Chemical engineering relates to physical sciences such as Chemistry and Physics with life sciences, like Biology alongside Mathematics and Economics to produce materials, chemicals and energy.
Modern chemical engineers are concerned with attempting to convert raw materials into useful items for society. Also focusing on pioneering techniques such as nanotechnology and bioengineering.
Universities will be interested in students having science A-levels, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Human Biology, as well as Economics or Statistics. Universities will also ask for students to achieve high grades for admission, typically AAA in grade form. Students can be expected to attend admission interview or complete an admission test.
Although students are recommended to check with their chosen universities or degree course prospectus to ensure they receive the right results to be accepted on to a course (Learn more – Choose the right university and course).
There are many options for students who wish to study chemical engineering, which is mostly Bachelors of Engineering (BEng) degrees.
Students can study chemical engineering (three years), chemical and energy engineering and chemical engineering with business management, these will differ between different institutions, so choosing the right university is important.
Students are also able to study for a MEng in Chemical Engineering which takes four years to complete and includes an undergraduate degree as well as a chance for further study, to obtain a Master’s degree in Engineering.
Chemical engineering is a tough degree and suits those who are very good with numbers and hold a passion for science. Similarly to other science or STEM subjects, chemical engineering has many different topic areas that students can explore further.
Most institutions will have continuous assessments for this area in the form of module essays, coursework and reports. Other options include design and research projects which will be assessed via written reports and presentations. Written examinations are generally held at the end of each term for the majority of courses.
In BEng degree programmes the second and final year module grades contribute to the final degree classification, while for MEng degrees, years two, three and four contribute to the degree award.
Students will gain an insight into Chemistry, Engineering, IT and materials science as well as learning about Management, Economics and the safety of modern science. The skills gathered through research projects, and group work will be valuable for employment upon graduation.
Students who choose to attend university will find that they obtain a range of skills which are transferable to life and employment. Individuals will gain skills within time management, organisation, working towards a deadline and social skills through presentation and group work.
Chemical engineers are some of the most employable within the modern market and are a part of one of the best paying professions in the country. This degree opens up many career options with graduates completing ground-breaking scientific research, working as a field engineer or working as senior management.
Students of chemical engineering collect valuable skills which make them highly employable, such as problem-solving and excellent analytical and management skills – which does not limit individuals to one career sector.
Students are taught mostly through a theoretical basis for introducing new technology as well as advancing existing technology. Candidates obtain an awareness of the context in which engineering is applied.
Areas for chemical engineers to find work include; chemical engineer, energy engineer, production development scientist and petroleum engineer.
Also, professional organisations may offer positions for chemical engineering graduates such as BP.
There are a number of Master’s and research degree programmes available for students who wish to study at postgraduate level, for example; Chemical Engineer, Biochemical Engineering, Industrial Automation, Petroleum Engineering, Theoretical Chemistry and Polymer Engineering.
Actor Ashton Kutcher studied Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa and was initially motivated by finding a cure for his brother’s heart condition. However, before completing his degree, he won a modelling contest, quit university, and the rest is history!
Cindy Crawford, model, won an academic scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University, however, did not finish the degree!
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