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BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

Key information

Heriot-Watt University has taught chemical engineering for over 50 years. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 ranked us 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for chemical engineering.

UCAS code
H800
Level
Undergraduate
Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
BEng (Hons)
Mode of delivery
On-Campus
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Start date
September

Overview of Programme 

Our BEng programme explores the fundamentals of chemical and process engineering. This grounding in science, maths and engineering will provide you with the practical abilities highly sought after by industry. After graduation, you can build upon these skills to become professional engineers. 

Heriot-Watt was ranked 1st in Scotland for Chemical Engineering, based on overall student satisfaction, by the 2023 National Student Survey, and 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK for quality of teaching and learning opportunities (NSS, 2023).  

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 ranked Heriot-Watt 2nd in Scotland and 8th in UK for Chemical Engineering. 

The BEng in Chemical Engineering is a four-year degree. At the end of fourth year, you can choose whether to swap to the five-year, more advanced MEng degree. The career-focused degree has specialist pathways in pharmaceutical chemistry, computational chemistry, biology or materials and nanoscience. This offers the flexibility to decide which degree and pathway best suits your career ambitions. 

In the final year of the BEng, you will undertake a group project, drawing upon the knowledge gained through your studies. 

As part of the programme, you will receive a student membership for the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), paid for by the department. 

Your student experience

Our Expertise 

Our Chemical Engineering programmes have recently been ranked 1st in Scotland overall by the National Student Survey 2023, and 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK for quality of teaching and learning opportunities (NSS, 2023).  

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active chemical engineers and academics. The research relevance of this undergraduate programme ensures your studies remain cutting-edge and industry focused. 

96% of Heriot-Watt University’s engineering research was classed as world-leading in the REF 2021 review, which ranked us 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for engineering research through a joint submission with the University of Edinburgh. 

Our BEng Chemical Engineering is directly informed by the world class research carried out by Heriot-Watt’s Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering (IMPEE) and the Research Institute for Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering.  

Research Institute for Biological, Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering focuses on four main themes: 

  • Biological Chemistry 

  • Bioengineering 

  • Brewing and Distilling 

  • Health Research 

IMPEE research institute focuses on promoting excellence across four main research themes: 

  • Biomedical Engineering 

  • Digital Engineering 

  • Energy Harvesting and Conversion 

  • Multiphase Flow 

Heriot-Watt University is the leader amongst UK universities in promoting energy activities through its Energy Academy, a virtual centre which connects all energy-related research across the University. 

Go Global

With Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme, you can carry your studies to new places and experience new cultures, expanding your horizons on the way. You'll discover what it means to be a true global citizen and emerge prepared for wherever your career journey will take you.

European Exchange

This Exchange Programme enables you to study or work in Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year.

Worldwide Exchange

This Exchange Programme enables you to study outside of Europe as part of your degree programme, usually for a full academic year.

Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

Provides a general introduction to the subject, emphasising the role of basic mathematics and science. Courses introduce basic techniques and principles of chemical engineering including: Mass Balances; Basic Thermodynamics and Energy Balances. An awareness of professional and personal development forms a critical part of the teaching in this year.

Mandatory September

  • Principles of Chemistry
  • Engineering Professionalism and Technical Communication
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 1

Mandatory January

  • Chemical Reactivity
  • Introduction to Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 2

Mandatory AY

  • Introduction to Process Engineering

Programme Video

Chemical Engineering UG video

Fees and funding

StatusFee
ScotlandPaid by SAAS
England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland£9,250
International£24,048
  • Status: Your residency status is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course.
  • International: 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above).

Scholarships and bursaries

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBB (including Mathematics and Chemistry at B)
  • A-Levels BCC - BBB (including Mathematics and Chemistry with one at B)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points (with Higher Level Mathematics and Chemistry)
  • BTEC DMM (in relevant science including Mathematics and Chemistry)
  • HNC A in graded unit (in relevant HNC)
  • Intermediate 2 / National 5 / GCSE English and Mathematics are required for entry to all levels of our Chemical Engineering courses.

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including Mathematics and Chemistry BB)
  • A-Levels CCC (including Mathematics and Chemistry)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.

Employability

Work and study

This is what our BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering students are doing 15 months after graduating:
80%
are working
10%
are studying and working

Salary

£28500
The average salary of students 15 months after graduating
£29000
The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course

Potential career paths

  • Energy, water and utilities
  • Biochemical Industry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Design/manufacture of process equipment
  • Health and Safety 
  • Sustainable Development
  • Environmental protection
  • Food processing
  • Beverages - brewing and distilling 

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