Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

MEng Chemical Engineering

UCAS code: H804

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing MEng Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers transform raw materials into the materials and products we rely on. They develop, design and produce many of the products and materials that underpin or enhance our everyday lives - from the water we drink and the gas that powers our homes to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, silicon chips, and even synthetic skin.

Chemical engineers are innovators who can be found at the leading edge of new and emerging technologies such as:

  • nanotechnology
  • carbon capture
  • renewable energy

They are also adept at balancing economic considerations with safety and environmental requirements.

The wide-ranging nature of chemical engineering is reflected in the breadth of courses we offer as part of this programme. If you are interested in mathematics and chemistry and want to solve real problems that affect all of our lives, chemical engineering could be for you.


This programme is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

We are undertaking an ongoing curriculum renewal, which may result in changes to this degree programme.

The renewal is being carried out in consultation with our industrial partners, accreditation bodies and students, to make sure we equip you for an exciting career in the ever-changing world of engineering.

Year 1

Engineers are creative problem-solvers. They are adept at working in professional, interdisciplinary teams to tackle society's ever more complex challenges.

Introductory courses

In Year 1, you will take introductory courses that help you develop the confidence, advanced thinking, team-working and problem-solving skills that you will later rely on as a professional engineer.

In Engineering Principles, you will experience a wide range of challenges, developing essential engineering skills and gaining an understanding of the subject's breadth, as well as the role of your chosen discipline.

In Engineering Design, you will work as part of a team on an interdisciplinary engineering task. You will get involved in design and use your engineering judgement to evaluate your solution.

Additional courses

You will also study mathematics and chemistry topics that provide the essential groundwork for your advanced engineering studies.

Year 2

In Year 2, you will specialise in core chemical engineering topics including:

  • separation processes
  • fluid mechanics
  • chemistry and materials
  • thermodynamics
  • bioprocess engineering
  • chemical engineering technology

These courses prepare you for further specialisation at honours level. They cover technical concepts and, where possible, give you the opportunity to apply these in a practical situation.

You will also study programming to develop your skills in computer control and simulation – essentials in the engineer's toolkit. As well as:

  • engineering mathematics
  • essential professional skills for engineers

Year 3

In Year 3 you will deepen your understanding of chemical engineering with classes including:

  • Thermodynamics and Unit Operations
  • Heat, Mass and Momentum Transfer
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Process Safety and Environmental Issues

You will also put your knowledge into practice in the laboratory.

Progression routes

At the end of Year 3, you will have the option to complete one more year (Year 4) to exit with a BEng (Hons) award.

Alternatively, you can study for a further two years (Years 4 and 5) and exit with an MEng (Hons) award. Progression to Year 5 is subject to you meeting the MEng progression requirements.

Year 4

Year 4 puts a strong emphasis on design. You will complete individual and group projects, complemented by courses on:

  • Engineering project management
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Reaction engineering

Specialist study and innovative coursework will prepare you for your professional career.

Year 5

In your MEng year, you will concentrate on your final project. You can complete this in industry or in academia, in the UK or abroad.

You will also deepen your knowledge in the specialist subjects you choose from a range of advanced courses.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2021/22)

Our facilities

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the School of Engineering is currently operating a hybrid teaching model. Hybrid teaching is a flexible blend of:

  • digital learning
  • in-person teaching on-campus, subject to current physical distancing requirements

You will have access to the University's libraries and engineering and computing laboratories.


We encourage you to undertake relevant work experience during your degree. We work closely with the Careers Service to advertise internship opportunities and arrange company presentations.

This can be recognised on your transcript through completion of an Edinburgh Award.

Six-month placement

In Year 5, you will have the opportunity to undertake a six-month placement in industry or at an overseas research institution or university.

During this placement, you will complete your major individual project. In the 2019 cohort, 72% of Year 5 students undertook a placement.

We will support you in securing a placement and all placements advertised by our school will be paid opportunities.

Study abroad

In Year 3, you will have opportunities to study abroad through the University's international exchange programmes.

You can also spend your Year 5 placement abroad, either in industry or in a research institution.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the School of Engineering is currently operating a hybrid teaching model. Hybrid teaching is not the same as 100% online teaching - it is a flexible blend of:

  • digital learning
  • in-person, on-campus teaching (subject to current physical distancing requirements)

Course content that would have been delivered through in-person lectures will be taught through other formats. This applies to the majority of our courses.

Depending on the course, this may include a mixture of:

  • specially created video content
  • written materials
  • additional content to support self-study
  • live-streamed lectures where appropriate (for example, guest lectures)

Group teaching

Social distancing means that we must work within strict building capacity limitations. Therefore, we now offer group teaching digitally and on-campus simultaneously. You will be scheduled for in-person attendance at a proportion of the on-campus activities for your course. For the remaining activities, or if you are unable to come to campus, you will attend digitally.

How will I be assessed?

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, several courses have introduced coursework in addition to, or to replace, end of semester assessments.

Where an end of semester assessment is required, this will be in the form of a take-home exam. You should complete this in the same amount of time allocated to the equivalent in-person exam (for example, 90 minutes) but you will be given 24 hours in which to submit your solutions.

A chemical engineering degree opens the door to a fulfilling and varied career.

As a graduate of this programme, you will have many exciting opportunities for employment in technical and management roles across a wide array of industries.

Many of our students gain valuable experience by spending six months in industry, in the UK or abroad, as part of their programme.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S5 or AAAB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 555 at HL - 32 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Mathematics at A and Chemistry at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: Physics or Engineering Science at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics and Chemistry at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Physics or Science at B or 6.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and Chemistry at 5. SL: English and Physics at 5.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

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.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AA to include Mathematics and Chemistry plus Highers at AB in two further subjects.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams to include Mathematics and Chemistry, or AAA in one set of exams to include Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Chemistry.
  • IB: 38 points with 666 at HL to include Chemistry and Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) at 6.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

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.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree 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.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MEng Chemical Engineering


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: Engineering

College: Science and Engineering