Chemical Engineering

Enrich your study of chemical engineering with a year abroad in this professionally accredited, integrated Master’s degree.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A* A* A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

5 : 1

Based on 2019 entry data

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2021

* Apply initially for MEng Chemical Engineering (H801)

Overview

Chemical engineers bring about innovation and improvements in process industries, such as those concerned with the manufacture of chemicals, food, fuel and pharmaceuticals.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1912 and undergraduate degrees were first formally taught from 1937.

On this professionally accredited course, you will learn to apply scientific, engineering and business principles to a variety of complex practical issues.

You also have the chance to spend your third year studying abroad at one of our leading partner universities. Places are currently available in Europe, Singapore, Australia or the USA.

Study programme

All Chemical Engineering students study the same core programme for the first two years, covering fundamental science and mathematics and how these apply to practical engineering problems. Mathematics modules cover a wide range of pure and applied topics, with emphasis on solving the large sets of non-linear equations which characteristically describe chemical engineering problems.

You will also analyse a variety of chemical processes, and learn about the many ways of contacting, reacting and separating different gases, liquids and solids on a large scale.

There is approximately the same amount of physical chemistry as in pure science courses distributed through the four years, while first- and second-year modules in chemistry and biochemistry are designed to support eventual optional modules in later years.

As the course progresses, you will have the freedom to tailor your study programme to your interests through a range of specialist modules such as nuclear chemical engineering and biochemical engineering.

Environmental effects of chemical operations are highlighted throughout the course, with an emphasis on successful control and mitigation.

There are also major optional modules in which environmental technology themes can be taken further. Attention to safety engineering is closely integrated with many of the modules and in most projects a safety audit is required.

Year abroad

You will spend your third year studying abroad, studying at one of our partner universities.

The programme of study at your host university will closely match the structure of the course at Imperial, and you will complete both modules and project work. This is an integrated year abroad, so the grades you achieve will count directly towards your Imperial degree.

Teaching is normally in the language of your host country, so you will need to show an acceptable proficiency in the relevant language for placements in France, Germany and Spain. Free language classes are available at the College to help you prepare.

Limited places means competition for placements is strong and selection cannot be guaranteed. Normally only students who are achieving marks of 60% and above at the time of selection will be eligible.

Project work

Carbon Capture Pilot PlantThere is an emphasis on project work throughout the course, which increases in complexity each year. These projects consist of design work, theoretical and computing studies, and practical work in our laboratories, including in our state-of-the-art Carbon Capture Pilot Plant.

Much of your project work will be grounded in real industry problems, and all students have the opportunity to complete an industry-based project towards the end of their degree.

In your final year you will also complete a major project covering all aspects of the design of a chemical plant.

Transfer between courses

All students must apply to the MEng Chemical Engineering (H801) in the first instance.

You can normally transfer onto this course up until the end of the second year.

Students interested in our Chemical with Nuclear Engineering course can normally transfer up until the start of the third year.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Chemical Engineering Practice 1
  • Chemistry 1
  • Mastery 1
  • Mathematics Fundamentals
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Process Analysis
  • Separation Processes 1
  • Thermodynamics 1
  • Transfer Processes 1

Year 2

Core modules

  • Chemical Engineering Practice 2
  • Chemistry 2
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Mastery 2
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Reaction Engineering 1
  • Separation Processes 2
  • Thermodynamics 2
  • Transfer Processes 2

Year Abroad

You typically spend this year at a partner university abroad.

The main difference from the standard course (H801) is that you may have to take language classes in parallel to your regular Chemical Engineering modules in the first two years. If you are already fluent in the language, you will follow the standard course before you go abroad.

There is competition for the limited number of exchange places to the USA, Australia, and Singapore. You are therefore not guaranteed a place on these exchanges even if you are enrolled on the Year Abroad course.

You will normally need to be achieving at least a 2:1 degree standard academically to be eligible for a placement abroad.

The modules to be taken at the partner university will closely match the course structure of the third year at Imperial.

This department is taking part in the Imperial College London–Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student exchange pilot. Find out more about the study abroad opportunities that will be created through this two-year pilot, which launched in 2018.

Please note the above is an illustrative list of countries in which the Department currently has partner universities. Partnerships with universities are subject to continuous review and individual partnerships may or may not be renewed.

There may be limitations placed upon your ability to live and study in these locations. If applicable you will need to successfully apply for the relevant visa. This applies to all students, including Home students, in light of the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Year 4

Core module

  • Chemical Engineering Practice IV

Optional modules

You choose six of the optional modules below, without choosing modules you have already studied in Year 3.

  • Advanced Bioprocess Engineering
  • Advanced Process Operations
  • Advanced Process Optimisation
  • Colloids and Interface Science
  • Dynamic Behaviour of Process Systems
  • Dynamical Systems in Chemical Engineering
  • Modelling of Biological Systems
  • Molecular Modelling of Fluids
  • Pharmaceutical Process Development
  • Product Characterisation
  • Transport Processes in Biological Systems

Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master’s level qualification and is professionally accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Find out more about the route to becoming a Chartered Chemical Engineer on IChemE's Get Chartered website.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is renewed every five years. The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2019–20 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You can expect to spend approximately two-thirds of your time in lectures in the first and second years, with the remainder of the time spent on projects, coursework and complementary projects.

Lecture-based courses are supplemented by tutorials in small groups and by seminars, with some written assignments as appropriate.

Teaching methods will vary in the third and fourth years depending on which optional modules you choose.

You spend almost half of your taught fourth year studies in lecture-based sessions, with the remainder of the year made up of projects and coursework.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar456 hours416 hours672 hours
Independent study1,119 hours1,234 hours1,153 hours
Placement1,500 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course

Assessment

You are mainly assessed by yearly examinations, backed up with various open-book assessments, which allow you to demonstrate mastery of key course content, and consolidate the knowledge gained from lectures.

Most of the formal teaching takes place in one half of the day (either the morning or the afternoon). This includes lectures, problem classes and small group tutorials. The other half of the day is kept free for a series of projects undertaken either singly, in a pair, or in a larger group. This enables you to develop important teamwork skills.

There is a continuous design element running through all four years, with projects that increase in complexity each year.

Project work

The project work is completed in pairs and sometimes larger groups, and ensure collaboration with academic teaching staff (who assess progress) and the development of vital teamwork skills.

For laboratory projects you work in groups of up to four people for several weeks in each of the first three years, supervised by a lecturer. Sessions typically begin with a discussion of the background to the experiments and the lecturer supplies a list of suitable reading. You are tested on your understanding in tutorials.

As with all projects, the work is finally reported fully in writing for assessment of the technical merit and effective communication.

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework 20% 30% Variable 45%
Practical 10% 7.5% Variable 5%
Written 70% 62.5% Variable 50%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number
* Dependent on the syllabus at the partner university during your year abroad.
 

Staff expertise

You will be taught in a department of around 500 undergraduate students and over 200 postgraduate students. Teaching staff is made up of some 40 Professors, Readers, Lecturers and Teaching Fellows, 11 technical support staff, and 20 administrative and clerical staff. These people are the major resource for running the undergraduate course.

Compare this course

Discover Uni compares things like student satisfaction and what graduates do after they finish the course.

Because acceptance onto this course is via in-course transfer, it does not have its own Discover Uni page.

However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main course in this Department. You should look at the Discover Uni data for that course instead.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is A*A*A overall, to include:

  • A* in Chemistry
  • A* in Mathematics
  • A in Biology, Business Studies, Economics, Further Mathematics or Physics

If you’re studying four A-levels, we prefer the fourth to be in Physics, Biology, Further Mathematics, Business Studies or Economics at grade A.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2019 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: A*A*A–A*A*A*
  • Four A-level offer: A*A*AA

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Language requirement

If you are applying for a course with a year in France, Switzerland, Spain or Germany you must show ability in the appropriate language.

Grade A in GCSE or a pass at AS-level will usually be required. You must be willing to continue language study once at the College.


Additional Mathematics support

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is 39 points overall, to include:

  • 7 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 7 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Biology, Business Management, Economics or Physics at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2019 entry was 41 points overall.


Language requirement

If you are applying for a course with a year in France, Switzerland, Spain or Germany you must show ability in the appropriate language.

Grade A in GCSE or a pass at AS-level (or equivalent) will usually be required. You must be willing to continue language study once at the College.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in Physics, Biology or Economics

You may also require a relevant language qualification for this year abroad degree.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Post-application open day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited to visit the Department.

During this visit, you will meet members of the teaching staff and a number of current students.

You will attend an interview on a one-to-one basis and be shown the teaching facilities of the Department, as well as various features of the College. This includes a tour of our residential accommodation and some of our recreational facilities.

We conduct interviews in south-east Asia for our applicants there.

Due to the demanding nature of courses, you need to be highly qualified and motivated to study at Imperial. As a result, both academic and personal qualities are taken into account when we make offers.

We will also take into account the comment of the member of staff who you met, including when we decide (for example after A-levels) whether to confirm our offer should you fail marginally to satisfy the entry conditions.


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

More about pilot admissions schemes

Foundation programmes

Currently, Chemical Engineering courses do not accept UCL UPCSE nor Warwick IFP Science and Engineering applications.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH10-01-09 chemical, process and energy engineering

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.
For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2021 entryYear abroad

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not been confirmed for the 2021-22 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was £9,250.

For 2020-21, the year abroad fee was £1,385 for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The government has not confirmed whether the finance arrangements for EU students starting university in 2021 will remain the same following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This includes whether they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan.

We will update these pages when the government has confirmed finance arrangements.

Find updates on the implications of ‘Brexit’ and Imperial and the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2021 entryYear abroad

The fee for Overseas and Islands students is controlled by the College and has not been confirmed for the 2021–22 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas and Islands rate of tuition for the 2020–21 academic year was £31,750.

For 2020-21, the year abroad fee was 100% of the relevant fee for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2021 will apply to fees for the academic year 2021–2022.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (laptop computer) Mandatory £100 (refundable)
Travel costs and living expenses such as accommodation (year abroad) Mandatory Variable
Travel and health insurance (year abroad) Mandatory Variable
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Laptop computer

You will need a laptop for some classes and coursework. The laptop must meet a minimum specification. For the 2018–19 academic year this was:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

The Department has a number of laptops available for loan for the duration of your course. A deposit of £100 is required, refundable when you return the laptop at the end of your course.

You will have the chance to indicate whether you wish to take part in the laptop loan scheme when contacted by the Department in September before you start your course.

If you choose to borrow a laptop, you will be sent an invoice for the deposit amount which is payable online before the start of term. A variety of payment methods are available.

Placements and year abroad

If you are undertaking a placement or year abroad, you may have to consider the costs involved. These will vary, depending on the location of your year abroad or placement.

Costs may include flights, transport, visas, travel insurance, health insurance and living expenses such as accommodation.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Our graduates enjoy a wide choice of careers in the process, energy and healthcare industries and in companies involved in the design and construction of chemical plants. Many graduates have also entered research organisations, public utilities, consultancy and the information technology industry, with many opportunities for employment overseas.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Subsea Engineer, Shell
  • Graduate Scientist, National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Engineer, National Environment Agency, Singapore
  • Technical Process Engineer, Exxon Mobil
  • Crude Oil Analyst, BP

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

* Apply initially to MEng Chemical Engineering (H801)

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 for entry in October 2021.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2021 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2020.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Chemical Engineering student

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5569
E: ce-admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Chemical Engineering

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