Year of entry 2024
Chemical engineering addresses many of the world’s greatest challenges faced by society in areas such as energy, environment, health, water and food. The ability to solve problems, design and optimise processes means that chemical engineers are in high demand.
As we move to a more technologically advanced and sustainable future, chemical engineers will provide the innovation and leadership to decarbonise industry, manufacture products from sustainable feedstocks, advance healthcare by designing and manufacturing personalised medicines and digitally transform the chemicals industry.
Our team of expert academics will educate you in core chemical engineering subjects, along with chemical engineering practice and design. You’ll 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 provide you with the fundamental concepts and new skills used by the modern chemical engineer. You’ll develop the specialist knowledge, skills 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:
- This course is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
- Our globally-renowned research here at Leeds feeds into your course and shapes your learning with the latest thinking.
- 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.
- Access excellent facilities, including our renewable technologies teaching lab and the virtual engineering environment that gives you hands-on experience in chemical plant operations.
- Tailor the course to suit your career ambitions and interests through our pathways in digital manufacturing and processes, energy, nuclear and materials.
- Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our 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.
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.
This BEng degree is accredited as fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng), and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
This course offers you the chance to learn and practice the fundamentals of chemical engineering and gives 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.
Every year of your course gives you hands-on experience of project work. Occasionally you’ll work independently on a project, but more frequently you’ll 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.
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, while also helping you to identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you may encounter in your professional life in the engineering industry.
Each academic year, you’ll take a total of 120 credits.
Years 1, 2 and 3
The first two years of our chemical engineering degree provide you with the fundamental training to become a practising chemical engineer. Your abilities in mathematics and science subjects will be developed and you’ll learn how to apply those skills to solve chemical engineering problems.
You’ll learn about core chemical engineering topics including material and energy balances, fluid mechanics, chemical thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, reaction engineering, process optimisation and control, process modelling, separation processes and process safety.
To embed the learning, you’ll routinely apply your training so you become competent in chemical engineering practice and design.
In year 3, you’ll learn more about sustainable chemical engineering and engineering management and have the opportunity to select your pathway of future learning in chemical, energy, materials or nuclear, giving you the opportunity to broaden your education and prepare you for the next step in your chosen career. All your training will culminate in you delivering a major chemical plant design project where you’ll become a practising chemical engineer working collaboratively as part of a team to design a full chemical plant.
During your degree, you’ll have lots of opportunities to develop laboratory skills. Chemical engineering labs go from the basic skills training in year 1, to you running several unit operations yourself in year 2 and then onto a challenging discovery lab in year 3, where you’ll design the experiment to test a hypothesis, collect and analyse data, and then iterate your approach to get to the solution.
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience. You can apply to either undertake a one-year industrial work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Introductory Science – 10 credits
Depending on your entry qualifications, you’ll attend one of the following four modules: Foundation Mathematics; Foundation Physics; Foundation Chemistry; Topics in Nanotechnology.
Professional Engineering Skills – 20 credits
Develop the skills of a professional engineer by undertaking a range of activities that focus on teamwork, communication, data analysis, engineering ethics and project management.
Engineering Mathematics – 10 credits
This module will provide you with the fundamental mathematical methods to solve engineering problems.
Process, Biochemical and Reaction Engineering Fundamentals – 20 credits
You’ll be introduced to the core chemical and process engineering concepts that underpin the design and operations of chemical processes. Your learning will be supported through site visits and a range of tools, including a virtual reality plant environment.
Mass and Energy Balances Fundamentals – 20 credits
This module introduces you to the principles of mass and energy balances and their application to unit operations and processes. You’ll undertake your first design project where you’ll apply your knowledge of the chemical engineering concepts studied.
Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena Fundamentals – 20 credits
You’ll understand the physical laws that underpin engineering processes and how these can be used to solve chemical engineering problems.
Materials Science and Engineering – 20 credits
Learn about the classes and properties of materials and their selection and processing for a range of applications.
Advanced Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Methods – 20 credits
You’ll learn mathematical techniques required for modelling engineering phenomena and use numerical methods to solve complex problems.
Chemical Engineering Practice and Process Simulation – 20 credits
Develop your practical skills as a chemical engineer by working on bench and pilot-scale equipment, using industry-standard software for process simulation and undertaking a group design project.
Applied Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena – 20 credits
You’ll build on the competence you acquired in year 1 to explore more complex applications in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.
Process Safety and Environmental Engineering – 20 credits
Learn about the broader responsibilities of practicing chemical engineers by developing further the core competencies of safety, engineering ethics and sustainability.
Chemical Reaction Engineering – 20 credits
In this module, you’ll study different types of chemical reactors and understand the concepts of their operation to achieve desired process requirements.
Separation Process Principles – 20 credits
You’ll cover the theory and performance of different types of separation process units. You’ll apply your theoretical knowledge to design mass transfer equipment to meet process specification.
Process Plant Design Project – 40 credits
You’ll undertake a comprehensive, open-ended process plant design with elements of individual and group work. This capstone project is an opportunity for you to apply your chemical engineering knowledge and skills to design a plant considering a range of factors including process feasibility, economic viability and environmental sustainability.
Engineering Management and Discovery Labs – 20 credits
This module will broaden your professional engineering skills with an emphasis on project and supply chain management. You’ll also complete your discovery lab practical which requires you to use your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities to find a solution to an engineering problem.
Process Optimisation and Control – 20 credits
Learn about process instrumentation, control systems and strategies to optimise the performance of unit operations and processes. You’ll be introduced to the new advances in digitalisation that are driving Industry 4.0 in the chemical sector.
Multi-phase Separations and Solids Processing – 20 credits
Developing your knowledge of separation processes from year 2, you’ll learn about multi-component separations, unit operations for heterogeneous mixtures and the handling and processing of solids and particulates in bio and chemical processes.
During year 3, you’ll have the opportunity to study a specialisation pathway in one of four areas:
Digital Manufacturing and Processes
- Sustainability in Process Engineering – 20 credits
- Energy Technologies – 20 credits
- Materials Synthesis and Characterisation – 20 credits
- Nuclear Operations – 20 credits
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.
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 and online examinations, in-class and online tests, assignments, individual and group projects, laboratory reports and presentations.
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.
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.
D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.
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.
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 Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were 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: £30,250 (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 on our living costs and budgeting page.
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 admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.
What happens after you’ve applied
You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.
UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.
How long will it take to receive a decision
We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.
Offer holder events
If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.
We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Read about visas, immigration and other information here.
If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
This course is taught by
School of Chemical and Process Engineering Undergraduate Admissions
The employment opportunities in the field of chemical engineering are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.
Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, 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:
- Chemical process industries (fine chemicals, speciality chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, coatings)
- Electronic and advanced materials
- Environmental engineering
- Resource management
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
- 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
- Instrument and Control Engineer, BP
- Junior Systems Engineer, BAE Systems
- Energy Engineer, Anglo American
- Data Analyst, Battenberg Group
- Innovation Process Engineer, Johnson Matthey
- Product Development Engineer, P&G
- Digital Consultant, KPMG
- Application Scientist, Stoli Catalysts
- Chemical Process Engineer, BOSCH
Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.
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'll 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'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
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.
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.
This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.
Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title upon completion which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market 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
- 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'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title upon completion 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:
- 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 Engineer, AstraZeneca
- Energy Analyst, Arcus FM
- Nuclear Safety and Reliability Engineer, Atkins Global
- Safety/Reliability Engineer, MBDA UK Ltd
- Process Engineer, AWE plc
- Energy Engineer, PRAX Lindsey Oil Refinery
- Chemical Engineer, Cargill
- Process Engineer, Kronospan Limited
- Energy Engineer, National Grid
Find out more about Industrial placements.
Student profile: Rafaela Simao da Silva
During my studies, I have learned that Chemical Engineers are responsible for designing, assessing, and transforming raw materials into useful products.Find out more about Rafaela Simao da Silva's time at Leeds