Chemical engineers contribute to society by helping to manage resources, protecting the environment and controlling health and safety procedures.

If you have an aptitude and fascination for how the physical world works, are interested in how chemical reactions and the physical properties of matter can be harnessed to create world-changing technologies, and want to contribute positively to making the life of the human race better, then you should consider Chemical Engineering.

This programme is studied on campus.

Our BEng/MEng Chemical Engineering degrees deliver the learning outcomes required of any general chemical engineering degree programme giving our graduates the opportunity to find employment across the broad spectrum of Chemical Engineering employers. Our location in Aberdeen, the energy capital of Europe, and our engagement with local industry means that our students have the opportunity to engage with the local upstream oil and gas industry from the moment they embark on their studies.

The University has embarked on a major programme of refurbishing and upgrading the facilities. This has seen the addition of a new dedicated chemical engineering teaching laboratory and the development of state-of-the-art computing & learning spaces within the School of Engineering.

Chemical engineering is concerned with manipulating the chemical, biochemical or physical state of substances in order to convert raw materials into products in a safe and cost-effective manner. For example, petrol, plastics and the synthetic fibres which make up much of our clothing are all derived from oil which is extracted from the ground as a mixture of oil, water and gas.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
4 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

The first two years cover general engineering, with elements of chemical, mechanical, petroleum and electrical/electronics, as well as civil. In the later years you specialise, following your chosen discipline in greater depth. You do not need to finalise your choice of specialisation until you begin third year. This is also the point at which a final decision between MEng and BEng must be made. Successful BEng candidates will be offered the chance to change to the MEng.

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Principles of Electronics (EG1008) - Credits: 15

The aim of the course is to introduce basic concepts of electrical & electronics within a context of general engineering. The topics covered are kept at an elementary level with the aim of providing the foundational material for subsequent courses at levels 1 and 2. The course adopts the philosophy of application oriented teaching. During each topic the students will be provided with examples of day-to-day devices. Topics covered include dc circuit analysis, electronic amplifiers, digital circuits, optoelectronics, and ac theory.

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Fundamentals of Engineering Materials (EG1012) - Credits: 15

Engineering design depends on materials being shaped, finished and joined together. Design requirements define the performance required of the materials. What do engineers need to know about materials to choose and use them successfully? They need a perspective of the world of materials. They need understanding of material properties. They need methods and tools to select the right material for the job. This course will help you develop knowledge and skills required for the successful selection and use of engineering materials.

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CAD and Communication in Engineering Practice (EG1010) - Credits: 15

The course is designed to introduce the students to different methods of communication in the process of interchanging ideas and information. Oral presentation and writing of technical reports are introduced. The importing data from web-based and library-based sources will be integrated through information retrieval and investigative skills training. Professional ethics are covered on plagiarism, copyright and intellectual property. Engineering drawing skills and knowledge of relevant British and International Standards will be developed through intensive training in the use of computer aided design and modelling package, SolidWorks. Standard drawing formats including 3D depiction of stand alone parts and assemblies are covered.

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Fundamental Engineering Mechanics (EG1510) - Credits: 15

Engineering Mechanics is concerned with the state of rest or motion of objects subject to the action of forces. The topic is divided into two parts: STATICS which considers the equilibrium of objects which are either at rest or move at a constant velocity, and DYNAMICS which deals with the motion and associated forces of accelerating bodies. The former is particularly applied to beams and truss structures. The latter includes a range of applications, such as car suspension systems, motion of a racing car, missiles, vibration isolation systems, and so on.

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Engineering Mathematics 1 (EG1504) - Credits: 15

The course presents fundamental mathematical ideas useful in the study of Engineering. A major focus of the course is on differential and integral calculus. Applications to Engineering problems involving rates of change and averaging processes are emphasized. Complex numbers are introduced and developed. The course provides the necessary mathematical background for other engineering courses in level 2.

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Chemistry for the Physical Sciences 2 (CM1513) - Credits: 15

Chemistry plays a central role in modern science and engineering, not only because of the insights it gives on the composition, properties, and reactivity of matter but also because of its wide-ranging applications. This course seeks to consolidate some of the important fundamentals of chemistry that underlie many topics and principles across the physical sciences and engineering, bringing together molecular structure, reaction mechanisms, the driving forces behind chemical reactions, and methods of chemical analysis and structure determination.

Workshops and laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.
  • Ensure 30 credits points from Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses across levels 1 and 2 combined.
Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Topics covered can include Engineering Mathematics, Engineering Chemistry, Transport Processes, Fluids and Thermodynamics, Solids and Structures, Electronic Systems, Geology, Electrical and Mechanical Systems and Design & Computing.

Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (EG2004) - Credits: 15

The fluid mechanics section of the course begins with the material properties of fluids. This is followed by studying fluid statics and principles of fluid motion. Bernoulli’s equation is used to explain the relationship between pressure and velocity. The final fluids section introduces the students to incompressible flow in pipelines.

The thermodynamics section presents: the gas laws, including Van Der Waals’ equation; the first law of thermodynamics with work done, heat supply, and the definitions of internal energy and enthalpy. The second law is introduced including entropy through the Carnot cycle.

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Design and Computing (EG2501) - Credits: 15

The use of computing (MATLAB) as an aid to practical design and as computational analysis tool will be developed. The course covers engineering design process. Exercises will be undertaken to gain an appreciation of the development of existing designs. Material selection is included from a viewpoint of quality, impact on environment and sustainability. Practical aspects of the manufacturing process is covered through lectures and hands-on experience of workshop practice. Advanced use of SolidWorks and milling simulation software will be covered culminating in the production. Issues such as design protection, copyright and patents will be explained as part of this process.

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Process Engineering (EG2011) - Credits: 15

A general engineering course that provides an insight into the two main conservation principles, mass and energy. Processes are usually described through block diagrams. This language, common to many disciplines in engineering, helps the engineering to look at their processes with an analytical view. Degree of freedom analysis is addressed, emphasising its importance to solve a set of linear equations that model fundamental balances of mass. Practical examples of Energy balances are displayed, bringing Thermodynamics to a practical level. Process control is also introduced, explaining basic control techniques and concepts, i.e sensors, feedback, control loops and PID controllers.

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Organic and Biological Chemistry (CM2514) - Credits: 15

Modern organic and biological chemistry comprise the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, which are natural (e.g. foods, fuel, perfumes) as well as synthetic (e.g. soaps, textile fabrics, pharmaceuticals). This course investigates some key areas in organic chemistry: shape, conformation, stereochemistry, and chemical properties of organic and biological compounds. Reactions and reactivity of aliphatic derivatives, olefins and aromatic compounds will be considered with particular reference to spatial and electronic effects. The experiments performed in the lab will help students understand key organic concepts and develop their synthetic/analytical skills.

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Energetics of Change in Chemical and Biological Processes (CM2010) - Credits: 15

This course covers key concepts in physical chemistry which underpin our understanding and ability to control chemical and biological processes. The principal points include thermodynamics (enthalpy, entropy and free energies), chemical kinetics (zero, 1st and 2nd order reactions, rate laws and half-lives and the relationship of rate laws to reaction mechanisms), and basic principles of electrochemistry (redox chemistry and the Nernst equation). A strong emphasis on calculations helps students get to grips with the course material and develops numeracy skills. Laboratory experiments support and complement the taught material.

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Engineering Mathematics 2 (EG2012) - Credits: 15

This course follows Engineering Mathematics 1 in introducing all the mathematical objects and techniques needed by engineers. It has three parts:

  • Matrices: definitions, operations, inverse and determinant; application to systems of linear equations.
  • Ordinary differential equations: 1st order (linear and separable), 2nd order with constant coefficients, forced osciallations and resonance.
  • Functions of two variables: partial derivatives and extrema, the chain rule, the heat equation and the wave equation.

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Electrical and Mechanical Systems (EG2503) - Credits: 15

This course provides students with an integrated development of methods for modelling, analysing and designing systems comprising electrical and mechanical components. In doing so it intends to emphasise to the students the similarity in behaviour between electrical and mechanical systems. The course aims to give an introduction to both electrical machines, circuit and systems, transformers, and similar mechanical systems like gearbox, vibrating system and principles of dynamics, and thus provide the foundation material for several courses at level 3 .

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice.
  • Ensure 30 credit points from Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century courses across levels 1 and 2 combined.
Year 3


In year 3, you have the opportunity to study from a range of courses leading to specialisation in your chosen discipline. This is also the point at which a final decision between MEng and BEng must be made.

Compulsory Courses

Engineering Analysis and Methods 1 (EG3007) - Credits: 15

Modern engineering analysis relies on a wide range of analytical mathematical methods and computational techniques in order to solve a wide range of problems. The aim of this course is to equip students with the necessary skills to quantitatively investigate engineering problems. Examples applying the methods taught to practical situations from across the full range of engineering disciplines will feature heavily in the course.

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Fluid Mechanics A (EM3018) - Credits: 15

The course begins with the concept of dynamic similarity and the application of dimensional analysis to model-testing. This is followed by sections on steady and unsteady flow in pressure conduits; rotodynamic fluid machines including cavitation and pump-pipeline matching; open channel flow, mainly focused on steady uniform and steady rapidly varied flows; and porous media flow with applications in civil, mechanical, chemical and petroleum engineering.

The laboratory exercises are designed to reinforce concepts covered in lectures and include experiments on the performance characteristics of hydraulic machines and measurements of the essential features of flow in an open channel.

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Chemical Thermodynamics (EX3029) - Credits: 15

The course aims to give a thorough treatment of the real PVT behaviour exhibited by multicomponent, multiphase systems by giving candidates the knowledge required to determine: a) the heat and/or work required to bring about a given change of state; b) the change of state resulting from a transfer of energy in the form of heat and/or work, or as a result of a chemical reaction. To build on the knowledge of process simulation gained in Level 2 and emphasize, in examples and laboratories, the importance of selecting an appropriate fluid package.

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Heat, Mass & Momentum Transfer (EX3030) - Credits: 15

This course focuses on applied momentum, heat, and mass transport in engineering problems. It demonstrates how fundamental design equations can be derived for a wide range of real engineering problems (e.g. nuclear fuel rods, coal combustion, radiation shielding, electrical heaters, toothpaste etc). This course makes it clear that engineering is the art of applying mathematics to the real world and develops the tools required to tackle a wide range of challenges.

The analytical results of transport phenomena are demonstrated in simple systems before discussing more complex systems, such as multiphase flow, which require the use of semi-empirical correlations to solve.

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Chemical Reaction Engineering (EX3501) - Credits: 15

Starting from previously attained knowledge and understanding of equilibrium, kinetics, thermochemistry and material and energy balancing on reactive processes, the course sets about developing skills in the design and sizing of industrial chemical reactors. Batch and continuous reactors of different types are covered with design equations being derived from fist principles for a variety of systems with different degrees of complexity. The course focuses on homogeneous reactions, design for single and parallel reactions, reactor modelling for non-ideal flow, temperature and pressure effects and chemical reaction process safety. Other elements of chemical reaction engineering are introduced.

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Separation Processes 1 (EX3502) - Credits: 15

This course covers the fundamental concepts of equilibrium and rate-based analysis of separation processes, and gives examples of relevant separation processes. It introduces the concept and analysis of a unit operation as applied to separation processes and demonstrates the analysis of relevant separation processes by applying mass and energy balance methods.

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Chemical Engineering Design (EX3503) - Credits: 10

A series of team and individual design exercises are used to develop a transcendence of understanding and problem solving across the elements of core chemical engineering and general engineering covered thus far in the degree programme. Designs may include gas processing, fluid storage and transport, heat transfer, separation unit operations etc. The course is supported by industry in that some of the designs are developed in collaboration with industry and the course ends with a field trip to an industrial processing plant.

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Process Modelling (EX3504) - Credits: 10

This course aims to develop students? ability in process simulation, broadly, in two areas: 1) the use of commercially available steady-state process simulation engines; 2) the development of process models and simulations from first principles using other applications such as Matlab, MathCad and Excel. In achieving these aims, the course will allow students to further develop their skillset in Process Thermodynamics, Process Analysis and Chemical Engineering Computer Applications.

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Project and Safety Management (EG3599) - Credits: 10

To course aims to provide students with an awareness of purpose, principals, fundamental concepts and strategies of safety and project management.

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Year 4


The major feature is the individual project in the area of your specialisation. The project occupies half of your study time and can be undertaken in Aberdeen or abroad. The opportunity exists to study a European language to support this study.

Compulsory Courses

BEng Individual Project (EG4014) - Credits: 30

To provide the student with the opportunity of pursuing a substantial and realistic exercise in the practice of engineering at or near a professional level, and to further enhance the student's critical and communication skills. The project will usually be carried out at the University of Aberdeen but may be carried out at industry or other research location.

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Biochemical Engineering (EX4016) - Credits: 10

The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the industrial relevance of common biochemical processes and to allow them to model, analyse, and design such systems.

This course introduces the fundamentals of microbiology and biochemistry, the main cell constituents, DNA, RNA, enzymes, membranes. The kinetics of enzymatic reaction and of microbial growth is reviewed. The mass and heat transfer theory developed as part of other courses is applied to biochemical process. The design methodology for biochemical processes is described. Typical biochemical processes are described, including beer, whisky, penicillin, monoclonal antibody, wastewater treatment

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Process Safety (EX402A) - Credits: 10

To build on the introduction to safety provided in previous years and move towards developing a transcendence of knowledge regarding how the core process engineering fundamentals such as material and energy balancing, thermodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, fluid flow and reaction engineering underpin process safety from a systems perspective.

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Process Control (EX40HC) - Credits: 10

This course focuses on the fundamental principles of control theory and the practice of automatic process control. The basic concepts involved in process control are then introduced, including the elements of control systems, feedback/forward control, block diagrams, and transfer functions. The mathematical techniques required for the analysis of process control are covered, focussing on Laplace Transform analysis. Development to more general situations is made through the study of second order systems and the application of compensation including PID control. The control theory developed is applied to a range of chemical engineering problems using simulation tools.

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Separation Processes 2 (EX4530) - Credits: 15

To add breadth to students' curriculum in the core area of separation processes. Familiarises students with particulate solids, their properties and characterisation. The motion of particles, including Stokes' Law and Darcy's Law, in fluids is covered in depth in order to facilitate analysis and design of separation process unit operations. Further aims are to provide students with a broad knowledge and understanding of physical separation processes such as filtration, sedimentation, centrifugation, settling. By the end students should have a knowledge and understanding of, an ability to analyse and an ability to design a wide variety of physical separation unit operations

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Group Design Project (BEng) (EG4578) - Credits: 15

This course is a concentrated design and reporting exercise which requires application of project management and team liaison skills in addition to technical design ability. Specific exercises will include interdisciplinary aspects and will relate to design requirements arising from the professional activities of the School of Engineering or its industrial contacts. Written and oral presentations form part of the course.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from Disciplinary Breadth or Sixth Century courses.

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Chemical Engineering?

  • In designing, optimising and operating the processes which make the products we use in our lives on a daily basis, chemical engineers play a critical role in making key decisions including: selecting the best reaction pathway to the desired product in order to minimize formation of unwanted by-products; determining how to purify the product; designing the best control system to ensure the process is safe; developing the most cost-effective process; how to deal with unreacted raw materials; optimising the process to maximise yield and recycle energy to maximise efficiency.
  • The first two years of our engineering programmes cover general engineering. This means you develop vital knowledge in all engineering areas – making you far more adaptable in employment.
  • The School has produced thousands of world-class graduates over the decades, many who have progressed into Managing Director and Chief Executive roles in the oil and gas and wider energy industries.
  • Across a number of our programmes, we work closely with colleagues across geology, chemistry and business disciplines to ensure the teaching is fit-for purpose.
  • We are well connected with local, national and international industry, particularly in the oil/gas/energy industry where you get the chance to experience real-life industry challenges and projects, through guest lectures, company visits and networking events.
  • All of our degrees have been accredited by the relevant professional engineering institutions, providing you with your first step into becoming a chartered engineer. Undergraduate engineers intending to follow a professional engineering career should consider student membership of the appropriate Engineering Institution.
  • Our award winning Society of Petroleum Engineers Student Chapter is one of the 230 student chapters around the world. 
  • TAU Racing was established in 2007 by a group of undergraduate engineers of various disciplines. The team’s goal each year is to design and build a single seat racing car to compete at Silverstone in the Formula Student competition.
  • Hands-on experience of laboratory experiments and of industry-standard software is used to enhance your learning. Group design exercises based on real case field data and supervised by practising professionals from industry prepares you for work.
  • Opportunities exist for industry sponsored scholarships and bursaries, final year individual projects undertaken with industry, and study abroad opportunities.

What Our Students Say

  • Allan Macleod

    Allan Macleod

    United Kingdom
    2015 winner of the Advanced Leadership Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. "I’ve got an internship in Iceland working on Methanol production and Carbon Capture, I’m using the award to attend a number of relevant course before I start."

Entry Requirements

Note: An SQA Higher or GCE A Level or equivalent qualification in Chemistry is required for entry to year 1, in addition to the general engineering requirements.


4 Highers at ABBB - AB required in Mathematics and in Physics/Technological Studies. If applicant presents with H in Technological Studies instead of Physics, Mathematics must be A grade. S at grades 1, 2, or 3, or National 5 at grades A, B or C in English.

3 A Levels at BBB, B in Mathematics and Physics or a B in Design and Technology or a B in Engineering. GCSE English at C.

Further detailed entry requirements for Engineering degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,000
All Students
International Students £17,200
Students admitted in 2016/17
International Students £18,000
Students admitted in 2017/18

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

  • We offer around 40 Entrance Scholarships of £1,000- £3,000 per annum, unless otherwise stated, to students with good academic potential while they study for an undergraduate degree at the University.
  • 2 Talisman-Sinopec (£2000), and 2 CNR International (£1000) Engineering Scholarships available for students starting an undergraduate Engineering degree in September

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

Find out More


If you have an aptitude and fascination for how the physical world works, are interested in how chemical reactions and the physical properties of matter can be harnessed to create world changing technologies, and want to contribute positively to making the life of the human race better and to the development of a sustainable environment, then you should consider chemical engineering as a career choice.

  • Excellent job prospects
  • Competitive starting salaries in the region of £29,500/year
  • High earning potential throughout your career - salaries for Chartered Chemical Engineers rival those of doctors, lawyers and accountants
  • Opportunities to travel
  • Plenty of variety and exciting challenges
  • The potential to help create a sustainable planet

Chemical Engineers are employed across a broad spectrum of industries including: Energy; Water; Pharmaceuticals; Food & Drink; Oil & Gas; Fast Moving Consumer Goods; Agrochemicals, fine chemicals & petrochemicals; Mining & Minerals; Biotechnology; Management; Consultancy; Environmental Protection; Safety.

More careers information visit

Career Opportunities

  • Graduate Operations Support Engineer
  • Graduate Process Engineer
  • Horizons Facilities Engineer
  • Technical Safety Engineer


According to your choice of curriculum, our MEng Honours degree is an accredited five-year Honours programme satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Energy Institute or by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The BEng Honours degree is an accredited four year Honours degree programme partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) while it fully meets the educational base for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration.

This degree holds accreditation from

What our Alumni Say

  • Kieran Fong, Graduate Process Engineer at

    Kieran Fong

    Job Details
    Graduate Process Engineer
    The course is tailored towards the energy industry, particularly upstream oil and gas. I was given the technical knowledge necessary to make an impact in my career.

Our Experts

Our courses in Chemical Engineering are taught by experts in their field. Your teachers will include, among others:

Other Experts
Dr Panagiotis Kechagiopoulos
Programme Coordinator
Dr Euan Bain
Programme Manager
Dr Paul Davidson

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering

Scotland's number 1 School of General Engineering, 10th in the UK


Chemical Engineering Student Society

Chemical Engineering Student Society

We work closely with Aberdeen Young Members IChemE group to organise networking events, careers workshops and technical presentations from graduates working in the industry.

Find out more
Chemical Engineering Placements

Chemical Engineering Placements

Graeme Brown and Heather Watson worked on the Shah Deniz project at BP in summer 2016. Graeme completed a Process Safety Engineering internship and Heather completed a Petroleum Engineering internship.

Different opportunities are available each year

Top 5 in UK for Employability

1st  in Scotland 3rd  in the UK for graduate engineering employability (Guardian League Tables, 2016/17)

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Contact Us

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX