These courses are aimed at ensuring that graduates are fully equipped with the specialist technical knowledge required to build a exciting and rewarding career in this industry. On a chemical engineering degree course you will learn about the design, development, and operation of machines, plants and processes that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or make useful products.

These courses enable students those who have an interest in this field to pursue advanced topics and to widen their chemical engineering knowledge further. The programme is designed to give students a diverse knowledge covering all aspects of chemical engineering and also basic concepts in biochemical and environmental engineering.

The course is broad and will teach students how chemical engineering is used to create and develop those processes that make many of the products that modern society uses i.e. foods and drinks, fuels, artificial fibres, pharmaceuticals, plastics and toiletries. Once you have enrolled you will begin to understand why chemical engineers are sometimes called ‘universal engineers’ (because of their broad knowledge of related scientific and technical subject areas). You will be exposed to the core science that underpins a wide range of process engineering concepts, and have plenty of opportunities to put that knowledge into practice in design and research exercises.

Chemical engineering degree course overview

Programmes will demonstrate in practical ways how chemical engineers use math, physics, and economics to solve technical problems. You will get to understand how chemical engineers are different from other types of engineers, in that they apply a specialist knowledge of chemistry in addition to other engineering disciplines. Courses will also focus on developing a student’s transferable skills in areas such as; numeracy, problem solving, team work, communication and information technology.

Virtually all universities allow students a ‘year in industry’, however the work you do during this year may not count directly towards your degree mark, meaning your degree can become extended by one year. This work experience can come in the form of a 12 month industrial placement, or shorter project work and summer internships, all of which can help you to develop essential employability skills.

Many chemical engineering degree courses are designed in consultation and partnership with the Chemical, Energy, and Petroleum Engineering industries, which means that they are industry-orientated, and have up-to-date material relevant to any future career.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a chemical engineering degree

  • Chemistry
  • Principles of chemical engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Transfer Processes
  • Introduction to Process Dynamics and Control
  • Safety and Engineering Practice
  • Separation Processes
  • Advanced safety
  • Plant design
  • Complex materials
  • Energy engineering
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Process systems engineering
  • Safety and Engineering Practice
  • Separation Processes
  • Transfer Processes
  • Reactor Engineering
  • Process engineering
  • Engineering materials
  • Mathematical techniques
  • Environmental impacts

Students will learn about

  • Using physical and life sciences to get the full potential out of raw materials.
  • Chemical reactions and why they take place.
  • The most effective way or ‘process’ to transform raw materials into products.
  • Laboratory assignments.
  • Process optimisation and control.
  • Advances in chemical engineering.
  • Thermo-dynamics.

Skills you will learn on a chemical engineering degree course

  • The best ways to produce, extract, mix, separate and manipulate chemicals.
  • How to work as part of a team.
  • Working on large multi-disciplinary projects.
  • Effective communication.
  • Problem solving.
  • Creative thinking.


Below is a example of a professionally written chemical engineering personal statement, you are advised not to copy it word for word, but instead to use it as a guide.

Chemical engineering personal statement example 1

“Virtually everything you see around you today has had some input from a chemical engineer at some point in its development. This fact demonstrates how this field touches the lives of virtually everyone in the country. Chemical engineering is at the forefront of solving global problems such as climate change and sustainable energy production, it does this by firstly making processes operate safely, efficiently and economically, and secondly by modify old processes and devise new ones. For me its a broad ranging subject that holds a significant amounts or responsibility, and will allow me to be involved in coming up with solutions to problems in industries as diverse as foods, pharmaceuticals, fuel, plastics, textiles, paint and cosmetics.

My other main reason for choosing to study Chemical Engineering is that unlike other specialism’s, the subject would leave a wide range of doors open for me in the future. Chemical Engineering offers, both in the UK and overseas, a wide and changing range of career opportunities, from design, research and specialist engineering to manufacturing, marketing and management. It provides new and exciting opportunities for individual enterprise and career flexibility with rapid progress to responsible, financially rewarding jobs. Chemical engineers are employed across a range of businesses by both large and small companies, and this is a degree that can take you wherever you want to go, both in terms of both job sector and geography.

Looking back at my college experience which I have just finished, I would describe it as being hard work and challenging academically but generally good fun. I really enjoyed the camaraderie that existed between staff and students alike and also the real sense of accomplishment from successfully passing my three A level’s. I was given a lot of control over the direction of projects I was involved in and allowed to use my own interpretation and judgement to choose subsequent experiments. My time at college has left me feeling fulfilled, more educated, and confident that I’ve been fully prepared for what lays ahead academically.

I have a very logical approach to problems and the ability to think outside the box. This is essential for this subject, as often all the components you have to put together work in theory, but putting them together and making them work in the real world requires lateral thinking. I am also patient and persistent person, who is practical and logical, and able to able to pay attention to detail for long periods of time.

One of my ambitions is to gain an industrial placement as I feel that the experience will not only look  good on my CV, but it will also put my university work into real context and also allow me to earn more money for my final year.

I chose your university because of it’s very good reputation not only in the UK but also around the world. The chemical engineering programme at your institution is rated as one of the best in the UK and is highly accredited. When I visited your campus on an open day, I felt instantly welcomed into the warm, relaxed atmosphere of the department and I have never looked back. The large student population almost guarantees that there will be quite a lot of people with the same interests as me and I noticed that the university has a society for almost anything. I am really looking forward to being a undergraduate, as I believe it will be a most rewarding time in terms of personal development and in establishing my career direction for the future.”


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