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 students becoming more independent in their approach to learning.
At the end of year two you can elect 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.
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 them to specialise in a particular area according to your career choice.
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.
Year four allows you to develop specialist expertise, with many module options available. You will be completely independent in your learning and will be able to tackle a wide variety of complex, multidisciplinary problems and more advanced chemical engineering concepts. A research and development project is undertaken, giving you first-hand experience in cutting-edge research and the opportunity to develop the more advanced skills that set masters-level students apart from other graduates.
A levels: AAA, including maths and either chemistry or physics at A level
English language requirements
ILETS: 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking)
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
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 the 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.
Our modules provide a balance of fundamental principles and applications, engineering practice and design elements. Modules are shaped by new developments in industry and as a consequence, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
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.
Heat and Mass Transfer
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. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and have a three hour per week for this module.
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 around three hours in lectures and have a three hour practical 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 required for the study of modules that require foundation knowledge of Chemistry. You’ll spend around five hours in lectures and 13 hours in practicals per 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 lecturers and five hours in practicals studying for this module.
Physics and Process Chemistry
This module comprises of 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 basic physical chemistry concepts used by chemical and Environmental Engineers in relevant process industries. You’ll spend three hours in lectures studying for this module.
Chemistry in the Environment
This module aims primarily to provide students with the necessary pre-requisite skills required for the study of modules that require foundation knowledge of chemistry in order to provide students with a working knowledge of basic chemical principles and practice. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and five hours in practicals studying for this module.
Fundamentals of Engineering Design
This module aims to ensure that students understand the fundamental basis of design, and the design tools most commonly used by engineers in industry. This module is 12 weeks and you’ll study a different topic area each week. In the final week there will be presentations. You’ll spend 6 hours in lectures each week studying for this module. For this module you’ll have a combination of lectures and presentations per week.
Typical Year Two Modules
Separation Processes 1
This module establishes the principles of mass transfer separation processes, with binary distillation, gas absorption/stripping and drying being studied in detail. It also introduces the basic principles of bioseparations. You’ll spend 3 hours in lectures and 4 hours in practicals per week.
This module aims to ensure that students understand the fundamental basis of design, and the design tools most commonly used by engineers in industry. You’ll learn the design criterions for few process equipment such as pumps, heat exchangers, and phase separators. To learn the basics of process plant economics and plant optimisation using cost models. You’ll spend three hours in lectures and four hours in workshops each week studying for this module.
Chemical and Phase Equilibria
This module is an introduction to chemical thermodynamics and its applications to chemical, vapour/liquid, liquid/liquid and solid/liquid equilibria, and Correlation and prediction of data. You’ll spend 2 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 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 the student 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 studying 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. You will also study the development of legislation and how directives from the European Union impact on our daily lives will be covered. 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 towards quality control, quality assurance and accreditation and how these underpin the topic. You’ll spend nine hours in lectures, a one hour computing, and 13 hours in workshops per week.
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. Students will gain experience in computer programming, dynamic process simulation and process control concepts. (The computer packages currently in use are: Matlab programming, Matlab/Simulink dynamic simulation.) You’ll spend four hours in lectures and three hours in computing classes per week.
Typical Year Three Modules
Process Dynamics and Control
This module provides an appreciation of 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 three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week..
This module is made up of eight topics. You will become familiar basic concepts which will then be used to analyse problems of increasing sophistication including non-isothermal and catalytic reactors. You will work through problems in self-study sessions. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.
Process Simulation 1
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 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 3 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.
Chemical Product Design
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.
Typical Final Year Modules
In this module, you’ll undertake a combined design and research project in a team of two to four students. In addition, you’ll gain detailed knowledge in the specific topic of study. The aim is for you to gain skills in planning, executing and reporting on an individual research study thereby developing their powers of analysis, independence and critical judgement. You’ll spend one hour in tutorials and make use of group-study sessions each week studying for this module.
Advanced Reaction Engineering
The intent of this module is to help the student master advanced concepts in chemical reaction engineering. You’ll study topics such as: advanced reactor design; chemical reaction mechanisms and rate theories, transport effects in reactive systems, and rate expressions for complex and heterogeneous catalytic reaction system. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.
This module will identify the industrial occurrence of the simultaneous flow of more than one phase and highlight the implications for design. Students will extend their knowledge to more complex issues in fluid flow and heat transfer where the fluids are a combination of gas and liquid. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.
Process Synthesis and Design
This module develops the student's ability in directed group work to synthesising and designing sustainable chemical processes. The group project will involve teams of three to four students. Two projects covering flow-sheet synthesis and resource conservation will be undertaken. You’ll spend three hours in lectures per week.
Advanced Computational Methods
The module is designed to offer experience of advanced software applications in chemical engineering, with potential application to research projects. You will have flexibility in this module to choose what topics to study ranging from programming a model using MATLAB, using advanced features of HYSYS. You’ll spend two hours per week.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
In this module you’ll develop an understanding of advanced knowledge of fluid mechanics, covering various areas of engineering. You will use computational methods in fluid mechanics to further understand how computational fluid mechanics techniques are applied to real fluid engineering problems, like fluid / structure interactions, air flow, channel flow, water wave propagation. You’ll spend four hours in lectures and two hours in practicals each week.
Advanced Rheology and Materials
This module will introduce students to the flow properties of complex fluids. It will cover rheological models, outline characterisation techniques and explore selected applications. The case study will involve research into an industrial application of rheology and/or materials, presented through a web-based medium. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and two hours in computing per week.
Petroleum Production Engineering
This module covers aspects of the formation and location of petroleum hydrocarbon reserves, drilling and completion engineering including well control techniques, Basic reservoir physics and evaluation,and production management and enhancement. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and one hour in tutorials per week. .
Power Generation and Carbon Capture
The following topics are covered in this module: Fossil fuels; occurrence; use and world-wide availability; power generation using fossil fuels; conventional and advanced technologies and current issues in power. At the end of the module the students will have an understanding of emerging CCS technologies and their application in a range of fossil energy applications. You’ll spend two hours in lectures per week.
Process Risk Benefit and Analysis
This module will explore decision-making in the presence of uncertainty. Risks of particular interest are those associated with large engineering projects such as the development of innovative new products and processes. The module will present and interpret some of the frameworks helpful for balancing risks and benefits in situations that typically involve human safety, potential environmental effects, and large financial and technological uncertainties. You’ll spend three hours in tutorials per week.
This module aims to provide Year 4 students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills in relation with energy storage science, engineering and technology. The module will be delivered in relation with the relevant materials and devices, together with laboratory observations and/or practices. You’ll spend five hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week.
This module aims to provide students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills in relation with energy storage science, engineering and technology. The module will be delivered in relation with the relevant materials and devices, together with laboratory observations and/or practices. You’ll spend five hours in lectures and three hours in practicals per week.
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 (UK-SPEC). 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.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 95.5% 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 salary was £24,333 with the highest being £29,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.
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.
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.
There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.
To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.
* 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 International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
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