Chemical Engineering

Study chemical engineering with a specialist focus on nuclear engineering in this professionally accredited, integrated Master’s degree.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Typical offer

Three A-level offer: A*A*A*

Four A-level offer: A*A*AA–A*A*A*A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

9.7 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course's accreditation

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • ECTS: 270
  • Start date: October 2018

* Apply initially for MEng Chemical Engineering (H801)

Open days

Book your place now for 28 and 29 June 2017.

Overview

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

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

Students on this course will be fully qualified in Chemical Engineering but will also take a series of specialist modules which will give you a basis for employment in the nuclear and related industries.

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-year modules in chemistry and biochemistry are designed to support eventual optional modules in later years.

As the course progresses, you will cover more specialist content, relevant to the nuclear engineering component of the course.

You will also be encouraged to carry out project work relevant to nuclear power and every effort will be made to find you a relevant placement in the summer vacation period between the third and fourth year.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year, with advanced modules and a substantial research project. Studying to this level means that graduates require fewer years of work experience to become a Chartered Engineer (see Professional Accreditation below).

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.

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 standard Chemical Engineering course in the first instance.

You can normally transfer onto this course up until the start of the third year.

We also offer a Chemical Engineering degree with a Year Abroad. It is possible to transfer onto this course, but year abroad places are limited and eligibility criteria apply.

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

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for 2018 entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

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 changes we have made.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Business for Engineers 1 – Business Ethics for Chemical Engineers
  • Chemistry
  • First Year Design Project
  • Fluid Mechanics 1
  • Foundation Laboratory
  • Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Introduction to MATLAB
  • Mastery for Engineers 1
  • Mathematics 1
  • Process Analysis
  • Properties of Matter
  • Separation Processes 1
  • Spring Test
  • Thermodynamics 1

Design projects

  • Scheduling of maintenance and repair work on a pressurised-water reactor power station; or
  • Synthesis of a heat exchanger network for a solvent manufacturing plant

Year 2

Core modules

  • Biochemistry
  • Business for Engineers 2 – Economic Evaluation of Projects
  • Fluid Mechanics 2
  • Heat Transfer
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Knowledge Laboratory
  • Mastery for Engineers 2
  • Mathematics 2
  • Pilot Plant Project
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Reaction Engineering 1
  • Reactor Design and Control Project
  • Separation Processes 2
  • Thermodynamics 2

Design project

  • Catalytic reactor – you will write your own computer program to size the reactor in order to achieve a specified conversion
  • Control of the reactor – you will design a suitable control structure for the reactor and improve its performance

Year 3

Core modules

  • Discovery Laboratory
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Flow Sheeting Project
  • Fluid Mechanics 3
  • Introduction to Nuclear Engineering
  • Mastery for Engineers 3
  • Mechanical Design Project
  • Nuclear Chemical Engineering
  • Particle Engineering
  • Process Model Solution and Optimisation
  • Project Management
  • Reaction Engineering 2
  • Safety and Loss Prevention
  • Strategy of Design
  • Techno-Economic Project

Design projects

  • Combined flow-sheeting and process synthesis design
  • Mechanical design of a pressure vessel - you will take an engineering graphics course and produce a detailed engineering drawing
  • A combined economic, social and technical analysis of proposed new technology

Year 4

Core modules

  • Nuclear Materials I
  • Nuclear Reactor Physics
  • Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics
Advanced Chemical Engineering Practice: Research Project

You complete an advanced research project at Master's level over one or two terms.

Advanced Chemical Engineering Design Practice: Final Year Design

You undertake a major project covering all aspects of the design of a chemical plant:

  • the synthesis of a process
  • detailed design of key units
  • plant control (including start-up and shut-down procedures)
  • plant safety and layout (including environmental impacts of the plant);
  • development of a sound business plan

Optional modules

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

  • Advanced Bioprocess Engineering
  • Advanced Process Operations
  • Advanced Process Optimisation 1
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Carbon Capture and Clean Fossil Fuels
  • Colloid and Interface Science
  • Dynamic Behaviour of Process Systems
  • Dynamical Systems in Chemical Engineering
  • Long Research Project
  • Membrane Science and Membrane Separation Processes
  • Modelling of Biological Systems
  • Molecular Modelling of Fluids
  • Pharmaceutical Process Development
  • Process Heat Transfer
  • Product Characterisation
  • Transport Processes in Biological Systems
Further options

You can substitute a choice from above for one module below.

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 degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. It also provides you with a faster route to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of this professional qualification. This means you won’t need to undertake any further academic study on your route to gaining Chartered status, though you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet 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.

It 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.

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 team work 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.

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

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

You can use the KIS to find out how this course compares in areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

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

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*A*A*

Four A-level offer: A*A*AA–A*A*A*A

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A* in Chemistry
  • A in a relevant subject(s) including Physics, Biology, Further Mathematics and/or Economics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

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.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 41–42 points overall.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • 7 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 7 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Physics or Biology at higher level – Economics may also be considered

Advanced Placements

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

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

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. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2016 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

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.

English language qualifications (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.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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 website.

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)

2017 entry
£9,250 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. This is the maximum rate of tuition chargeable by institutions that achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award under the first year of the UK government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

In its TEF: Year Two specification guidance document, the government confirmed that all institutions achieving a Bronze rating or higher in Year Two will be able to charge the maximum capped amount. These ratings will be announced in spring 2017.

You should expect the fee to increase for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

We expect EU students will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition as long as the UK remains in the EU, and for the duration of their course, provided this remains lawful.

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.

The government has confirmed that EU students entering university in the UK in 2017 and 2018 also have access to the Tuition Fee Loan for the duration of their course. This will remain the case even if their course finishes after the UK's exit from the European Union.

Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)

2017 entry
£27,750 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. The fee for the 2018–19 academic fee has not yet been set by the College. We will update this page as soon as this fee information is available so please check back before submitting an application for 2018 entry.

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

Additional course costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (laptop computer) Mandatory £100 (refundable)
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 2017–18 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 the 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.

Accommodation and living costs

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

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

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 2018 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017.

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 students

Got a question?

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

Read more on the Department of Chemical Engineering website.

Social media icons

Join the conversation

Connect with us online via our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to join in the conversation about all things Imperial!

Undergraduate prospectus print cover

Order a prospectus

For more information about Imperial and the courses we offer, you can download a PDF of our prospectus or request a printed copy.

Order a free prospectus

Further information

London Eye

Living in London

London’s fusion of culture and charm will give you a student experience unlike any other, and our first-year accommodation guarantee means that you'll have the perfect base from which to explore this exciting city.

Students outside the Union

Student finance

We want to attract the very best students, regardless of their financial background. That's why we offer the most generous bursary scheme of any UK university, as well as a range of scholarships.

Students at graduation

International students

Imperial is proud to be the most international university in the UK, welcoming students from over 130 countries.