MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering

Key facts

  • Start date: January & September
  • Accreditation: Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Study mode and duration: MSc, 12 months full-time
  • 4th in the UK (1st in Scotland) for Chemical Engineering (The Times/ Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)

Study with us

  • develop your career in chemical and process industries
  • gain experience of best industry practice
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Why this course?

This course is aimed at engineering graduates from the UK and overseas who want to develop careers in the oil, gas, process and chemical industries. The course has a strong project-based approach and is relevant to the recruitment needs of a wide range of employers.

This course is one of the few MSc programmes to offer the module Safety Management Practices. It offers exposure to best industry practice and much required industrial training.

It meets accreditation requirements for the Institute of Chemical Engineers allowing graduates to apply for chartered engineer status.


We're one of the largest chemical engineering departments in the country. Our state-of-the-art research laboratories include experimental facilities for light scattering, spectroscopy, adsorption measurements and high pressure viscometry.

You'll have access to the department's own dedicated computer suite which is installed with industry standard software.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

This is a modular course. The MSc requires eight taught modules and an individual research project. You'll work with our talented team of researchers on chemical engineering issues of the future.

A typical selection of classes offered on the programme are:

Chemical & Process Engineering

  • process design principles
  • safety management practices
  • energy systems
  • multi-phase processing
  • petroleum engineering
  • environmental control technologies
  • process safety design
  • programming & optimisation

Multidisciplinary skills

  • project management
  • risk management
  • environmental assessment
  • financial engineering

If you want to study the same scope of subjects but be part a sustainable engineering programme, you should apply for the MSc Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing.

You’ll work on an individual research project with our highly talented team of leading researchers on chemical engineering issues of the future.

Aman Joshi
For me, the labs have been the most exciting part of my studies here. I also think the Chemical Engineering courses are exceptional at Strathclyde because of the staff involved here and their high level of teaching and constant support.
Aman Joshi

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be an Engineering student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

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Course content

Course Director: Dr Katarzyna Sypek

A typical selection of classes offered on the programme are outlined below. Please note that these classes may be subject to change.

Process Design Principles

The focus of this module is on the principles of conceptual design and flowsheet development, which often represent the most difficult and challenging aspects of process design. The first stage is to define “design” and the associated terminology, and to show how this can be applied to both equipment and process selection. The second stage is to develop an appreciation of the hierarchical and structural methods of developing conceptual designs including the effective design of utility systems to reduce energy use.

The module will teach the following:

  • terminology of design
  • hierarchy of process design: block flow diagrams (BFDs), process flow diagrams (PFDs)
  • input-output structures of flowsheets
  • choice of reactors and separators
  • reaction, separation and recycle systems
  • hot and cold utility systems
  • energy utilisation to minimise utility and overall capital costs
  • retrofit design
  • batch process design

Advanced Process Design

Lecturer: TBC
exam (70%) and course work (30%)

The focus of this module is on the wider implications of process design. The first stage is to consider how batch and semi-batch processes are represented and described, including special factors when compared with continuous processes. This will also include start-up and shut-down procedures in continuous processes. 

The second stage will provide appreciation of the broader context or macro level in which process design takes place, and in particular looking at the conceptual phase which stakes cognisance of geography, stakeholders, politics, access to infrastructure, economic drivers, logistics, legislation etc., as some of the factors which influence the major process design decisions. The second stage will also provide a framework for how major projects are executed from conceptual to detailed design.

The third stage is to define chemical product design (CPD) and show the similarities/differences. The module will teach the following:

  • terminology of batch and semi-batch processes
  • design procedures for batch and semi-batch processes
  • consider case studies in which the geographical location is a key design factor
  • energy utilisation in batch and semi-batch processes
  • role of process simulators in process design
  • importance of project life-span
  • distinction between “commodity” chemical and chemical product
  • CPD and process design

Project scoping

Assessment: Project Proposal 100%

The module will cover the following items relevant to project scoping. These discussions will be embedded in supervisory discussions:

Safety, risk assessment and COSHH

Scientific document preparation using software and IT technologies relevant to the project: i.e. Microsoft office, imaging and statistical software, data presentation with relevant error  analysis, mathematical tools such as Matlab, Mathcad, LaTeX

Library skills

Databases such as e.g. web of science, web of knowledge, Scopus

Referencing using e.g. BibTeX

Proposal writing

Gantt charts and how to prepare them using e.g. xfig

Project costing

Ethical issues such as academic good practice and academic malpractice – ethics, plagiarism and sustainability



Individual project

Assessment: Project 100%

The module will teach the application of core and advanced chemical engineering principles within a research setting.

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  1. demonstrate an ability to work across subject boundaries in response to specific technical problems
  2. have an critical awareness of how to develop a research model and have an ability to apply analytical and modelling tools and techniques appropriately to  a specific research problems
  3. be able to present a business case in support of proposals generated by research

Molecular Simulation in Chemical Engineering

This module aims to provide students with an appreciation of how chemical engineering processes operate at a molecular scale and how the molecular scale eventually determines what happens at the process scale. It will emphasise the usefulness of Molecular Simulation in a chemical engineering context and discuss its power as a predictive tool. The module will cover the theoretical framework that underlies molecular simulations, thermodynamics, and hence most of chemical engineering, namely basic statistical mechanics; it will also deepen students’ concepts of modelling engineering processes, in this case through molecular modelling and intermolecular potentials. Last, but not least, the module will further develop several transferrable skills that will be useful in students’ subsequent careers: technical writing, team work, oral communication, data analysis, critical thinking.

The module will teach the following:

  • introduction to molecular simulations, including typical molecular simulation conventions, such as periodic boundary conditions, pair potentials, potential and kinetic energy, local ‘microscopic’ density, and equilibration
  • an introduction to molecular dynamics simulation including the ‘Velocity Verlet’ integration algorithm, simulation thermostats, and how to set-up an MD simulation
  • molecular modelling, including; when to use classical models of molecules (as opposed to quantum simulations), typical force-fields used for simulating molecules
  • fundamental concepts in statistical mechanics including; microstates and the fundamental postulate of statistical mechanics, the definition of entropy and free energy, the Boltzmann weight, standard ensembles and ensemble averages, the link and difference between statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution, the equipartition theorem, and the virial theorem
  • how to use Etomica molecular dynamics applets
  • fundamental aspects relevant to the etomica applet applications, including thermodynamic aspects of adsorption, osmosis, interfacial tension and surfactant adsorption
  • data analysis, especially analysis of time-series and statistical error, including; ensemble averages, standard deviation, block averages, correlation in data, standard error, propagation of error, linear regression
  • the role of entropy in ‘driving’ chemical engineering processes

Petroleum Engineering

Lecturer: Mr Dedis

This module aims to give students a good understanding of some fundamental aspects of the petroleum industry by covering the following topics:

  • reservoir characterisation and classification
  • properties of reservoir fluids
  • properties of reservoir rocks
  • flow through porous media
  • well performance
  • single and multi-phase pipe flow
  • artificial lift systems

Safety Management Practices

This module aims to provide an advanced level exposure to the role of management and management systems in Safety and Loss Prevention.

An examination of some major incidents which have occurred over recent years and the breaches of the management systems in each case are explored. Introduction to the role of managers in Safety and the Environment and the meaning of Managing for Safety. Review of the general structure of Safety Management Systems and a general approach to Auditing Safety Management. How to develop a Site Emergency Plan and the skills needed to Investigate Accidents. The role of Human Factors in the process and the concept of Inherently Safety/Less Environmental Harmful Design. A review of the legal structure in Britain and of some of the Major Acts and Regulations.

On completion of this module you're expected to be able to:

  • understand the concept of audit of systems/process/operations
  • carry out advanced hazard identification exercises
  • produce a simple safety case for a process plant

Programming & Optimisation

This module aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of scientific programming and in particular its application to optimisation in engineering applications.

The module will teach the following:

  • getting started with Excel 2007 and the Visual Basic Editor
  • fundamentals of programming: if, do loops, arrays etc
  • algorithm development
  • house-keeping: communicating with spreadsheets
  • stochastic searches in one dimension
  • local versus global maxima
  • constraints
  • optimisation in higher dimensions
  • engineering applications

Clean Combustion Technologies

Lecturer: Dr Li
exam (80%) and coursework (20%), including a presentation

This module aims to introduce the fundamentals of combustion engineering, and the concepts and applications of clean combustion technologies. The module will teach the following:

  • combustion chemistry and calculation of the adiabatic flame temperature
  • laminar & turbulent flames - the concepts of ignition, flame extinction and instabilities
  • getting started with solid fuel combustion, theoretical analysis of carbon particle combustion at the surface and intraparticle driven by mass and heat transfers
  • theory of gasification & pyrolysis - learn to build pyrolysis/gasification model of a single particle at various boundary conditions
  • key factors that affect gasification process and syngas upgrading technologies
  • combustion associated pollutant emissions, and their formation mechanisms and prediction
  • boiler designs, including CFB boiler and PC boiler & their performances
  • theory of the high temperature air combustion technology & its application

You will also get chances to conduct self-learning on three combustion-relevant advanced technologies:

  • integrate gasification combined cycle process
  • selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR)/selective catalytic reduction (SCR)
  • chemical looping combustion

Electrochemical Energy Devices

Lecturer: Dr Brightman

This module provides an overview of electrochemical energy conversion devices, including batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers for energy storage and generation.

The course will introduce important concepts in electrochemistry as applied to energy devices and will discuss engineering solutions for devices and systems.

The module will teach the following:

  • Thermodynamics - equilibrium electrochemistry and galvanic cells
  • Kinetics - Faraday’s Law and current-voltage relationship
  • Energy devices - overview of different battery, fuel cell and electrolysis technologies, including commercial/industrial applications and their place in the energy landscape
  • Device design, diagnostic methods and modelling
  • Technoeconomic aspects of the hydrogen economy and grid scale energy storage

Assessment: coursework (20%) and exam (80%)

Project Management

Lecturer: Dr Wong
coursework (50%) and project (50%)

This module aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to be able to undertake the following learning outcomes:

  • demonstrate a good understanding of project management practices and practical skills to manage project scope
  • gain intellectual skills to apply various project planning, scheduling and controlling methods with respect to the project triple constraints: time, cost and quality
  • develop a good understanding of the inter-dependency between various project management knowledge areas
  • understand the importance of project stakeholders and their impact on project management

This will be achieved through the following key areas:

  • introduction to project management principles, concepts and processes
  • project management and organisations: organisational influences, project stakeholders, project team, and project life cycle
  • project scoping: project definition, project objectives, project deliverables, and work breakdown structure
  • project planning and scheduling: definition of events, activities and nodes, network diagram, analysis of critical path, PERT method, and use of industry standard software packages
  • project controlling: cost estimate, budget setting, risk identification and assessment, and contingency planning
  • case studies/practical examples in project management

Risk Analysis Management

Lecturers: Dr Megiddo & Professor Walls
coursework (50%) and examination (50%)

This module aims to introduce the fundamental techniques of risk management and risk-informed decision making.

Under health and safety legislation, and under the wider European Post-Seveso Directives, it is mandatory for many industries to carry out risk assessments with the aim of showing that risk is “as low as reasonably practicable”. Students will have the opportunity to learn the general principles of methods and their place in risk management, as well as the chance to develop skills in applying these methods to a variety of engineering examples.

The module is split into two distinct sections:

  • initially the focus will be on learning the modelling approaches and methods used by industry currently to manage risk
  • latterly we shall consider tools and techniques that are gaining popularity in industry but are not yet widespread

Throughout the module, the basic principles of uncertainty and consequence modelling are considered together with the tools and techniques required to apply these principles. Industry standard processes and software tools are discussed, and illustrated by relevant case studies.

Euan Fenelon, Director of Asset Management for Natural Power will present his experiences on applying and using risk analysis methods during his time with Scottish Power and Natural Power.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Lecturer: Dr João
examination (50%), coursework (3%) and project (47%)

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) relates to the process of identifying, evaluating, and mitigating the biophysical, social, economic, cultural and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.

This class provides an introduction to the methods used to predict environmental impacts, and evaluates how these may be used to integrate environmental factors into decisions. The class draws principally on the UK planning context of environmental impact assessment of individual projects (project EIA), but also takes account of EIA experience in other countries and international organisations.

Participants evaluate the quality of environmental statements and of the EIA process using the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Management (IEMA) methodology. The class discusses how EIA can be used a proactive design tool for projects and how it can contribute to the enhancement of environmental, social and health issues. The class has the contribution of key practitioners in the field and includes different case studies such as mining, roads, and on-shore and off-shore windfarms.

Financial Engineering

Lecturer: Dr Zawdie
coursework (50%) and examination (50%)

This module explores financial options and strategies for ensuring the solvency and financial sustainability of business ventures. It covers topics including financial reporting and financial accounting in relation to the wider issues of corporate behaviour and corporate governance. Also covered are:

  • financial instruments
  • asset valuation
  • capital project financing and methods of raising capital
  • capital structure and gearing
  • financial risk management
  • elements of portfolio management
  • corporate business and financial strategies, including mergers, acquisitions and restructuring as aspects of financial engineering and corporate business management
The module will also look into the implications of the occurrence of financial crises at corporate, national and global levels for the financial engineering practice.

Environmental Engineering for Solving Industrial Challenges

Lecturer: Derek McNab

Assessment: 100% Coursework

This module aims to develop your understanding of environmental engineering for solving industrial challenges. Environmental engineering, in this module, is defined as the branch of engineering that is concerned with protecting the environment from the potential deleterious effects of industrial activity, protecting human populations from effects of adverse environmental factors, and improving environmental quality for human health and well-being.

The module will achieve these aims through providing you with:

  • an introduction to environmental engineering for chemical engineers working in industry
  • an understanding of the key pieces of environmental legislation for industry
  • an understanding of the resource efficient practices industry can adopt to reduce their environmental impact and operational cost
  • an understanding of the opportunities to industry from embracing the circular economy. An understanding of the pollution control technologies available to industry to reduce their environmental impact

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and describe the main environmental and legislative issues for chemical engineers working in the industrial sector.
  2. Understand the role of resource efficiency and the circular economy in making the industrial sector more sustainable.
  3. Understand and describe the main environmental technologies used for pollution control (and the scientific and engineering principles used) to reduce the environmental impact from contaminants arising from industrial activity in the air, land and water.

Recommended reading:

  • Fuel Cell Fundamentals (Ryan O'Hayre, Suk-Won Cha, Whitney Colella, Fritz B. Prinz)
  • Oxford Chemistry Primers: Electrode potentials (Richard G. Compton and Giles H. W. Sanders)
  • Electrochemical engineering (Thomas Francis Fuller and John Naim Harb)

Learning & teaching

All classes are delivered over a 12-week period.

The Emerging Technologies module makes extensive use of external speakers who are leading practitioners in their field.

The Safety Management Practices module offers exposure to best industry practice and is one of a few MSc programmes to offer much required industrial training.


Assessment is through a balanced workload of class-based assessment, individual projects and exams.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant engineering, technology or science discipline.

Entry may be possible with other qualifications provided there is evidence of relevant experience and ability to study at an advanced level.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please visit our English language requirements page for full details of the requirements in place before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Faculty of Engineering International Scholarships

If you're an international applicant applying for a full-time, on-campus postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Engineering, you'll be eligible to apply for a scholarship award equivalent to a 15% reduction of your fees, which will typically be up to £4,240. In addition to this, we also have a limited number of Dean’s International Excellence Awards for our postgraduate taught applicants. These scholarships are worth £5,000 and £8,000 and will be offered to exceptional applicants at postgraduate taught level only. Applicants need to only submit one application and will be considered for all levels of postgraduate taught scholarships.

Scholarships are available for applicants to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee-paying students holding an offer of study for a full-time, on-campus postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying. You must start your full-time postgraduate taught course at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2024-25), this can be in September 2024 or January 2025.

The deadline for applications for the Dean’s International Excellence Award is 28 June 2024. 

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships for International Students

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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There is growing demand for high-calibre graduates who can develop and apply advanced process technologies in chemical and process industries.

Some students may be eligible to apply for PhD places in the department and across the Engineering faculty.

How much will I earn?*

  • The average graduate salary for an early career chemical engineer is median £30,000
  • The average salary for chemical engineers is median £55,000
  • The average salary for a non-chartered chemical engineer is median £39,900
  • The average salary for a chartered chemical engineer is median £72,000

*Information is taken from the Institution of Chemical Engineers' UK Salary Survey 2017, and is intended only as a guide.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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During the application process, you're required to upload the following supporting documents. If these are not provided, we'll not be able to process your application:

  • certified individual semester mark sheets/academic transcript showing subjects taken and grades achieved for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide individual semester mark sheets to date
  • certified degree certificate for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide this after completing the qualification
  • provide evidence of suitable English language proficiency if English is not your first language, or you're not from a “UKVI recognised "Majority English Speaking" country”; check the University’s language requirements
  • if you have been out of full-time education for over two years, provide a CV, detailing employment history, organisations worked for and a brief description of roles and responsibilities
  • a copy of your passport containing your photo and passport number
  • a copy of your sponsor letter/scholarship award (if appropriate) 
  • names, job titles and email addresses for two nominated referees

Start date: Sep 2024

Advanced Chemical Engineering

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Jan 2025

Advanced Chemical Engineering (January intake)

Start date: Jan 2025

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484


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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course materials & costs

  • lab coat roughly costs £10
  • safety glasses £3

We do not charge students for course notes, all course notes are uploaded to myplace and students have the facility to print if required (costs would be incurred by the student).

Recommended texts are communicated to the library - students may wish to purchase their own copies.

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Other costs

Locker deposit (£10 refunded when locker no longer required).

Students are not required to purchase any specific software licenses – all software used is available on campus machines, either locally or remotely.

All consumables project costs are covered by the department.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.