Postgraduate study

Advanced Chemical Engineering MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Advanced Chemical Engineering

This one-year programme at the University of Edinburgh will immerse you in the most current developments in chemical engineering, through a combination of taught modules, workshops, an MSc research dissertation, and a number of supporting activities delivered by the key experts in the field.

The MSc programme will develop from fundamental topics (including modern approaches to understanding properties of the systems on a molecular scale and advanced numerical methods) to actual industrial processes, with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency, to the summer MSc dissertation projects where the acquired skills in various areas are put into practice, to be applied to actual chemical engineering problems.

A unique feature of the programme is a strong and committed involvement of the UK and EU chemical engineering industry. The programme is advised by an Industrial Advisory Board, while summer research dissertation projects are formulated and coadvised by industrial partners, with topics ranging from computational fluid dynamics for medical applications, to carbon capture and storage, to continuous manufacturing for the pharmaceutical industry.

The programme develops from compulsory courses, emphasizing modern computational techniques and research methods, to a range of options. It is complemented by a strong management and economics component, culminating in a research project leading to a masters thesis.

Compulsory courses

  • Numerical Methods for Chemical Engineers
  • Molecular Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Advanced Chemical Engineering Dissertation

Advanced Design Courses

Students must undertake at least one of the following courses:

  • Group Design Project (Power Station with Carbon Capture and Storage) (Semester 1)
  • Separation Processes for Carbon Capture (Semester 2)
  • Oil and Gas Systems Engineering (Semester 2)

Optional Courses

Students can select one of the following courses during Semester 1:

  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Fire Science and Fire Dynamics
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Polymer Science and Engineering
  • Living Materials and their Biomaterial Replacements

Plus, between three and six of the following courses (depending on above Adv. Design choices, for a total of 120 credits) during Semester 2:*

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Modern Economics in Industry
  • Technology and Innovation Management
  • Adsorption
  • Gas Separations Using Membranes
  • Separation Processes
  • Nanomaterials in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Bio-Inspired Engineering
  • Advanced Process Safety
  • Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
  • Particle Technology Fundamentals and Industrial Applications
  • Electrochemical Engineering

*(Revised 14 October to update the list of optional courses.)

  • Working knowledge of modern modelling and simulation approaches to understanding properties of chemical systems at a molecular level.
  • Working knowledge of advanced experimental techniques, e.g. particle image velocimetry, spectroscopy and infra-red thermography, as applied in engineering research and development.
  • Ability to transform a chemical engineering problem into a mathematical representation; broad understanding of the available numerical tools and methods to solve the problem; appreciation of their scope and limitations.
  • Understanding of the fundamental design approaches to advanced energy efficient separation processes.
  • Ability to transfer and operate engineering principles to other fields, e.g. biology.
  • Proficiency in using modern chemical engineering software, from molecular visualisation to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and process systems engineering.

On completion of the MSc Research Dissertation, the students will be able to:

  • Plan and execute a significant research project
  • Apply a range of standard and specialised research instruments and techniques of enquiry
  • Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues
  • Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues
  • Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking in chemical engineering
  • Communicate their research findings (using appropriate methods) to a range of audiences with different levels of expertise
  • Place their research in the context of the current societal needs and industrial practice
  • Adhere to rigorous research ethics rules
  • Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in research activities
  • Take responsibility for independent work
  • Communicate with the public, peers, senior colleagues and specialists
  • Use a wide range of software applications to support and present research plans and findings

Our graduates enjoy diverse career opportunities in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, food and drink, consumer products, banking and consulting industries. Recent employers of our graduates include BP, P&G, Mondelēz International, Doosan Babcock, Atkins, Safetec, Xodus Group, Diageo, Wood Group, GSK, Gilead Sciences, ExxonMobil, Jacobs, Halliburton, Cavendish Nuclear, to name but a few. This wide range of potential employers means that our MSc graduates are exceptionally well placed to find rewarding and lucrative careers. According to the Complete University Guide, the Chemical Engineering programme at the University of Edinburgh is ranked as one of the top in the UK in terms of graduates' prospects.

Find out more about career opportunities:

The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering may also lead to further study in a PhD programme. With the 94% of our research activity rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014), Edinburgh is the UK powerhouse in Engineering. As an MSc student at Edinburgh you will be immersed in a research-intensive, multidisciplinary environment and you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with PhD, MSc students and staff from other programmes, Institutes and Schools.

Find out more about our research:

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in chemical engineering or a closely related field.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

MSc students at the School of Engineering are required to pay for their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These costs can range from £3 to £70, depending on the programme.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScAdvanced Chemical Engineering1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact:
  • Engineering Teaching Organisation (ETO)
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3DW

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact:
  • Engineering Teaching Organisation (ETO)
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3DW