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Undergraduate study
Engineering & Construction

Science Industry Process and Plant Engineer* Degree Apprenticeship

The apprentice develops the knowledge and skills to be involved in the process, design and manufacture of chemical, biological or science-based technology, industrial or consumer products.


Professional apprenticeship
Linked Level 6 University award: BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering


Course overview


The course aims to:

  • provide the apprentice with the opportunity to gain a high-quality education while earning a salary
  • deliver a rigorous academic curriculum that meets industry standards and leads to an IChemE accredited degree, BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering
  • provide the apprentice with hands-on experience
  • encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and innovation in the workplace
  • equip the apprentice with the skills and knowledge necessary for long-term success
  • promote soft skills development, such as communication, teamwork and adaptability
  • emphasise the importance of social and environmental sustainability in the apprentice’s work.

This degree apprenticeship is based on the Science Industry Process and Plant Engineer degree apprenticeship standard.

Upon completion, the apprentice will be awarded with BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering.

Please note, we can only respond to enquiries from employers, or individuals with agreement from their employer to undertake an apprenticeship.

Download pdf Order prospectus

* Subject to University approval


Course details

Course structure

Level 4 core modules

Engineering Mathematics

This module introduces the range of mathematical skills that are relevant to an engineering degree. You revisit and develop your knowledge of the fundamentals of algebra, trigonometry and basic statistics. The central ideas of vectors, matrices, complex numbers, and differential and integral calculus are also examined.

Throughout the module you develop a range of mathematical skills and techniques fundamental to the solution of engineering problems. You also advance your skills in selecting and applying mathematical techniques.

This module is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorial sessions.

Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics

You gain a fundamental knowledge of fluid flow through pipe-work systems and the associated design tasks. You are introduced to the techniques used to predict the behaviour of fluids in Chemical Engineering applications and investigate the differences between Newtonian and Non-Newtonian fluids.

Mass and Energy Balances

The importance of stoichiometry, mass and energy balances and recycle operations is widely known and accepted in the chemical, biochemical and other related industries. You explore concepts and skills necessary to develop the skills necessary to work as a chemical engineer.

Practical Skills for Chemical Engineers

You work in a team in order to solve a process industry based problem. It gives you an understanding of your own knowledge and limitations and the importance of working with other people to solve a chemical engineering based problem. You gain a fundamental understanding of the operation of the chemical industry with respect to commercial project delivery; health and safety and ethical considerations.

Science for Chemical Engineers

This module introduces a range of key concepts in chemistry which provide a basis for understanding subsequent study in areas including analysing, synthesising and identifying compounds, and industrial production.

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 you’re designing a plant to manufacture it on a multi-tonne scale or working out how to alter its structure to improve its properties, for example as a drug or construction material. You also learn how the fundamental principles of chemical equilibrium, energetics and reaction rate are developed, and come to understand the prediction of reaction behaviour when process conditions are changed.

This is a 20-credit module.

Thermodynamics for Chemical Engineers

You explore the concepts of chemical engineering thermodynamics.
Develop an understanding of the engineering thermodynamic properties of pure working fluids. A series of thermodynamic principles are defined, developed and then applied to solve chemical engineering related problems of increasing difficulty, in particular derivation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics are explored and then applied to real world analysis of a range of heat-power cycles.


Level 5 core modules

Applied Mathematical Methods

You develop mathematical knowledge in differential equations and numerical methods and 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.

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.

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.

Practical and Professional Skills

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.

Process Operations

In most production units, chemical engineers separate the desired product from the other compounds and concentrate it to give the desired product specification.
You gain a sound understanding of mass transfer theory. You learn about mass and energy conservation and particle technology and the basic concepts behind the design and operation of mass-transfer equipment.

Reactors and Bioreactors

The core of most chemical processes is a chemical reactor to produce the desired product. Sometimes the components of the reaction may be biologically active.
You gain a sound understanding of the fundamental concepts of reaction engineering in chemical and biochemical systems. You make use of the essential knowledge of mass and energy conservation, reaction equilibria and kinetics and are introduced to the basic concepts behind the design of different types of chemical and biochemical reactors.


Level 6 core modules

Advanced Process Operations

You broaden your knowledge and deepen your understanding of process unit operations and the underpinning science. It provides you with design methodologies for complex unit operations involving multicomponent distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, gas absorption, membrane processes and chromatography. You gain an in-depth understanding of the application of thermodynamics to mixtures.

Chemical Engineering in Industry

Develop your appreciation and understanding of process safety, and learn to broaden your understanding of the current industrial landscape of chemical engineering.

Chemical Engineering Project

Consider the design work introduced throughout the course in to a single cohesive design exercise. Explore the requirements set down for process design degrees by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
The project follows standard industrial design methodologies from initial design brief through to complete design of a chemical process.

Environment and Sustainable Processing

You explore the environmental impact of industrial and human activity, and the need for a sustainable approach for environmental engineering solutions. You examine sustainable strategies for air, water and land pollution, focussing on environmental management and sustainable engineering.

This is a 20-credit module.

Reactors and Catalysis

You develop your understanding of reaction engineering and apply your knowledge to complex and multi-phase reactions/reactors systems. You are also introduced to catalyst preparation and characterisation, and the use of catalysis in reaction engineering.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The apprentice learns through a blended delivery model.

Learning is mainly online with one on campus 3-day block-delivery period each year of the course. Recordings and notes will be available online to be studied in the apprentice’s own time. Weekly seminars are delivered online in real-time to go over topics and give the apprentice time to practice design examples.

Lab sessions are online so the apprentice can access the design, simulation and analysis software and may also be during on-campus block-delivery sessions.

Some modules are work-based learning, where the apprentice can reflect on their development as part of their job role and are evidenced through portfolio development and self-reflection.

Apprentices are expected to undertake self-guided study to work on assignments, projects and revise for assessments.

How you are assessed

The apprentice is assessed using written and computer-based exams, presentations, posters, and a range of coursework including essays, lab reports, reflective statements and independent/group project work.

Completion of the apprenticeship is also by end-point assessment (EPA) which looks holistically at the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) developed to determine if the requirements of the standard have been met.

Please refer to the Science Industry Process and Plant Engineer degree apprenticeship standard for further information on the KSBs that will be assessed by each assessment method and details of the EPA.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

To be accepted on to a degree apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer and meet the course entry requirements.

Level 2 in English and maths.

96 UCAS Tariff points including Level 3 maths with significant calculus content. Acceptable qualifications include A-level, BTECs, Access to HE Diplomas, T-Level, or the International Baccalaureate.

You must hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths.

Admission with advanced standing can be considered if the apprentice has studied at Level 4 or higher (HNC) in a relevant subject.

Find out how many points the apprentice's qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

The apprentice gains the skills and knowledge to work across sectors including pharmaceutical, energy, recycling, battery production, pulp and paper, cement, fertilisers, chemical, food production, biochemical production/biotechnology, and consultancy companies.

They gain technical knowledge and practical experience by combining on-the-job training with flexible study towards a higher education qualification.

The benefits for the apprentice and employer include:

  • increasing future productivity
  • keeping the business up-to-date with the latest knowledge and innovative practice
  • tackling skills shortages by filling higher level skill gaps
  • developing and retaining existing staff by offering support and a fresh perspective
  • improving employees’ career prospects.


Professional accreditation

Engineering Council accredited degree

The linked BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering degree is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, under licence from the Engineering Council.

It fully satisfies the requirements for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status and partially satisfies the requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Further masters-level accredited learning is required to complete the educational base for full CEng status.

Professional apprenticeship

An apprenticeship combines vocational work-based learning with study for a university degree. Designed in partnership with employers, apprenticeships offer it all - a higher education qualification, a salary, and invaluable practical experience and employment skills.

Find out more


  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants

More details about our fees

  • Length: 4 years plus End Point Assessment
  • Attendance: Blended
  • Start date: September

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Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

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