MEng Chemical Engineering

The course

UCAS code
5 years
Delivery type

Heriot-Watt has taught chemical engineering for over 50 years. The Times Good University Guide 2024 ranked us 2nd in Scotland and 8th in the UK for chemical engineering, and 90% of recent graduates were in work or further study 15 months after graduating.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The 2021 National Student Survey ranked Heriot-Watt University as 1st in Scotland and 5th in the UK for Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering, based on students’ overall satisfaction with our degrees.

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

Our MEng in Chemical Engineering provides students with both the theory and practical application expected by industry. We have strong links with professional communities, allowing us to enhance the career prospects of our graduates.

This is a highly employable degree. 95% of graduates were in work or further study 15 months after graduating and 90% of those were in highly skilled work, according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey sited on Discover Uni.

Programme structure

The MEng programme is a five-year degree which shares the same first four years with the BEng programme. You choose which route to follow at the end of your 4th year, giving you the flexibility to decide which degree best suits your career ambitions.

Our MEng programme gives you a sound understanding of both the chemical and process engineering fundamentals that you need to become a professional chartered engineer. In addition to a grounding in science, maths and engineering, our students acquire practical abilities that are highly sought after by industry.

The final year of the MEng programme offers a range of advanced courses to broaden and deepen students’ understanding of chemical and process engineering. Students study optional courses from a range of specialist engineering subjects along with an extensive research project. Final year MEng students also undertake a commercial tender-based exercise taking on the role of an engineering design house pitching for business to our industrial advisory board.

Facilities and labs

We have invested in our lab facilities to provide students with equipment of industrial standard. Our labs have a full range of services including modern cooling, steam and compressed air systems. Electronics and programming have been integrated into our teaching, with Arduino and Labview being used as graphical programming platforms. Students gain a basic understanding of electronics in the first two years to allow them to use these platforms.

Industrial placements

Students wishing to obtain a Diploma in Industrial Training (DIT) linked to their degree will be assisted to find suitable placements, which may be abroad. The 10-month placement takes place in the penultimate year of the programme and is supported by Chemical & Process Engineering staff. On successful completion of a DIT placement, students will be eligible to apply for professional registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech TIChemE) with the IChemE and Engineering Council.

Strong links with industry

Our Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) is comprised of both alumni and company representatives, who provide input into the development of our degree programme. The involvement of the IAB ensures our programmes stay relevant to the needs of industry and that our graduates are prepared for the jobs of the future.

"The degree programmes in chemical and process engineering produce graduates who are ready to ‘hit the ground running’. Students are exposed to external industry and the appreciation of where and how the theories fit in practice.

The involvement of the IAB brings real world knowledge and experience to the course. It provides graduates with a different perspective on the work they produce. In particular, the requirement to present final year group design projects to the IAB as a technical and commercial pitch, in competition with other groups, give the students a real flavour of what they can expect to face as they make their way in industry."

Andrew Scott | Business Development Director - LGE
Energy & Marine | Marine & Technology
Babcock International Group

Find out more about some of the careers our graduates have progressed to.

Chemical Engineering Research

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.

The Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering promotes excellence across our main research themes: Biomedical Engineering, Energy Harvesting and Conversion, Multiphase Flow and Digital Engineering. 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.

Global College pathway for this degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.


Institution of Chemical Engineers internationally accredited degree logo

The MEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering is fully accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) on behalf of the Engineering Council.* All students are provided with a student membership of the IChemE, which is paid for by the department.  

*for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Victoria Neill

My personal tutor has been very supportive and really hands on, helping source placements and projects to make the most of my Royal Academy of Engineering scholarship funding.

Victoria Neill, Chemical Engineering

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Principals of Chemistry
  • Introduction to Process Engineering A
  • Engineering Professionalism and Technical Communication
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists

Semester 2

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

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Chemical Thermodynamics & Introductory Chemical Kinetics for Chemical Engineers
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Industrial Chemical Processes
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists 3

Semester 2

  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Process Design A
  • Mathematical Modelling for Chemical Engineers

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Process Control
  • Separation Processes A
  • Sustainable Development and Engineering Management
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering

Semester 2

  • Separation Processes B
  • Process Health and Safety
  • Bioprocessing
  • Multiphase Thermodynamics

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Separation Processes C
  • Sustainability Management and Process Economics
  • Process Integration, Optimisation and Analysis
  • Process Engineering Design Project

Semester 2

  • Particle Technology
  • Applied Transport Phenomena
  • Reaction Engineering
  • Process Engineering Design Project

Year 5

Semester 1

Core Semester 1 course:

  • Professional and Industrial Studies

Optional courses include:

  • Fluid Transportation and Storage
  • Renewable Energy Technologies
  • MEng Design Project
  • MEng Research Project

Semester 2

Core Semester 2 course:

  • Advanced Chemical Engineering

Optional courses include:

  • Oil and Gas Processing
  • Sustainable Processing
  • MEng Design Project
  • MEng Research Project

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our MEng Chemical Engineering students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 90% are working
  • 2% are studying
  • 4% are working and studying.


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

Potential career paths

  • Engineering professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (including Mathematics and Chemistry with one at A)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB (including Mathematics and Chemistry with one at B)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with Higher Level Mathematics and Chemistry)
  • BTEC DDM (including Mathematics and Chemistry)
  • HNC A in graded unit (in relevant HNC)

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

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (including Mathematics and Chemistry plus Highers AABB)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Mathematics and Chemistry with one at A)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 33 points (with Higher Level Mathematics at 7 and Higher Level Chemistry at 6)
  • Appropriate HND AB in graded units (in relevant HND)
  • Global College Successful completion of our Engineering with Accelerator Programme

Year 3

Entry to Year 3 is only available via our associate student college partnership route.

Additional information

  • This degree is also available through a Partnership Route at Forth Valley College.
  • For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualifications, mature candidates and overseas students.
  • If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at
  • Intermediate 2 / National 5 / GCSE English and Mathematics are required for entry to all levels of our Chemical Engineering courses.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will have to show us that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please refer to our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* 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. Find out more about tuition fees.

** '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). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

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 about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.