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
  • 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
  • advanced numerical methods

You will explore actual industrial processes, with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency.

During the MSc research dissertation projects, your acquired skills in various areas will be put into practice, to be applied to actual chemical engineering problems.

Learn from industry specialists

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.

Summer research dissertation projects are formulated and co-advised by industrial partners, with topics ranging across:

  • computational fluid dynamics for medical applications
  • carbon capture and storage
  • 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
  • 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
  • Polymer Science and Engineering

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
  • 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, you 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:

  • oil and gas
  • pharmaceutical
  • food and drink
  • consumer products
  • banking
  • consulting

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

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 graduate prospects.

Find out more about career opportunities:

Research reputation

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* such as process, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, materials engineering, industrial chemistry, or chemical technology. We may also consider your application if you have a degree in an adjacent field.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

(*Revised 28 January 2021 to provide more comprehensive information on related disciplines.)

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

For 2021 entry we will 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 (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section.We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 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:


If you receive an offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional), you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Any applicants who are required to pay will receive an offer with full details. (If there is no information on your offer about the deposit, then you are not required to pay.)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

*(Revised 20 November 2020 with deposit and additional cost details.)

*(Revised 9 December 2020 to remove deposit deadline information.)

*(Revised 8 February 2021 to remove additional programme costs.)

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 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
  • your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

The Kenneth Denbigh Scholarship

  • £1,000

These scholarships are available to applicants of any nationality. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and the benefits to the student.

Candidates must have, or expect to obtain the international equivalent of a UK first class or 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level.

Learn more about this scholarship:

*(Revised 16 December 2020 to include Kenneth Denbigh Scholarship details.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • 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

  • Engineering Teaching Organisation (ETO)
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3DW