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Chemical Engineering MEng

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK)
£24,600 (International)
Further information

On our MEng Chemical Engineering shape and transform the future of chemicals, fuel and products, processes and services. Challenge yourself as you gain the theoretical knowledge and learn the practical skills needed for a successful career in chemical engineering.


Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

Chemical Engineering MEng

At Birmingham we have one of the largest concentrations of chemical engineering excellence in the UK and offer unrivalled opportunities to learn core technical and transferrable skills. Close links to leading multinationals offer you exciting industrial collaborations, while academic staff are some of the world's best in their field. This collaborative blend of theory and practice allow you to rise to real-world challenges...finding answers to problems that don't even exist yet.

Project work – highly valued by employers – is a thread that runs throughout our degree programmes in order to create well-rounded chemical engineers. Problems are posed in a ‘real-world’ environment where decisions need to be made when data and information are scarce. There is significant industry input on the third-year design project, which will see you designing a specific and realistic chemical process, championed by an industrial partner.

Why study Chemical Engineering MEng at Birmingham?

  • Access the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

Our multi-million pound investment in new state-of-the-art facilities with purpose built laboratories offer you the opportunity to learn and work in a dedicated space, designed to promote and encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary working.

  • Discover a world of employment opportunities

Thanks to our strong links with industry leaders, you'll have the competitive edge for employment, as we open up connections with GloxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Shell, BP and ExxonMobil.

  • Industry-focused design project

You will undertake a design project in your third year to design a particular chemical process, championed by an industrial partner

  • Benefit from our unique facilities

The School of Chemical Engineering is the first in the UK to have a research facility for energy storage using cryogenic liquids, comprising new laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, and a major demonstration plant - The Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage.

  • Extra-curricular activities

University life is about mouch more than simply learning. Our student society  Birmingham University Chemical Engineering Society (BUCES) is an award-winning society, run by students for students, to help you squeeze every last drop from your time with us. Here, you'll enjoy an array of socials, networking events and sports tournaments, plus there's careers advice and support for you from day one.

Meet An Tong

an tongAn Tong is a 2nd year Chemical Engineering student from Malaysia. This year she will be regularly blogging about her experiences studying at Birmingham. She also talk about her experiences as an international student. She enjoys bullet journaling, watching films and spending quality time with her friends.

Read An Tong's blogs >> 

Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham is exciting and I have had the chance to meet inspiring, new people through group projects. In addition to the fundamentals, we are taught modules on the research fields of the moment by world-leading specialists, giving us skills and knowledge that will set us up for success in the working world after university.

Isabella Pratt, MEng Chemical Engineering student

Interested in Computer Science?

Our ' Year in Computer Science'  offers students from non-computing disciplines the chance to gain in-depth knowledge of computing and enhance their work-based skills through the study of Computer Science. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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Year 1

Here you are introduced to the fundamentals of chemical and energy engineering and the chance to learn about other engineering disciplines.  Here, also, you will begin to develop the transferable skills that will carry you through your course, and beyond, into your life as a professional engineer. All modules compulsory.

  • Chemistry and Materials - 20 credits
  • Modelling Concepts and Tools 1 - 10 credits
  • Modelling Concepts and Tools 2 - 10 credits
  • Introduction to Transport Phenomena 1 - 10 credits
  • Introduction to Transport Phenomena 2 - 10 credits
  • Process Design and Analysis 1 - 10 credits
  • Process Design and Analysis 2 - 10 credits
  • Reaction, Equilibria and Thermodynamics - 20 credits
  • Labs and Data Analysis 1 - 10 credits
  • Labs and Data Analysis 2 - 10 credits

Year 2

Themes begun in the first year are developed to the standard you need as a professional engineer. You study advanced heat and mass transfer, reactors and catalysis and unit operations. Emphasis is placed on teamwork and the use of our research laboratories is exploited.

Core modules

  • Reactors, Catalysis and Thermodynamics - 20 credits
  • Sustainable Process Engineering - 20 credits
  • Process Systems and Principles of Process Control - 20 credits
  • Mass Heat and Momentum Transport - 20 credits
  • Process Integration and Unit Operations - 20 credits
  • Computing for Chemical Engineers - 10 credits
  • Product Design Exercise - 10 credits

Year 3

Your third year develops the chemical engineering fundamentals further, to graduate level. You will undertake an industry-linked design project which enables them to put into practice all of the skills they have gained.

Core modules

  • Advanced Reactions and Thermodynamics - 20 credits
  • Multiphase Systems - 20 credits
  • Design Project - 40 credits

Optional modules will be themed in Industry, Healthcare, Formulation and Energy

Select 40 credits of options. Example modules may include:

Industry theme:

  • Petrochemical Engineering - 10 credits
  • Plant Optimisation - 10 credits

Healthcare theme:

  • Introduction to Healthcare Technologies - 10 credits

Formulation Theme:

  • Processing for Formulation - 10 credits
  • Engineering of Food - 10 credits

Energy Theme:

  • Efficient use of Energy - 10 credits
  • Energy Economics - 10 credits

Year 4

In the fourth year you can develop subjects taken in previous years to greater depth, and also take options in associated subject areas, such as biochemical, food and pharmaceutical engineering. You also undertake a research project through which you develop advanced laboratory and scholarship skills which enable you to advance your understanding at a high level.

Core modules

  • Advanced Transport Processes - 20 credits
  • Research Project - 40 credits

Optional modules will be themed in Industry, Healthcare, Formulation and Energy

Select 60 credits of options. Example modules may include:

Industry theme:

  • Food Safety Management Systems - 10 credits
  • Sustainability in the Food Industry - 10 credits
  • Explosion Science, Prevention and Protection - 10 credits
  • Food Chain Security - 10 credits
  • Minerals Engineering: a Modern Perspective - 10 credits
  • Business and Strategy Development - 10 credits
  • Project Management (Business Strategy Delivery) - 10 credits

Healthcare theme:

  • Fermentation Cell Culture - 10 credits
  • Design and Development of Drug Delivery Systems - 10 credits
  • From Bench to Market, Development of Pharmaceutical Products - 10 credits
  • Plant Design and Manufacturing Principles for (Bio)pharmaceutical Production - 10 credits
  • Frontiers in Tissue Engineering - 10 credits
  • Applied Synthetic Biology - 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomaterials for Healthcare Tech - 10 credits
  • Additive Manufacture and 3D Printing for Healthcare Applications - 10 credits
  • Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutic Biologicals from Bench to Market - 20 credits

Formulation theme:

  • Advanced Reaction System - 10 credits
  • Chemical NanoEngineering - 10 credits
  • Future Engineering of Food - 10 credits
  • Interfaces in Products and Processes - 10 credits

Energy theme:

  • Introduction to Electrochemistry - 10 credits
  • Techniques for Fuel Cell Characterisation - 10 credits
  • Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology - 10 credits
  • Advanced Electrochemical Applications - 10 credits
  • Energy Engineering Design - 10 credits
  • Energy Systems Design - 10 credits
  • Renewable Energy Systems - 10 credits
  • Thermal Energy Conversion, Storage and Application - 10 credits
  • Energy Storage - 10 credits

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Annual tuition fees 2021/22

  • £9,250 - UK
  • £24,600 - International

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.


At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.


Tuition fees for placement years (where applicable)

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code H810.

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.


International students applying for this programme will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office before the University can issue you with a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). We recommend that you apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as you receive an offer from us. More information can be found here:

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level Mathematics and Chemistry required. A level Physics is advantageous but not required. AS Physics required if mechanics module is not taken with Mathematics A level. You must also pass the practical element of any reformed science A levels which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015.

General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Maths A Levels are not accepted.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

7,6,6 at Higher Level including Mathematics and Chemistry at Higher Level grade 6 with a minimum of 32 points overall. We will consider Standard Level Mathematics grade 7.


Only considered when combined with other qualifications.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Would you like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? Consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.


Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.


International students applying for this programme will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office before the University can issue you with a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). We recommend that you apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as you receive an offer from us. More information can be found here:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

The benefits of studying at our world-renowned School are many: You will be taught by academic staff, who are global leaders in their field; we attract an average of £10 million-plus in research income each year; we have excellent industrial links with companies from BP and GSK to Unilever and Procter and Gamble, and we boast world-class teaching and laboratory facilities.

How you will learn

Throughout your degree, we'll encourage you to develop your core technical and transferable skills, your stepping stone into employment or further study. As well as honing your individual skills, teamworking is a key part of the course, and you'll take part in team-based project work each year. Industry experts will share their insights via a series of guest lectures, while our transferable and teamworking skills weekend in the Lake District takes you off campus to learn new ways of working collaboratively.

Your studies will be a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and project work, while your final year sees you working closely with industry figures, as you develop your design project. All modules are linked to Canvas - a virtual learning environment for lecture notes, additional learning units, self-tests and supplementary interactive information.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. During your first year, we want you to have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are any particular areas where you need support.

Personal Tutors

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will support your academic progress, help you develop transferable skills and handle any welfare concerns. In your first two years you will have a weekly meeting with your personal tutor in small groups of around 6-7 students. You will also meet once a term on an individual basis. In your third year you will meet with your tutor once a term although they will still be available for you to meet with more regularly if you require.

Wellbeing Officers

Alongside your personal tutor, you will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The Centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

How will you be assessed 

Your learning with us is diverse, and the way you'll be assessed is equally so. Each module will be assessed in a number ow ways, such as via exams, written assignments and laboratory and project reports. The balance between exams and coursework varies across each module. As you move towards employment or further study, you'll find your final year has a strong emphasis on project work.

Our Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

Contact Hours

Contact hours vary from module to module, but in general you can expect about 14 hours a week. These usually comprise of nine hours of lectures, four hours of tutorials and one hour of lab-based activity.

You'll graduate with the technical, analytical and professional skills you need to lead future change in a variety of sectors, such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, energy and finance. Along with these subject-specific skills, your degree will enhance your confidence in leadership, evaluation and teamwork, all key strengths to bring to prospective employers. Meanwhile, your dedicated Industrial Tutor is on hand to help with sourcing placement, CV writing and interview preparation.

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17 shows that 92% of our department's graduates are in graduate-level employment or further study six months after graduation.

Chemical Engineering prepared me for my career by teaching me the core principles of engineering so I could then apply them to technical problems within the workplace. I applied these when I worked in my placement year at Dow Corning.

Will Davies, MEng Chemical Engineering graduate

Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers

  • BP
  • ExxonMobil
  • Unilever
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Tata Steel
  • Imerys
  • AstraZeneca
  • Cadbury

Example careers

  • Process engineer
  • Design engineer
  • Analytical scientist
  • Formulation engineer
  • Production engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Project manager
  • Investment banker

Developing your career

At Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

An internship can complement your studies perfectly, giving you practical, real-world insights into the world of work in your chosen field. You can apply for the Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience:

Studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham allowed me to develop the skills necessary to help tackle one of the most significant challenges facing us today. Over the course of my degree, I came to realise that I loved working in a lab, with people passionate about the same things I am. The hands-on experience offered as part of the course, coupled with excellent facilities and approachable lecturers, steered me to applying for a PhD at Birmingham.

Matt Keith, MEng Chemical Engineering

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