Chemical Engineering BEng

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering addresses many of the world’s greatest challenges faced by society in areas such as energy, environment, health, water and food.

From decarbonising industry to advancing pharmaceuticals and digitally transforming the chemicals industry, chemical engineers are playing a pioneering role in developing sustainable solutions for the future. And that’s why it’s such a sought after and relevant discipline today.

Our team of world-leading academics are at the forefront of their fields and will educate you in core chemical engineering subjects, along with chemical engineering practice and design. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn advanced chemical engineering topics such as digital design, machine learning, intensified processes and product formulation – disciplines that are the future of chemical engineering

Studying a chemical engineering degree at Leeds will equip you with the fundamental concepts and new skills used by the modern chemical engineer. Your education at Leeds will give you the knowledge and experience you need to begin your career in this highly valued profession and make a real impact in the field of chemical sciences and engineering.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Take advantage of our world-leading research here at Leeds, which has been responsible for engineering new technologies and led industry-driven developments that have impacted virtually all industrial sectors.
  • Experience expert teaching, delivered by a programme team who specialise in a wide range of chemical and process engineering disciplines and have extensive industry experience.
  • Put your learning into practice with access to our School’s specialist facilities, including state-of-the-art research laboratories fully equipped with the latest technology and our virtual engineering environment that gives you hands-on experience in chemical plant operations.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our paid industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at – and build professional relationships with – major organisations such as P&G, Johnson Matthey, Coca Cola, EDF Energy, Siemens, Unilever, AstraZeneca and Sellafield Ltd.
  • Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across universities worldwide.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our ChemEng society where you can meet more of your peers and lecturers, whilst gaining guidance and invaluable insight from industry professionals at regular talks and networking events throughout your degree.

Join our online taster course

Learn how chemical engineering can help solve global challenges such as climate change and food security with our two-week online course. Join today on Futurelearn.

View this video on Bilibili


Institution of Chemical Engineers

This course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

The BEng course is accredited as partially satisfying the educational base for CEng status. A programme of accredited further learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng.

Course details

Our courses offer you the chance to learn and practice the fundamentals of chemical engineering and give you the flexibility to tailor the degree to your interests.

Embedded within your Chemical Engineering programme are opportunities to develop your professional skills such as teamwork, communication, presenting, report writing, project management, self-learning and ethics. In addition to technical competency, these skills are highly desired in industry.

On this course, you can choose to study either the four-year Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) or the three-year Bachelor’s (BEng) degree.

Years 1 and 2

The first two years of our chemical engineering degrees are common and share the same set of modules, focusing on the underpinning mathematics and science concepts, as well as core chemical engineering topics. Not only does this give you a firm foundation for your studies, but it also means you can switch easily between our chemical engineering courses if you choose.

You’ll cover topics such as mass and energy balances, fluid mechanics, chemical thermodynamics, heat transfer, materials science, process modelling, unit operations, as well as having plenty of opportunities to put that knowledge into practice in design and laboratory work.

Year 3

You’ll build on your core knowledge and study more specialised modules, covering a wide range of chemical engineering topics such as separation processes, reaction engineering, process optimisation and control, process engineering operations and undertake a major design project.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either work in a paid industrial placement or join one of our study abroad programmes, spanning across many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. This will extend your degree by 12 months.

Project work

Every year of your course gives you hands-on experience of project work. Occasionally you will work independently on a project, but more frequently you will work in project teams on open-ended problems. These projects give you the opportunity to explore the subject further whilst supporting your technical and professional skills development in an environment that more closely reflects the activities of a chemical engineer in industry.

Find out more about Project work.

Engineering ethics

Ethics plays an integral role in the engineering practices of today, which is why you’ll study engineering ethics as part of your course. You’ll be taught by academics from the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre, as well as your lecturers, covering a wide range of topics such as professionalism and codes of conduct, corporate social responsibility, engineering and responsibility, ethics in innovation and research ethics.

The ethics training will advance your critical thinking, communication and creative problem-solving skills which are crucial to employers, but it will also help you identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you may encounter in your professional life in the engineering industry.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Chemical Engineering BEng in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Technical Skills and Applications 20
Introduction to Process Engineering 30
Engineering Science 1 30
Mathematical Techniques 1 10
Materials Science and Engineering 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Foundation Mathematics 10
Fundamentals of Process Chemistry 10
Foundation Engineering Physics 10
Topics in Nanotechnology 10
Introduction to Management 10

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Mathematical Techniques 2 20
Safety, Health and Environment 20
Process Systems and Applications 20
Engineering Science 2 30
Chemical Thermodynamics 10
Materials Synthesis and Characterisation 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Design Project (BEng) 40
Process Engineering Operations 20
Separation Processes 20
Reaction Engineering 20
Process Optimisation and Control 20

Learning and teaching

You’ll benefit from our integrated approach to learning and teaching. Engineering labs, process simulations, virtual environments, project work and industrial visits allow you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life work situations. Together they will equip you with in-depth knowledge and key practical skills that will put you in an excellent position to start your career in chemical engineering. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

When you join the School of Chemical and Process Engineering you will be assigned an academic personal tutor. You will meet regularly with your personal tutor and tutor group during the first two years of your programme and twice per semester in the following years, when the chemical engineering tutorial programme is also supported by your design project and research project supervisors. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Most modules are assessed by more than one component. These components can include written examinations held at the end of each year, in-class and online tests, example sheets, assignments, and coursework in the form of reports, projects, presentations and posters.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and International Project Qualification (IPQ): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers an A in the EPQ or IPQ we may make an offer of AAB at A-Level with an A in Mathematics and an A in either Physics or Chemistry.

GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 30 credits at Distinction (to include an appropriate amount of Mathematics, Calculus and Further Calculus and specific subjects e.g. Physics or Chemistry) and the remaining credits at Merit or above.


D*DD with Distinctions in relevant Mathematics and Chemistry or Physics units. Some Mathematics and Chemistry or Physics units may be optional on your BTEC but are required by the Faculty. Please contact us for further information.

Please note - there may be different requirements for the new RQF BTEC’s, please contact Admissions.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall, with 18 points at higher level to include 5 points in Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA at Advanced Higher level, including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, and AABBB at Higher level.

Other Qualifications

Advanced Diploma: A, with an appropriate amount of Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: ABB including an A in Mathematics and B in either Physics or Chemistry.

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

This course is taught by

School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Contact us

School of Chemical and Process Engineering Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

The employment opportunities in the field of chemical engineering are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.

The chemical engineering programmes here at Leeds are accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers and University of Leeds students are among the top five most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Qualifying with a degree in chemical engineering from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career across a wide range of industries, including:

  • Energy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical process industries
  • Healthcare
  • Speciality chemicals
  • Food processing
  • Petrochemicals
  • Environmental health and safety
  • Biotechnology
  • Design and construction industries
  • Electronic and advanced materials

The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, problem-solving, communication and IT skills taught on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.

Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent chemical engineering graduates have obtained:


  • Production Scientist, Anglian Water Services


  • Project Manager, AstraZeneca
  • Process Engineer, Pfizer
  • Process Engineer, Eli Lilly

Food and drink:

  • Chemical Engineer, Heineken
  • Chemical Engineer, Nestlé


  • Industrial Engineer, Estée Lauder Companies


  • Commercial Graduate Trainee, EDF energy
  • Graduate Process Engineer, Siemens
  • Design Engineer, National Nuclear Laboratory
  • Nuclear Safety Case Author, Areva RMC
  • Process engineer, Sellafield Ltd


  • Graduate Engineer, Sapura Energy Berhad
  • Instrument and Control Engineer, BP


  • Junior Systems Engineer, BAE Systems
  • Energy Engineer, Anglo American

Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.

Careers support

At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months. You will return to Leeds to complete your final year of study.

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you will be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • All placements are salaried
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • Undergraduate Project Development Engineer, National Grid
  • Materials and Process Analyst, BMW Group
  • Sales and Operational Planning Analyst, Quorn Foods
  • Science and Technical Industrial Placement, Sellafield Ltd
  • Process Engineering Placement Student - NMPD Department, AstraZeneca
  • Energy Analyst, Arcus FM
  • Nuclear Safety and Reliability Engineer, Atkins Global
  • Safety/Reliability Engineer, MBDA UK Ltd.
  • Year in industry student – chemical engineering, Inovyn ChlorVinyls Limited
  • Undergraduate process engineer placement student, AWE plc
  • Student process engineer, PRAX
  • Chemical engineering design industrial placement, Sellafield Ltd
  • Process engineering industrial work placement intern, Kronospan Limited
  • Energy process engineer (University placement), PRAX Lindsey Oil Refinery
  • Intern process engineer, Offshore Design Engineering

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.