Chemical Engineering with Foundation Year

Start date
1 year
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Foundation, Single Honours

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
Further information

Our Chemical Engineering Foundation Year is an integrated foundation degree, giving you access to our highly ranked chemical engineering undergraduate courses. If you don’t have the qualifications necessary to apply directly for first-year entry, this could be the way to go.

Chemical Engineering with Foundation Year

Our Chemical Engineering with Foundation Year is multidisciplinary and offers a broad programme of study, providing a solid level of knowledge across science, engineering and mathematics. Maths is essential for all students to succeed within chemical engineering, so we place a great emphasis on this subject. The skills you learn here will allow you to enter the first year on an equal footing to those who have taken A Level maths.

You will also take modules in science and engineering. As well as leading to specific degree courses, these modules will help you develop many transferable skills including teamwork, confidence-building in technology and numeracy, computer literacy and presentation skills. 

Once you’ve completed this course successfully and have meet the subject-specific progression criteria, you can transfer to your chosen first-year course:

Why study Chemical Engineering with Foundation Year at Birmingham?

  • A multi-million-pound investment in new state-of-the-art buildings with purpose built laboratories
  • All students undertake a design project in third year to design a particular chemical process, championed by an industrial partner
  • Excellent industrial links with major national and international companies such as BP, Shell, AstraZeneca, GSK and ExxonMobil
  • CV and interview workshops led by industrial representatives to give students first-hand experience of the job application route
  • The Birmingham Centre for Cryogenic Energy Storage in 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


Core modules:

  • Mathematics I (10 credits)
  • Materials (10 credits)
  • Science and Engineering Skills (10 credits)
  • Mechanics (10 credits)
  • Science and Engineering Laboratories (10 credits)
  • Stats and Data (10 credits)

Optional modules:

Choose 60 credits. Example modules:

  • Foundation Electronic and Electrical Engineering (10 credits)
  • Waves (10 credits)
  • Elementary Computer Programming (10 credits)
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry (10 credits)
  • Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (10 credits)
  • Group Project (10 credits)
  • Individual Project (10 credits)
  • Maths II (10 credits)
  • Calculus (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 2020/21

UK/EU students - £9,250

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.


The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of other bursaries, grants and scholarships.


For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code H892.

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 Requirements

Number of A levels required:
3 , does not include Maths and Chemistry in combination.
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
GCSE Physics and Chemistry or Science double award at grade 6/B; GCSE Mathematics at grade 6/B, Plus three A levels at grade B or above.
General Studies:
not accepted


International Baccalaureate

32 overall with HL 5,5,5. May not include Maths and Chemistry in combination


Extended Diploma is considered on a case by case basis, contact us for further guidance. 

Other qualifications considered, please contact the Admissions Tutor for clarification.

International Students

Please note this course is only open to UK/EU students. Overseas students may apply to 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

Development of core technical and transferable skills is at the heart of our teaching from day one. You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials and project work.

Companies with whom we enjoy close links, such as BP, ExxonMobil and AstraZeneca, regularly come into School to give guest lectures. Industry will also have significant input in your third/final-year design project. You’ll take part in team-based project work in each year of the degree course, where the knowledge you learn in lectures and tutorials is applied in a small-group environment. Other ways you will learn include the opportunity to attend our transferable and teamworking skills weekend held at the University’s pioneering Raymond Priestley outdoor education centre on the shores of Lake Coniston in the Lake District.

How you will be assessed

Modules are assessed in a variety of ways: exams, written assignments and laboratory and project reports. The exam-coursework balance for each module is dependent on the study subject. There’s a strong emphasis on project work in the final year/s of your degree course.

Your personal tutor

As soon as you join us, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor, who will remain with you throughout your studies. Their role is to help you in three important areas: supporting your academic progress, developing transferable skills and dealing with any welfare issues that might arise. You’ll be able to talk to your personal tutor about anything that is troubling you.

Seminars and tutorials

The course modules are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorial problem classes, lab and project work.

Small-group and one-to-one tutorials run alongside lectures. Their aim is to address any problems you may have and to consolidate lecture material, as well as testing your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self-study is an essential part of the programme. As well as developing self-motivation, it also allows you to pursue your own lines of inquiry and to think independently.

Lecturers and world-leading researchers

Your lecturers are not only experts in their fields; they are passionate about passing on their knowledge and expertise. Our School has long been at the forefront of global research, carried out in collaboration with industry, to address some of the world’s biggest challenges – energy, healthcare technology advancement and the manufacture of healthier food, among others. The international reach of our research is evidenced by our top result for impact in the UK Research Excellence Framework in 2014 and a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011.

Resources and facilities

Our world-class teaching and laboratory facilities include state-of-the-art study spaces and computer suites, and the jewel in the crown – a new £40 million Collaborative Teaching Laboratory, where we use the latest educational technologies to reinvent lab classes and showcase the fundamental principles behind chemical engineering. The space has been designed to enable and encourage collaborative and interdisciplinary working, something valued by employers.

Our award-winning  Chemical Engineering Society (BUCES) greatly enhances the life of the School, hosting academic and social events throughout the year.

About the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

Contact Hours

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 16-18 hours of lectures and  classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.


The information below relates to graduates from our Beng/Meng courses:

Your chemical engineering degree from Birmingham will equip you with the technical, analytical and professional skills needed to lead future change and innovation in a variety of sectors – from oil and gas and pharmaceuticals to energy and finance. 

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.

As a School, we enhance your employability further by providing a dedicated Industrial Tutor who helps students with sourcing placements, CV writing and interview preparation, as well as working closely with industry to strengthen our links and build new relationships.

Our degrees provide you not only subject-specific skills such as advanced analytical expertise and problem solving; they also furnish you with confidence in leadership, evaluation and team-work, creating a well-rounded graduate.

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

I was extremely lucky to get an industrial placement at Unilever, one of the world's largest FMCG companies. At the core of the company is the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which is what I really wanted to work on when I joined the company. I was working in a detergent factory in Port Sunlight. It was a great experience knowing that products from the lines I was working on, like Persil, Cif and Domestos, were being used by people every day.

I did a lot of work towards making the factory more sustainable, by using less water and I also got involved in new factory technology. My work got noticed by some very high-up people in the company, so much so that they offered me a job! On returning to University for my final year, I have been able to pick modules to do with sustainability and the environment, which I think will help me when I return to Unilever in September.

Seb Gibson, MEng Chemical Engineering with Industrial Study

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. 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.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details


Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

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