• Chemical Engineering

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

UCAS code: H813 BEng/CE

By joining Teesside University’s chemical engineering degree you will be on a path to full registration as a chartered engineer with one of the highest earning potentials amongst the engineering professions. Chemical engineers take science out of the laboratory and into the real world. They turn raw materials into useful products through changing their properties or changing how their properties interact with each other.

The North East is a major centre for process industries and this degree programme takes full advantage of the university's location by providing you with significant practical elements and opportunity to engage with industry. You may also benefit from a placement or professional mentorship with one of the companies in the region, or further afield. This is a real bonus, giving you experience of finding practical solutions to real industrial problems, and enhancing your employability prospects.

Chemical engineers can be involved in a hugely diverse range of work, from oil and gas extraction to designing and building cleaner nuclear power plants. According to the Institution of Chemical Engineers (11 June 2010) the average starting salary for chemical engineers six months after graduating is £28,400 a year. Only dentistry and medicine graduates out-earn chemical engineering counterparts according to data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA). There are only a limited number of UK universities offering accredited degrees in chemical engineering and so well-skilled chemical engineers are in very short supply. Highly skilled professional chemical engineers are very well rewarded and can reach six-figure salaries.

Professional accreditation

Engineering Council accredited degree All our chemical engineering degrees are accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).

This accredited degree will provide you with the BEng-level underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

In the first year, you study engineering mathematics and fundamental sciences which form the basis for the rest of the programme. In the second year you learn the principles of chemical and process engineering operations. And in your final year you draw together the skills acquired to produce an overall plant design and expand the knowledge into an advanced area of processing.

In addition, the programme develops the skill set and attributes that prepare you for the real world of work. You undertake a series of intensive real-life group projects to enhance your engineering knowledge and skills, and your employability - enhancing skills such as integrity, communication, team working and leaderships skills, all highly regarded by employers.


Year 1 core modules

Applied Fluid Mechanics

Chemical Principles

You are introduced to a range of key concepts in chemistry, which provide a basis for understanding subsequent study in areas such as analysis, synthesis, identification of compounds, industrial production, biochemistry and toxicology.

You learn about the nature of matter, and why different substances behave the way they do. Understanding the properties of a substance is essential, whether designing a plant to manufacture it on a multi-tonne scale, detecting tiny quantities of it in a sample found at a crime scene, or working out how to alter its structure to improve its properties, for example as a drug or construction material

Chemical Thermodynamics

Chemical engineers and chemists need a basic grounding in chemical equilibrium. You develop the skills and techniques you need to pursue a career in either of these fields through acquiring a solid knowledge of the concepts and skills necessary for understanding this topic.

Where possible, you make an industrial visit during the academic year and the case studies we develop with our local industrial partner improve your problem solving abilities

Engineering Mathematics

This module introduces the range of mathematical skills that are relevant to studies in engineering at degree level. The fundamentals of algebra, trigonometry, and basic statistics are revisited and developed. The fundamental ideas of vectors, matrices, complex numbers, and differential and integral calculus are introduced and developed.

The module is studied during the first year of most undergraduate engineering courses. Delivery is by a combination of lectures and tutorial sessions.

Assessment of this module is by three open-book in-class tests.

Engineering Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

This module introduces you to the concepts of Engineering Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer. You study the transfer of heat energy for solids, liquids and gases, and explore the various mechanisms for this heat transfer, quantifying these mechanisms and applying them to industrially important equipment, particularly heat exchangers. You learn to design and analyse heat exchanger systems for a given duty.

Throughout this module, you look at the engineering thermodynamic properties of pure working fluids. You define, develop and apply a series of thermodyamic principles to solve engineering related problems of increasing difficulty. You examine in detail the derivation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and then apply this knowledge to real world analysis of a range of heat-power cycles.

Mass Balances

The importance of stoichiometry and mass balances is widely known and accepted in the chemical, biochemical and other related industries. Concepts and skills necessary for understanding of the above topics are provided in this module to help you develop the skills you need to work as a chemist. Where possible, you make an industrial visit during the academic year and improve your problem-solving skills through addressing a case study that you develop with a local industrial partner company

Professional Skills

Knowledge of your degree subject is not the only thing you will learn at university, nor is it the only thing which potential employers will be looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills that are applicable in all walks of life. These include:
- the ability to communicate clearly and effectively to different audiences, both orally and in writing
- the ability to make an effective contribution as a member of a team, and also to work independently or on your own initiative when required
- the ability to tackle problems for which all the necessary knowledge is not available
- the ability to locate information and assess its usefulness
- the ability to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess their own performance - recognising and building on your strengths, identifying and improving your weaknesses.

This module is the first in a series running through each degree programme in which these key skills are explicitly developed and assessed, by means of a series of learning activities that require the use of different skills, while also teaching key aspects of the chosen subject. The module is delivered via a combination of seminars, laboratory classes and some lectures; the exact pattern will be different for different degree programmes. Assessment is via reflective statements, which require students to identify knowledge and skills that have been developed during the module

Properties of Materials

This module provides you with a foundational knowledge of important properties of engineering materials, together with a hands-on appreciation of these through laboratory-based practical sessions.

Fundamental relationships between processing, structure, properties and performance will be explored to highlight factors that influence the suitability of materials for various engineering applications.


Year 2 core modules

Analytical Techniques for Engineers

This module aims to deepen mathematical knowledge in a number of key areas and to extend your base of techniques to solve a variety of problems which arise in engineering domains. The emphasis is on developing competence in the identification of the most appropriate method to solve a given problem and its subsequent application.

Lectures will be used to introduce techniques and underlying principles. Problem-solving tutorials will provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate understanding and develop competence in the application of these. You will be shown how to implement numerical methods using appropriate software tools. This will be facilitated through IT Laboratory sessions.

Assessment will be via a portfolio of solutions to tutorial questions and an end examination.

Bioreactors and Fermentation

The central domain of bioprocess engineering concerns the synthesis of biological materials using biological agents such as cells, enzymes, or antibodies. This module commences with a brief introduction to biology, and you develop a broad understanding of bioprocesses and selection of appropriate bioreactors for manufacturing selective products. This include bioreactions, principles of microbial fermentation with specific examples (medium constituents, choice of feedstock, media preparation), fermentation conditions (examples, types, mode of operation of fermenters) and design of bioreactors.

You consider some of the fundamental products of aerobic and anaerobic fermentations, with examples from biofuel, biosurfactant, food and pharmaceutical. In addition to this, you discuss issues of fermentation scale-up and waste minimisation

Chemical Process Design

This module provides you with the opportunity to solve industrially relevant process design problems as part of a team. You develop employability skills such as project management, presentation of work, research and commercial awareness to support problem solving in a technical context.

You may work in teams with chemists and mechanical engineers to select the best process for manufacture of a given product, and to design the plant necessary to carry this out.

Control and Simulation

You learn about the importance of control systems in industrial production processes, and describe fundamental concepts of linear control including feedback, Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control, system dynamic response and controller tuning.

Mathematical modeling of systems based upon rate and balance equations are demonstrated, together with methods of designing feedback controllers. You use computer software to develop models of typical industrial systems and simulate their dynamic response under stated conditions.

Engineering Management and Leadership Skills

The Engineering Management and Leadership Skills module complements the acquisition and development of the skills in the group design project module.

This module develops key employability skills that support the engineering design and management process. The module will help you to select and apply appropriate techniques to deliver engineering projects at the right time, cost, quality and value. An understanding of organizational structures, culture, leadership and individual performance are also developed.

Lectures will be used to deliver core material and group seminars will also be used as appropriate to promote discussion of management or technical content and review of skills development.

Assessment will be by reflective statements, used to assess leadership, management and team roles, as well as self marketing skills (CV writing, interviewing and self appraisal). Some class activities will be compulsory and so assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Introduction to Transport Phenomena

The module quantifies and models mechanisms of energy, mass and momentum transfer in chemical and process systems. You develop a systematic approach to mathematical modelling of energy, mass and momentum, and learn how to describe and apply the analogies to process problems.


We apply the principles of mass and energy balances, heat transfer and mass transfer to the mainstream chemical engineering operations of particulates (including filtration and gas cleaning), humidification (including water cooling and air conditioning systems) and drying.

We look at particulate properties - size, size distribution, distribution functions, shape, bulk properties. We also examine particle drag, hindered settling, particle separation processes, particle growth and drying - convective drying, main types of industrial dryers, mass and heat balances, equilibrium moisture content, drying rate curves and design of some types of dryer.

We include humidification - properties of air/water systems, use of psychrometric charts in determination of humidity, methods of increasing humidity, de-humidification, water cooling - evaluation of heat and mass transfer coefficients and a discussion of appropriate theories and approximate methods for sizing cooling towers.

The material is delivered through a combination of mainly lectures for the basic concepts and then problem solving tutorials in which we explore solutions of an appropriate range of mathematically based problems.

You learn to:

  • identify, choose and explain selected methods and apply them to particular problems
  • possess a given knowledge base in combined mass and heat transfer and, based on this knowledge, define key principles and solve numerical problems
  • justify, with appropriate calculation, conclusions related to the range of tutorial problems
  • apply given methods to defined problems and show an emerging recognition of the complexity of associated issues and use this recognition to develop solutions to a range of tutorial problems
  • act with autonomy and limited guidelines to make appropriate decisions related to design protocols and reasonably justify these.

We demonstrate numerical skills in terms of the problem solving at the appropriate level for a series of graded problems and graphical production and manipulation.

Process Laboratories

This module allows you to carry out appropriate experiments in support of mass transfer, heat transfer, reaction engineering and process control. This involves carrying out supervised experiments and producing appropriate reports in an approved format. You make some formal presentations to outline efficient laboratory reporting, error analysis techniques and preparation of risk assessments.

Reaction Engineering and Mass Transfer Operations 1


Final-year core modules

Advanced Thermodynamics

This module deals with the application of thermodynamics to advanced problems of steam generation, combustion and heat recovery. It will extend thermodynamic theory from single component systems to mixtures.

It aims to relate the fundamentals of thermodynamics to process plant and utilities and demonstrate how utility provision can be improved and fuel consumption reduced.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • identify, explain and apply appropriate calculation methods to advanced thermodynamic problems
  • possess a detailed knowledge of applied thermodynamics
  • demonstrate flexibility to produce improved logical arguments for revised calculations of heat and power cycles resulting in better efficiencies and lower fuel consumption
  • identify the complexities of mixed systems and apply appropriate models/ predictions to the solution of problems involving mixed systems.

You will be assessed on tests and an end of module exam.

Employment Skills

You learn how to prepare for situations you are likely to face in your future career, including:
• Demanding technical interviews in which your subject knowledge and ability to "sell yourself" is tested
• Scenarios requiring difficult ethical judgments
• Tasks or problems for which you do not possess all the necessary knowledge at the start

You enhance your knowledge and understanding of your subject and learn to deal with similar situations effectively in the future.

Environment and Sustainability

This module uses a group work project approach to address the impact of industrial and human activities on the environment, and the need of a sustainable approach to future developments. Specifically, sustainable remediation strategies for air, water and land pollution and alternative fuel and energy technologies towards zero carbon emission will be considered.

This module introduces key concepts and skills essential for an exploration of environment and sustainability. It also inculcates a broad and deep understanding of environmental problems.

Fine Chemical Production

The preparation of fine organic compounds is of major commercial importance, and as a chemical science student, you need to be familiar with the underlying principles of chemistry, as well as the chemistry involved in this particular application. You compare lab-scale and large-scale processes, considering issues involved in scale-up, catalysts, environmental and safety aspects, and business aspects such as patents

Process Economics

This module gives you the necessary skills to carry out economic calculations relevant to the process industries. You cover the importance of estimating costs and evaluating profitability, and highlight the way decisions are made under uncertain conditions.


This module extends the development of independent learning skills by allowing you to investigate an area of Engineering or Technology for an extended period. Training will be given in writing technical reports for knowledgeable readers and you will produce a report/dissertation of the work covered. In addition, you will give an oral presentation, a poster presentation or both. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project. Key skills in research, knowledge application and creation will be developed through keynote lectures where appropriate and self-managed independent study. Support will be provided through regular tutorial sessions.

You are assessed on your dissertation, project diary and presentation.

Reaction Engineering and Mass Transfer Operations 2

This module allows you to broaden your knowledge and deepen your understanding of reaction engineering and mass transfer operation principles, and to apply these principles to complex and multi-phase reactions/reactor systems and complex separation operations.


Non-credit bearing optional modules

In-sessional Academic English (for international students)

Professional Mentoring


You may select one or more of these modules.

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You are expected to attend a range of lectures, small-group tutorials and hands-on laboratory sessions. Some of your first-year learning is based around case studies, following visits to local industries. A theme of process design through group work runs through all stages of the course.

The course has been designed to provide a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, examinations), but you are also expected to spend time on your own, called ‘self-study’ time, to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to ten hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). So, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

One module in each year of study involves compulsory one-week block delivery periods (Monday - Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm), one week in stage 1, two separate weeks in stage 2 and two separate weeks in the final stage. These are intensive problem solving weeks, providing you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems. These weeks are designed to enhance team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your course involves a range of types of assessment, including coursework, problem solving assignments, report writing, presentations and examinations.

Professional placement

The four-year sandwich course is recommended as the work placement provides a realistic introduction to industrial practice. It is usually taken after Year 2 and could be paid. Recent companies involved include Rhom and Haas, Avecia, ConocoPhillips, Croda, Corus, Air Products and Teesside Power Station.

Career opportunities

Chemical engineers are employed worldwide in activities including research and development, design and plant operation. They are involved in a wide range of sectors, from the utilities, construction and defence, chemicals to oil and pharmaceuticals. Alternative careers include marketing and finance.

Entry requirements

We accept most Level 3 qualifications - the most common for Year 1 entry are A levels, Access to HE, BTEC qualifications (QCF), BTEC Nationals (NQF), Advanced Diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

To join this programme you need to show evidence of good grade attainment in Level 3 maths and chemistry or a related subject, typically at least a grade C, merit or equivalent.

If you don't meet the entry criteria for Year 1 entry you can be considered for one of our extended degree programmes which includes an integrated foundation year. The recommended extended degree route is BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering - Extended.

If you are qualified to a higher level in a relevant discipline and hold a HNC (Level 4), HND (Level 5) or equivalent qualification you could be considered for exemption from one or more of the earlier years of the degree and admitted with advanced standing.

If you live in the UK you may be required to attend an interview so that your offer can be tailored to your personal background, experience and qualifications. During your visit you will have the opportunity to see our campus, receive further information on your degree, tour our facilities and meet the staff. If you can't come for an interview, a typical offer might be 280 tariff points with specified minimum grades in the essential subjects.

All students will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competency in the English language. Examples of acceptable qualifications for Year 1 entry include GCSE English with grade C or higher and IELTS 5.5 or higher in all components, but other equivalent qualifications can be considered. International, non-EU students who require a visa must meet the UKBA-compliant English language requirement.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

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