Fact file - 2017 entry
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering | BEng Hons
3 years full-time
maths and either chemistry or physics (including a pass in the practical element). If A* in maths is offered, alternative A level subjects will be considered. Excluding citizenship studies, critical thinking and general studies.
36 (Higher Level subjects to include maths plus either chemistry or physics)
University Park Campus
100 (across all undergraduate courses in the department)
This course provides an insight into the core scientific and engineering knowledge, practical laboratory skills, teamworking, problem solving and other transferable skills needed to pursue careers as professional chemical engineers.
Read full overview
This course equips graduates with core scientific and engineering knowledge, practical laboratory skills, teamworking, problem solving and other transferable skills needed to pursue careers as professional chemical engineers, as well as a diverse range of other career options.
The department teaches a common first year across chemical engineering and environmental engineering courses. The transition between school/college and university is very carefully managed, with extensive staff support and formative feedback mechanisms.
Year one takes students with backgrounds in science and maths and introduces the fundamental engineering sciences including heat and mass transfer and fluid mechanics. Safety and environmental aspects are also covered, as are the development of professional skills. The material is taught using a wide variety of methods from problem-based learning to tutorials and laboratory classes.
At the end of year one you can elect to transfer to any of the courses offered by the department.
The focus of year two is to develop the fundamental engineering sciences into the key processes and operations that are common within chemical engineering, such as reaction engineering, separations, plant design and computer systems. Laboratory work is a major component of year two and the exposure to industry and cutting-edge research also increases. Safety and environmental aspects are an important part of year two, which also sees you becoming more independent in your approach to learning.
At the end of year two students can elect to transfer between BEng and MEng courses, and this is also the most common time for you to take a year out to work in industry or to undertake a study abroad programme.
In year three we develop the practical application of the knowledge and skills that have been gained in years one and two. Laboratory exercises are more open-ended, using large-scale and industrial equipment. Project management, business and finance are covered and there is a significant amount of input from industry. You can choose between a number of optional modules in year three, allowing you to specialise in a particular area.
Year-three students undertake a group design project, which simulates a commercial environment where companies tender for a design contract. Projects are industry driven and allow you to develop and demonstrate the skills and competencies necessary to be professional chemical engineers.
A levels: AAA, including maths and either chemistry or physics (including a pass in the practical element). If A* in maths is offered, alternative A level subjects will be considered excluding citizenship studies, critical thinking and general studies.
IB: 36, including maths and either chemistry or physics at Higher Level (38 will also be accepted with 6 in maths at Standard Level and 6 in either chemistry or physics at Higher Level.
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies.
Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS.
Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
Notes for applicants
Scholarships - for details of scholarships, please see www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/funding
Course options - the department teaches a common first year across chemical engineering and environmental engineering courses. The transition between school/college and university is very carefully managed, with extensive staff support and formative feedback mechanisms. At the end of year one you will be able to transfer to any of the courses offered by the department. At the end of year two you will have the opportunity to transfer between BEng and MEng courses; this is also the most common time for students to take a year out to work in industry or to undertake a study abroad programme.
Typical Year One Modules
This module covers the essential fluid mechanics needed by engineers to design tanks, vessels, piping systems and pumps and to understand their operation. It also forms a basis for later modules on heat and mass transfer in fluids. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week.
Engineering Mathematics 1
This module introduces the algebra of complex numbers to provide a key mathematical tool for analysis of linear mathematical and engineering problems. The complexity of solving general systems of equations is introduced and their study using matrix techniques. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.
Engineering Mathematics 2
You’ll be introduced to techniques for solving selected first-order and second-order differential equations relevant to the analysis of generic engineering problems. The module also provides mathematical tools in terms of advanced differential calculus and vectors for modelling of generic engineering situations given in terms of multi-dimensional models. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.
The module will introduce the basic concepts of heat and mass transfer with particular emphasis on the chemical process industries. In addition, you’ll use the concept of dimensionless analysis and the use of dimensionless numbers for the correlation of data. Each week you’ll have three hours of lectures, a three-hour practical session and a one hour tutorial.
Process Engineering Fundamentals
In this module you’ll cover material balances including topics such as: flowsheets for continuous processes, batch processes, steady and unsteady state operation, reacting and non-reacting systems, energy balances, and combustion calculations. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and have a three and a half hour practical workshop per week.
Separation Processes Fundamentals
This module covers the principles of physical separation processes namely gas absorption, single and multiple effect evaporation, vapour recompression integrated with evaporator, cascade and counter-current leaching process, stagewise and continuous liquid-liquid extraction process. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures each week.
This module aims to provide you with the necessary pre-requisite skills and foundation in chemistry required for further study. You'll spend around five hours in lectures and four and a half hours in practicals each week.
This module will present the basics of thermodynamics with particular emphasis on applications to process plant. By the end of the module it is expected that you’ll be able to analyse most of the common energy-based operations found on process plant. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week.
This module provides a basic understanding of geology and includes topics such as: introduction to the main rock types and minerals, rock forming processes, the composition of the Earth, geological structures, natural hazards including volcanism and earthquakes and geological map interpretation. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and three and a half hours in practical workshops every week.
This module comprises two distinct parts. The first, which accounts for approximately 60% of the material presented during the course, is a revision and extension of important aspects of A-level physics. The second part of the course covers engineering materials used by Chemical and Environmental Engineers in relevant process industries. Every week you’ll have three weeks of lectures and a one hour tutorial.
Chemistry in the Environment
This module will provide you with a strong foundation in basic chemical principles and practice. Every week you’ll spend three hours in lectures and four and a half hours gaining practical skills and learning how to solve complex problems in the laboratory.
Fundamentals of Engineering Design
This module introduces the deliverables, constraints and conventions of the design process. It will enable you to understand the fundamental basis of design, and the design tools most commonly used by engineers in industry. Each week you will have 2 x three-hour workshops and 1 x one hour computing session.
- Week 1 Introduction: Nature of the Design Process
- Week 2 Design Data and Uncertainty
- Week 3 Risk and Safety Issues in Design
- Week 4 Codes of Practice, Standards, Design Manuals, Heuristics
- Week 5 Tools I: Drawings and CAD
- Week 6 Tools II: Spreadsheets
- Week 7 Deliverables I: Piping and Instrumentation Design
- Week 8 Deliverables II: General Arrangement Drawings
- Week 9 Deliverables III: Hydraulic Calculations
- Week 10 Deliverables IV: Process Calculations
- Week 11 Case Study
- Week 12 Presentations
Typical Year Two Modules
This module establishes the principles of mass transfer separation processes, with binary distillation, gas absorption/stripping and drying being studied in detail. It also describes basic principles and methods for the separation of mixtures from bioprocesses. Every week you’ll have a one hour lecture, a one hour tutorial and spend three and a half hours in practical workshops.
This module aims to ensure that students understand the fundamental basis of design, and the design tools most commonly used by engineers in industry. There is a strong focus on the design criterions for few process equipment such as pumps, heat exchangers, and phase separators. You’ll also learn the basics of process plant economics and plant optimisation using cost models. Every week you’ll spend six hours in practical workshops and two hours in computing sessions.
Chemical and Phase Equilibria
This module is an introduction to chemical thermodynamics and its applications to chemical, vapour/liquid/liquid and solid/liquid equilibria, and correlation and prediction of data. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and one hour in practicals per week studying for this module.
In this module you’ll study the flow of fluids through beds of particles. You’ll study modules including: simultaneous flow of gas and liquid through packed columns dynamics of a single particle, terminal velocity, solid/liquid separation processes, solid/ centrifugal separations particle size reduction; drops and bubbles; conveying. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week.
Differential Equations and Calculus for Engineers
The majority of the module is concerned with providing techniques for solving selected classes of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). This module provides the fundamental concepts for solving partial differential equations relevant to modelling of thermodynamic, fluid or elastic problems which is then introduced and illustrated by obtaining fundamental solutions using techniques developed within the module. You’ll spend one hour in lectures and two hours in practicals per week.
Probabilistic and Numerical Techniques for Engineers
The module is divided into two sections: numerical techniques for ordinary differential equations and probability theory and introductory statistical inference. The module aims to develop the foundations of probability theory and to apply large sample statistics within an engineering context. You’ll spend one hour in lectures and two hours in workshops per week.
This module provides an introduction to the properties of engineering materials including topics such as: chemical bonding and structure, mechanical properties, elasticity, viscoelasticity, creep, fatigue and fracture. The module also provides elements of mechanical and structural design using engineering materials. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week studying for this module.
This module covers the essential principles of key ’liquid’ based surface phenomena such as surface tension, capillary rise/depression, micelle formation and design of surfactants/interfacial agents. The aim of the module is to give you an appreciation of the essential aspects of surface chemistry in relation to heterogeneous catalysis and aspects of surface tension as relevant to chemical engineers. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week for this module.
This module introduces students to a range of knowledge and skills applicable to the management of waste. Increasingly waste is viewed as a valuable resource that must be managed and utilised effectively to minimise environmental impact. The beginning of the module will introduce the students to conventional waste management practices. The development of legislation and how directives from the European Union impact on our daily lives will be covered. Current waste treatment techniques and technologies will be covered including biological methods (composting, anaerobic digestion), thermal methods (energy from waste, gasification, pyrolysis), mechanical biological treatment and landfilling. Techniques and approaches for the recovery and recycling of waste products will be a core component. Successful waste/resource recovery schemes are increasing due to the application and adaptation of technology from other industries. This will be explored and include case studies on topical aspects such as materials recovery and reprocessing of specific waste streams. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week studying for this module.
This module is designed to give an introduction, in both theory and practice, to the principles of analytical measurement. Particular emphasis of the module is on quality control, quality assurance and accreditation and how these underpin the topic. Every week you’ll spend nine hours in lectures, thirteen and a half hours in practical workshops and one hour in a computing session.
Process Engineering Project
This module builds on and applies the principles of particle mechanics, separation processes, interfacial chemistry and chemical & phase equilibria. You’ll utilise current technical chemical engineering knowledge to plan and operate a multi-step process in order to produce a series of products to a given specification. Consideration is also given to appropriate safety and environmental guidelines. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and one hour in tutorials per week.
Fundamentals of Process Control
This module forms an introduction to computational techniques and computing and process dynamics and control. It aims to provide you with experience in computer programming, dynamic process simulation and process control concepts. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and three hours in computing per week.
Typical Year Three Modules
Process Dynamics and Control
This module will give you a foundation in the dynamic behaviour of processes, effects of disturbances and single loop controllers, the features and constraints on choice of conventional process control instruments and equipment, and a basis for process analysis and design using dynamic process models and dynamic simulation. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and two hours in computing sessions every week.
The course consists of lectures which will include problem solving and interactive computer modules (ICM). Problems are to be worked primarily at home by the students. The textbook Fogler, H. Scott - "Elements of chemical reaction engineering", 4th ed., Prentice Hall, 2005 is closely followed. The main topics are:
- mole balances
- conversion and reactor sizing
- rate laws and stoichiometry
- collection and analysis of rate data
- isothermal reactor design
- multiple reactions
- steady-state non-isothermal reactor design
- catalysis and catalytic reactors
You’ll spend three hours in lectures and two hours in practicals each week.
This module is an introduction to steady-state process simulation by computer. Students will use a commercial package in a design environment and will develop an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of such tools. You’ll spend one hour in lectures and around three hours in practicals per week.
The aim of this module is for students to gain an appreciation of the key techniques that are applied by companies in the planning and financial management of projects. You will review project planning procedures and the assessment of the impact of a project on a company's financial and managerial performance. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.
In this module you’ll look in detail at the process of mass transfer in multi-component separation equipment and multicomponent separation processes. You’ll learn principles of design for distillation and absorption columns and use computer applications. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and one hour in workshops per week studying for this module.
This module covers the chemical product design process, from defining the needs of the product, through to idea generation and screening of ideas, to analysis of risk and selection of ideas, manufacturing, and intellectual property and economic considerations. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and one hour in workshops per week.
This is a group design project involving the preparation of heat and mass balances and flow sheets for a particular process scheme and the detailed design of certain important plant items. A study of the control, operational, safety, environmental and economic aspects will be included. You’ll spend one hour in a tutorial and make use of self-study sessions each week studying for this module.
Advanced Transport Phenomena
This module aims to provide an in depth knowledge of heat, mass and momentum transport that is necessary in assessing, analysing and developing chemical, biochemical and environmental processes. Furthermore, this module fills the gap between first year transport phenomena and the fourth year CFD module while introducing the multi-physics aspect of the discipline. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week studying for this module.
This module aims to introduce to students and build fundamental knowledge and skills in the utilization of biological systems in bio-manufacturing and bioconversion. Students will learn basic biological science applied to the exploitation of living systems and their components. Fundamentals of bioprocess safety will be developed. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week studying for this module.
Chemical Engineering Laboratory
In this module, students will be set a laboratory-based problem aiming to give students experience in planning and carrying out experiments as independently as possible. By solving a laboratory-based problem they should gain the confidence in making decisions in a technical/scientific environment and adopt a rational, efficient approach to problem solving. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and six hours in practicals per week.
Industrial Process Analysis
In this module you will learn how to:
- assess the physical-chemical basis for safe process design, including handling of extremely hazardous materials, appropriate safety and control measures and the effect that such considerations have upon influence of scale-up
- evaluate the basis for selection of construction material based on the characteristics of the materials being processed, conditions required to achieve the transformation, etc.
- critically evaluate physical-chemical basis for application of novel/alternative processes and plant designs (e.g. green chemistry/process intensification / process integration)
- explain the physical-chemical and practical factors which influence process economics, for example achievable yields, economies of scale of process, work–up and purification, Sue stages
- demonstrate what influence whole system thinking, total life-cycle and critical analysis have upon the physical-chemical basis of process designs
- explain control choices with respect to the material, physical and chemical properties of the process relating them to product specifications and legislation requirements etc.
- evaluate interactive risk within a complex system
- understand the potential influence of that environmental impact and societal opinion has upon process design
Every week you’ll have two hours of lectures and a one hour tutorial.
Process Engineering Laboratory
In this module you will be set a laboratory-based problem and you will be required to plan experiments to collect the data required to solve the problem. You will work in groups but write individual reports covering process assessment, experimental procedure and the description and discussion of the experimental results. By solving a laboratory-based problem you should gain the confidence in making decisions in a technical/scientific environment and adopt a rational, efficient approach to problem solving. You will also become more familiar with the operation of commonly-encountered chemical engineering equipment and improve your skills in collecting, analysing and interpreting experimental data. Every week you will have a one hour lecture and between five and eleven hours of practical work.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.
You will have developed your knowledge of science and engineering, together with a wide range of transferable skills including IT, communication, analysis, problem solving, teamworking and management. You will be highly sought-after by companies worldwide to work in areas such as process and product design, management and consultancy.
This degree has been accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence
An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.
This course is also accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2014, 94% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,468 with the highest being £40,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
Fees and funding
Scholarships and bursaries
The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.
Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.
* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.
The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.
finding the perfect course
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.