Postgraduate study

Advanced Chemical Engineering MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time


Funding opportunities

From carbon capture to sustainable water resources, from alternative energy technologies to advanced pharmaceutical processes, chemical engineers address the frontiers of important global challenges. They formulate and solve today the design problems for the technologies of tomorrow.

This one-year MSc programme at the University of Edinburgh will immerse you in cutting-edge developments in these and many more multidisciplinary fields.

You will learn through:

  • taught modules
  • coursework
  • design projects
  • guest lectures
  • workshops
  • an MSc Research Dissertation
  • a number of career supporting activities

This programme has a particular emphasis on multi-scale approaches and integrated solutions to chemical engineering problems, from the nano-scale to the process scale.

Learn from industry specialists

A unique feature of our MSc programme in Advanced Chemical Engineering (ACE) is the strong and committed involvement of the UK and EU chemical engineering industry.

The programme is advised by an Industrial Advisory Board, and all our MSc Research Dissertation projects are formulated and co-advised by industrial partners, with a wide range of topics including:

  • novel processes and materials for carbon capture and storage against climate change
  • innovative solutions for energy storage and fuels
  • efficient process systems for pharmaceuticals, food and drink manufacturing
  • modern concepts and prototypes in healthcare, biomedicine and biotechnology

Our MSc programme attracts a huge diversity of talent, with 60+ graduates and current students from over 20 countries, spanning four continents. We also work with over 40 industrial partners who help develop and supervise our MSc Research Dissertation projects, ensuring these reflect the latest industry trends and challenges.


Accreditation of this MSc for CEng (Further Learning) means that our graduates who are seeking to become Chartered Engineers can count their MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering as one year of Further Learning when applying for the Chartered Engineer status.

The CEng accreditation is awarded by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), which is an independent professional body. It gives students and employers confidence in the quality of the MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering programme.

In Semester 1, the MSc ACE programme establishes a foundation through compulsory courses which emphasise modern computational techniques and research methods.

In Semester 2, you will expand your knowledge through a broader selection of optional courses. These focus on:

  • energy-efficient separation processes
  • multidisciplinary engineering
  • management and economics
  • several cutting-edge technological fields

A minimum of 10 credits must come from a subset of three Advanced Design optional courses.

You will have the unique opportunity to:

  • learn from leading experts in several fields
  • explore actual industrial processes (with emphasis on design and energy efficiency)
  • acquire technical skills in various areas
  • implement them to actual chemical engineering problems
  • hone your communication and human skills to present your original achievements

Compulsory courses

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

Advanced Design Courses

Students must select at least one of the next three courses:

  • Separation Processes for Carbon Capture (Semester 2)
  • Oil and Gas Systems Engineering (Semester 2)
  • Group Design Project (Advanced Chemical Engineering Design) (Semester 2)

Optional Courses

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

  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Fire Science and Fire Dynamics
  • Engineering Project Management

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

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Technology and Innovation Management
  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Adsorption
  • Gas Separations Using Membranes
  • Separation Processes
  • Advanced Process Safety
  • Batchwise and Semibatch Processing
  • Bio-Inspired Engineering
  • Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
  • Polymer Science and Engineering
  • Nanomaterials in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemical Engineering
  • Particle Technology Fundamentals and Industrial Applications

MSc ACE Research Dissertation

The Advanced Chemical Engineering Dissertation (MSc) follows early project allocation and substantial training during Semesters 1-2.

After the completion of taught modules and confirmation of progression, students focus exclusively on their research project during Semester 3, under the joint supervision of an academic and an industrial partner, with several feedback opportunities.

MSc ACE Learning Outcomes

  • Develop critical skills for comparative literature evaluation on a particular topic of interest.
  • Working knowledge of modern modelling/simulation approaches at a molecular level.
  • Working knowledge of advanced experimental techniques (e.g. particle image velocimetry, IR spectroscopy, infra-red thermography), within the context of MSc research projects.
  • Transform chemical engineering problems into suitable mathematical representations.
  • Broad understanding of numerical methods/tools for solving problems, and their limitations.
  • Proficiency in using advanced design approaches for diverse (energy, separation) processes.
  • Transfer and implement engineering principles to other fields (e.g. biology, medicine).
  • Proficiency in using a wide range of modern numerical and chemical engineering software.
  • Foster autonomous work and decisions, self-motivated training and critical evaluation skills.
  • Cultivate professional communication, human skills and peer review and interaction.

On completion of the MSc Research Dissertation, you will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • plan and execute a significant research project, and submit a final report (MSc Thesis)
  • use a range of standard and specialised research instruments and techniques of enquiry
  • identify, conceptualise and develop original, creative responses to problems and issues
  • use a wide range of software applications to support research plans and present results
  • exercise substantial autonomy and develop initiative in your assigned research activities
  • adhere to rigorous research ethics rules and take responsibility for independent work
  • critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge and practice in chemical engineering
  • present your research findings to a range of audiences with different expertise levels
  • communicate with the public, peers, senior colleagues and specialists
  • discuss your research in the context of current societal needs and industrial practice

Our graduates enjoy diverse career opportunities in:

  • pharmaceuticals
  • healthcare and biotech
  • food and drink
  • oil and gas, energy
  • specialty chemicals
  • consumer products
  • banking and finance
  • management 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.

Research reputation

The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering may also lead to further study in a PhD programme. With the 94% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework, REF2014), Edinburgh is a UK powerhouse in Engineering.

As an MSc student at Edinburgh you will be immersed in a research-intensive, multidisciplinary environment, with many opportunities to interact with academics, researchers and PhD students from this and other programmes and Institutes, in a dynamic School environment.

Find out more about our research:

We have designed this programme focusing on the following objectives:

  • Educating students to become visionary professional engineers, critical thinkers and leaders
  • Giving students skills to tackle tomorrow’s major societal challenges using Chemical Engineering principles
  • Maintaining close links with industry to deliver relevant material, professional development and stimulate project-based innovation
  • Fostering a community of global thought leaders benefiting students and industry through research-led teaching
  • Building equality in society through our values of inclusion, diversity, and internationalism through societally important research projects

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

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.

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 (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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 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.

Tuition 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:

Engineering International Masters Scholarships

  • £3,000

The scholarships will be awarded to overseas applicants who have been accepted for admission on a full-time basis for an eligible postgraduate taught Masters programme within the School of Engineering.

The scholarship will be awarded broadly on the basis of academic merit with candidates requiring a first-class honours degree from a UK university or overseas equivalent.

Learn more about this scholarship:

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Engineering
  • Sanderson Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FB

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.

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

Further information

  • School of Engineering
  • Sanderson Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FB