Chemical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Here’s what student Jamie has to say about his course in the subject area of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Find out more about Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Huddersfield


About the course

Taking chemistry from the small scale to the colossal, chemical engineering plays a valuable role in the petrochemical, pharmaceuticals and bulk chemicals industries and the down-stream manufacturers on whom they depend. The chemical industry is one of the important industrial sectors employing numerous process and chemical engineers.

In chemical and manufacturing industries, chemists devise new synthetic routes on a small scale for pharmaceuticals, fuels, clothing materials and polymers. Chemical engineers transform these reaction conditions so that the products can be manufactured on a large, industrial scale.

Our Chemical Engineering BEng(Hons) course aims to provide an in-depth coverage of modern, industry-relevant chemical engineering material from the basics to the process design. This is combined with an appreciation of legislative and environmental concerns and an emphasis on transferable skills. We aim to offer you the opportunity to gain strong, in-depth and industry-relevant chemical engineering knowledge to help you to play a valuable role in this industry.

Our teaching staff are educated to doctoral level in their respective subject areas and have expertise in specialist areas of chemical engineering. You'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using scientific instrumentation in our modern chemical sciences labs. In the third year of your course, you'll also have the chance to benefit from a work placement, offering you the chance to see your subject in action in the real world. This could help you to gain relevant real-world experience and enhance your future employment prospects.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

Watch our Chemistry and Chemical Engineering subject area video to hear how student Jamie has found his course at Huddersfield.

The first year of the course covers the key concepts in chemical engineering and the underlying chemistry with lectures supported by tutorial and workshop classes along with practical laboratory sessions. Years 2 builds on the first year and covers industry-relevant areas of chemical engineering, process and plant design. The final year incorporates a major chemical engineering design project that provides the opportunity to gain experience for those entering the chemicals industry sector. As with all our courses, you also have the option of incorporating a Supervised Work Experience placement in the third year of the course.

Year 1

Core modules:

Organic Chemistry 1

In organic chemistry, the focus is on the element carbon. The chemistry of carbon compounds is central to all living organisms. However, thousands of nonliving things (such as drugs, plastics and dyes) are also carbon compounds. This module focuses on the fundamental principles of organic chemistry including structure, bonding, functional groups and the basic language of chemical change. You'll have the opportunity to enhance your learning in a designated block of practical exercises (this element of the coursework is worth 20% of the module mark), which also helps you to develop your hands-on practical skills. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Physical Chemistry 1

This module gives you an introduction to five key areas in physical chemistry: 1. Ideal and real gases and how temperature, pressure and volume affect the properties of individual gas molecules. 2. Energy changes in chemical reactions and physical processes. 3. Aqueous equilibria involving acids, bases, salts and buffer solutions. 4. Factors influencing the rate of a reaction such as reactant concentration, temperature and catalysts. 5. Applications and properties of catalysts. Lectures are backed up by a series of laboratory exercises. Assessment is via a combination of coursework (practical, multiple choice question test and assignment) and an end of module exam.

Chemical Engineering Design 1

We are surrounded by important manufactured chemicals that are present in everyday items such as medicines, paints, dyes and household products. Operations such as distillation, extraction, filtration and crystallisation are critical in the manufacture of these chemicals. You’ll have the opportunity to study the development of the industry that produces these chemicals and uses these processes. You’ll be introduced to key software packages and have the chance to learn the skills that enable you to select the right process for a specified operation. The study of mass and energy balances introduces critical skills at the heart of chemical engineering. Coursework, a computing exercise and an exam will assess your ability in these areas.

Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow

This module aims to introduce you to the fundamental concepts of fluid flow and heat transfer with emphasis on practical design and rating calculations. You’ll have the opportunity to gain a firm understanding of heat transfer mechanisms and their application to the design of heat exchanger technologies. You’ll also have the chance to explore a range of concepts concerned with flow through pipes and piping equipment including, flow regimes, friction in pipe flows and measuring fluid flow rates. This module also enables you to develop an important foundation for the study of transport phenomena later in the course. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Chemical Engineering Labs and Inorganic Chemistry

This module covers two distinct areas of learning relevant to chemical engineers: (i) practical chemical engineering laboratory skills; and (ii) an introduction to the chemistry of the elements. The chemical engineering laboratory component of the module gives you the opportunity to engage with the practical laboratory skills in a chemical engineering context. You'll have the chance to learn the skills of safe laboratory practice; data recording, analysis, presentation and interpretation; practical application of fundamental chemical engineering knowledge; and basic technical report writing skills. The inorganic chemistry component of the module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements. Starting with the earliest known chemical events in the universe, this module discusses the elements, their origin, structure and properties before looking at the structure and bonding in and reactions of chemical compounds. The module also encompasses a number of areas of (mostly) main group chemistry including, but not limited to, the constituents of the earth's crust and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

Mathematics 1

The module contains a range of basic engineering mathematics including numbers, functions, linear mathematics, calculus and numerical techniques to support the engineering modules.

Year 2

Core modules:

Physical Chemistry 2

Building on Physical Chemistry I, you’ll study the behaviour of electrolyte solutions. This is followed by both equilibrium and dynamic electrochemistry and electrochemical processes. The second law of thermodynamics will be applied to chemical systems, describing the driving forces for reactions and the factors controlling chemical equilibria and phase equilibria. Colligative properties of solutions will be covered, as will the properties of colloidal systems. A major practical component is included to illustrate these topics. The module is assessed by exam (and coursework.

Transport Processes and Unit Operations

In mass transfer operations you’ll have the opportunity to look in more detail at unit processes such as distillation, gas absorption, liquid-liquid extraction and the drying of solids. You’ll be required to master phase equilibria, simple mathematical modelling, process simulation and design calculations, and also be able to assess laboratory derived data. This module is assessed by practical work, coursework and an exam.

Chemical and Biochemical Reaction Engineering

This module gives you the opportunity to extend your knowledge and skills for the design and analysis of chemical and biochemical reactors, building on key concepts of reaction kinetics and basic reactor design introduced in the first year. It also enables you to acquire the further skills needed for the solution of complex problems encountered in the process industries. The effects of non-ideal flow conditions and fixed or fluidized bed catalytic reactors are also covered. The module is assessed by practical work, coursework and an examination.

Chemical Engineering Design 2

In this module, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake more practical work than in the other Year 2 modules and bring together information leading to the safe, team-based, operation of different pilot plants, including an introduction to biotechnology. You’ll have the chance to encounter examples of process economics, materials and production costs, raw materials, organisational structure, finance, marketing, capital planning and account balance sheets. You’ll be assessed by coursework and an examination.

Fine Chemicals Route Selection

In this module you’ll have the opportunity to learn about important concepts in process chemistry, including carbonyl chemistry, retrosynthetic analysis, heterocyclic compounds and the synthesis of biologically important compounds such as carbohydrates. These reactions and theories are explored using established industrial processes as examples. Assessment of the module will involve the critical analysis of an industrial multi-step fine chemical manufacturing process, synthesis of complex organic molecules and isolation of optically pure compounds and an examination.

Multiphase Systems

This module aims to provide you with an introduction to fluid and particle mechanics, methods of solid-liquid and solid-gas separation. It covers the basic concepts related to particle-fluid motion and solid handling including size analysis. It also describes principles of sedimentation, filtration, elutriation, flow of fluids through packed beds of solid particles, fluidized bed, mixing and mixer design. The module is assessed by coursework and an examination.

Year 3 - optional placement year

Supervised Work Experience

This optional placement year gives you the opportunity to experience employment within an organisation related to your chosen course. The placement is usually 48 weeks in duration. Placements may be available both within the UK and abroad.

Final year

Core modules:

Organic Chemistry 3

This module draws together the basic concepts of synthesis and reaction mechanisms in the context of providing methods for designing synthetic routes to target compounds. You’ll be able to learn how to differentiate between competing reaction mechanisms. You’ll also be introduced to contemporary preparative methods for the synthesis of organic compounds. The module will be assessed via coursework and an examination.

Design Project 1

This module, together with Design Project 2, aims to provide you with the experience of the design of a process from the conceptual stage through to detailed design. It also gives you the opportunity to apply and integrate chemical engineering skills acquired from other modules and encourages a creative approach to chemical engineering design. It aims to encourage you to gain experience of working in a team and the presentation of technical material in extended written reports and orally. In addition, together with module Design Project 2, it aims to cover material related to systems aspects of chemical engineering including process integration, life cycle assessment for sustainability, management and engineering ethics.  The module covers the initial design proposal and the individual detailed design, assessed through group and individual reports and moderated peer- and self-assessments.  

Design Project 2

This Design Project 2 module is designed to complement the Design Project 1 module and covers consolidated design, group presentation, individual oral examination and supervisor assessment, and supervisor-evaluated teamwork. It utilises taught and examined material covering process integration, management and engineering ethics.

Safety Engineering and Process Control

This module enables you to develop the key knowledge and understanding of process control and engineering approaches to process safety in the chemical industry. You’ll have the opportunity to examine methodologies used in risk and reliability engineering, critically analyse a range of safety principles and equipment, and explore advanced concepts in process control including controller types and stability analysis. You’ll also be introduced to specialist chemical engineering simulation software for the dynamic simulation of unsteady state processes and as a powerful tool for process control loop simulation and tuning. Assessment is by exam and coursework.

Advanced Mass Transfer & Reaction Engineering

In this module you’ll have the opportunity to explore fundamental principles in catalytic reaction engineering and gas-solid catalytic reactors, including the design of tubular fixed-bed reactors and the evaluation catalytic performance from example laboratory data. You’ll be encouraged to gain specialist skills and knowledge required to design of complex distillation processes, including distillation sequencing, azeotropic distillation, reactive distillation and distillation of crude oil. Membrane processes and process chromatography are also examined. The module is assessed by coursework and examination.

Sustainable Industrial Systems

This module encourages you to develop your knowledge and understanding of sustainable development in industrial systems, and to provide approaches to design and assess for sustainability. The module also encompasses large-scale experimental work relevant to industrial practice in relation to sustainability. It aims to introduce the concepts of sustainability and carbon and water footprints and provide an overview renewable energy processes and carbon capture technologies. It also examines selected examples in detail, looks at process integration methodologies in design for sustainability and introduces techno-economic and life cycle assessments. The module also enables you to gain experience in experimental group work involving large scale equipment relevant to the technologies, industries and methodologies introduced in the module. Assessment is by coursework and examination.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


The course offers an optional one-year (48 weeks) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. We encourage you to gain this real-world experience as it may help to enhance your employability after graduation. We also provide advice and guidance to help you secure a placement.

Career opportunities

Whilst this is a new course and therefore no graduate statistics for this specific course, 91-94% of graduates from courses in this subject area of chemistry go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Graduates could consider careers in all stages of the industrial chemistry development chain, from fundamental research to full process implementation.

Professional links and accreditations

The course is designed along guidelines for accreditation set by the Institution of Chemical Engineers. As a new course it is currently not accredited as accreditation requires all years of the programme to be completed. As such, we will be seeking accreditation for the course once our first cohort completes the final year. This entry will therefore be updated in due course.

Teaching and assessment

32% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

You'll be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, problem solving sessions, practicals and directed reading. Assessment will include written exams and coursework including problem solving assignments, practical work, laboratory reports, short tests, and oral and poster presentations.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies. There may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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