Postgraduate Chemical Engineering students

PG Certificate: 6 months–2 years part-time
PG Diploma: 1–3 years part-time
MSc (industrial project): 2–5 years part-time

Start date: Rolling entry*
LocationSouth Kensington

This programme will provide you with the depth of knowledge and experience necessary to apply the technology and techniques required for the development of automation, instrumentation and control systems.

* You can begin this course at various points throughout the year, dependent on when modules are scheduled.

About the course


Professional automation, instrumentation and control systems have become essential in the chemical and process industries over the years. Today, it is inconceivable that anybody would contemplate building a new plant or designing a new process without installing comprehensive instrumentation and control systems.

The development of automation, instrumentation and control systems can be more complex than the design of the plant itself. Unfortunately, there is a chronic international shortage of personnel with the depth of knowledge and experience necessary to apply the technology and techniques required.

Imperial is addressing this shortfall. This degree is aimed at talented individuals, who may be at the beginning of their careers or may be more experienced graduates looking for a new challenge.

We recognise the need for flexible learning. Working closely together with the industry-recognised Partnership in Automation and Control Training (PACT) group, we've designed a programme which offers a structured programme of industrially relevant and academically rigorous modules that can be taken on a part-time basis.

The emphasis of the programme is on real world application and many of the courses will be taught by experts from industry.

All students will initially register for the Postgraduate Certificate in Process Automation, Instrumentation and Control, made up of four modules. A member of the Chemical Engineering staff will assist you in selecting the best modules according to your background, interest and needs.

On successful completion of the programme, you can graduate from Imperial with a Postgraduate Certificate. Alternatively, you can choose to continue your studies and take an additional four modules to progress towards the Postgraduate Diploma.

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, you have the option to move on to the MSc.

MSc students will have typically taken two to three taught modules per year, with completion of eight modules in three to four years. Allowing an extra year for the industrial project, the expectation is that you will complete the programme within four to five years.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Core modules
  • Mathematics and MATLAB
  • Chemical Engineering Principles or Instrumentation and Measurement
Optional modules

You choose two optional modules from below.

  • Advanced Process Automation
  • Advanced Process Control
  • Batch Processing and Automation
  • Classical Control Systems Design
  • Control Schemes and Strategy
  • Control Systems Technology
  • Dynamics and Control of Distillation Columns
  • Fuzzy, Neural and Expert Systems
  • Management of Automation Projects
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Modern Control Systems Design
  • Optimisation and Scheduling
  • Process Analytical Technology

Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)

You choose four optional modules from the PG Cert list above.

Master of Science (MSc)

Industrial project

The industrial project is the culmination of the programme. It represents a major piece of design, development or research work done in-company.

Your project will be supervised jointly by Imperial and the company where you are based. The expectation is that it will take a total of 780 hours to complete, equivalent to four months' full-time work plus time to write the dissertation.

Teaching and assessment


  • Computer-based work
  • Group work
  • Independent Research Project
  • Laboratory work
  • Lectures
  • Seminars


  • Coursework
  • Examination
  • Practical

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in science or engineering and at least one year of current industrial experience.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying for then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirements

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 requirement for postgraduate applicants.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:
  • PG Certificate: £2,450 per module (four are required)
  • + PG Diploma: £2,450 per module (four are required)
  • + MSc (industrial project): £4,900

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:
  • PG Certificate: £2,900 per module (four are required)
  • + PG Diploma: £2,900 per module (four are required)
  • + MSc (industrial project): £5,800

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most of our postgraduate courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full. We therefore recommend applying early to avoid disappointment, especially students who will also be applying for funding or applying for a visa.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate

An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course. 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 team website.