Chemical Engineering Virtual Open Day - Frequently asked questions



What are the entry requirements?

  • MEng courses - A*AA or equivalent to include Maths and Chemistry
  • BEng courses – AAA or equivalent to include Maths and Chemistry
  • Foundation Year – BBB
    • Students taking Mathematics are not considered, General Studies not considered.
    • 6/B in GCSE Mathematics required.

Do you accept BTECs?

  • MEng/BEng: Not considered
  • Foundation Year: DDD. Applicants must also sit an entry test.
    BTECs considered:
     - Applied Science
     - Engineering
     - Computing
    Others accepted alongside A Levels.

What is the application process?

You’ll make your application through UCAS, typically applying to five universities. Your universities will then respond to your application. If you receive an offer from Birmingham you will then receive an invitation to an Offer Holder Visit Day where you have the opportunity to meet students and staff. Once you have made your decision, you then select a firm and insurance place and apply for accommodation if needed. Exam results are released in the summer, typically mid-August, and universities will then confirm whether or not you have secured your place.

What are the advantages of the MEng degree over the BEng?

  • Some companies only accept students with a MEng degree onto their graduate programmes.
  • You become a chartered engineer quicker with a MEng degree (meaning a potential pay rise!)

Is Chem Eng open to A2B (Access to Birmingham)?

All Chem Eng degree programmes are open to A2B. This can be stipulated on your UCAS application. Once an application has been made, you will then be contacted by the university regarding the requirements (usually need to produce an essay which will be marked by your mentor). The A2B offer is a 2 grade drop offer, but must still include maths and chemistry.

  • MEng – AAB with Maths and Chemistry
  • BEng – ABB with Maths and Chemistry

Is accommodation guaranteed for all students?

Accommodation is guaranteed for all students that are firm at the University. We cannot guarantee accommodation for students who are insurance. Apply for accommodation as early as possible after making decision on firm and insurance.

What happens if I don’t meet the offer?

Unfortunately, this is an impossible question to answer before results day! Whether or not you will receive a place is dependent both on your results, and the results of others. As a university we will need to take into account the number of places we have available after all those who have met their offers have had their place confirmed. Any borderline applications will then be assessed for the remaining places on a case-by-case basis.


How many hours of lectures to students have per week?

Roughly around 15-20 hours of lectures per week, 2-3 hours of tutorials and 2 hours of lab sessions. As the years go on, students are expected to complete more independent study and contact time tends to reduce.

Do students have access to recorded lectures online?

The majority of lectures are now recorded and the recordings are posted online for students to access in their own time (via Canvas). Recordings may not be available if technical issues arise or from some external visitors.

Can I switch between degree programmes?

Yes the degree programmes are interchangeable, you will need to fill out a form once you decide. There are internal hurdles for the MEng degree – you must attain 55% in order to proceed to the MEng degree.

Students require 55% in order to be eligible for the year in industry, and 60% for the year abroad.

What is the size of the cohort?

Maximum of 180 students per year.

When will I have exams?

The exam periods are:

  • January: Two weeks at the end of Semester 1
  • May – June: Three weeks at the end of Semester 2

What is the application process for Year Abroad?

Applications for the year abroad open at the start of the Year 2, so we normally ask students to start thinking about where they want to go from the end of Year 1. You will have to make an internal application, where you are able to choose 5 institutions ranked in preference. Students normally get one of their five choices, and we try to place as many students with their first or second choice, however it is dependent on the number of students applying. 


What support is available to students?

  • Personal tutor
  • Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
  • Tutorial support
  • Approachable lecturers
  • School Wellbeing Officer
  • Buddy scheme (Run by BUCES, each 1st year student is allocated a 2nd year ‘parent’ as a source of academic/social support)

Is there support available for job searches and industrial placements?

The school has an Industrial Liaison Tutor, Dr Richard Greenwood, who co-ordinates year-out placements, vacation employment and sponsorship. This role also involves advice on graduate employment / postgraduate study placements for final year undergraduate students. The major chemical engineering companies visit the University of Birmingham every year and offer graduate employment, vacation employment and sponsorship to Chemical Engineering students. They also offer CV clinics, and sometimes mock interviews.

To assist students in obtaining work placements, the University has a Careers Network which contains databases on placements and graduate employment opportunities. This database is updated regularly and is a major asset to students searching for employment opportunities. For up to two years after graduation, you can access our full range of support at Careers Network.