseas fees are eligible.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



University of Bath International Scholarships Scheme - 20+ Awards

- our International Office administers a scholarship scheme for exceptional students, enabling them to excel at university
- the awards cover a £3,000 discount in tuition fees and are for one year only.

Value of Scholarship(s)



international applicants who have firmly accepted a conditional or unconditional offer for a full-time MSc programme and pay overseas fees are eligible

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First degree (normally UK 1st or 2:1 or international equivalent ) in Chemical, Biochemical or Environmental Engineering. Applications from other relevant engineering and science disciplines will be considered on an individual basis.

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