Chemical processing plant

MSc/PgDip/PgCertAdvanced Chemical & Process Engineering

Why this course?

This course is mainly for engineering students 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.

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

Our 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.

You’ll study

This is a modular course. To gain the Postgraduate Certificate you need to pass six modules.

The Diploma requires eight taught modules and a group project.

The MSc requires eight taught modules, a group design project 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
  • colloid engineering
  • 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 Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship.

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


We're one of the largest chemical engineering departments in the country.

We have new state-of-the-art research laboratories. These 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 course meets accreditation requirements for the Institute of Chemical Engineers allowing graduates to apply for chartered engineer status.

Guest lecturers

In the Emerging Technologies modules you’ll benefit from external speakers who are leading practitioners in their field.

Course content

A typical selection of classes offered on the programme are outlined below.

Semester 1 courses in Silicon Valley (Fall)

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Product Management
  • Business Models and Strategy
  • Venture Governance
  • Legal Issues in New Venture Creation
  • Elective

Semester 2 courses in Silicon Valley (Spring)

  • Enterprise Innovation
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • Grand Challenge Innovation
  • Financial Fundamentals for New Ventures
  • Agile Marketing for New Ventures
  • Dynamic Global Teams

Semester 3 courses in Silicon Valley (Summer)

  • Internship

Year two, at the University of Strathclyde, in DMEM you will cover:

Compulsory classes:

Global Design (10 credits)

Product Modelling and Visualisation (10 credits)

Design Methods (10 credits)

Design Management (10 credits)

Industrial Group Project (40 credits)

Postgraduate Individual Project (60 credits)

Students must choose 40 credits from:

Engineering Risk Management (10 credits)                                                                     

Sustainable Product Design and Manufacturing (10 credits)                                           

Advanced Materials & Production Technology (10 credits)                                             

Remanufacturing (10 credits)

Mechatronic Systems Design Techniques (10 credits)                                                    

Supply Chain Operations (10 credits)                                                                              

Enterprise Resource Planning (10 credits)                                                                      

Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma (10 credits)                                                                 

System Thinking and Modelling (10 credits)                                                                    

Advanced Materials & Production Technology (10 credits)

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
Programming & Optimisation

Lecturer: Dr Mulheran

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
Safety Management Practices

Lecturer: Mr Dedis
Assessment: case study review assessment in week 12

This module aims to provide an advanced level exposure to the role of management and management systems in safety and loss prevention. The module will cover:

  • an examination of some major incidents which have occurred over recent years and the breaches of the management systems in each case
  • 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 
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
Molecular Simulation in Chemical Engineering

Lecturer: Dr Jorge
coursework and one online test

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
Molecular & Interfacial Science

Lecturer: Dr Lue
exam (70%) and coursework (30%)

This module aims to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of surface science, the relationship between a material’s properties and applications, and its underlying molecular structure and interactions. The module will teach the following:

  • surfaces and interfaces (adsorption, wetting, surface tension)
  • properties of gas-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces (surfactants, films, emulsions and membranes)
  • solid surfaces: gas-solid and liquid-solid interfaces (physical and chemical adsorption, thermodynamics of surfaces, heterogeneous catalysis, nanoparticles)
  • experimental techniques for studying solid surfaces and processes at interfaces
  • introduction to statistical mechanics (microstates, ensembles, partition function)
  • applications of statistical mechanics (ideal gas, equations of state, adsorption, blackbody radiation)
  • electronic properties of materials (band theory, metals, semiconductors)
  • applications in electronics: diodes and photovoltaic cells
  • surface reactions and catalysis (photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, quantum dots)
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
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.

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.

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.
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

Learning & teaching

All classes are delivered over a twelve 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 work load of class based assessment, individual and group based projects and exams.

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree, or 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 for International Students

IELTS - minimum overall band score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5). 

The University offers Pre-sessional English language programmes for students who do not meet the criteria.

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 EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

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

Fees & funding


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


  • £8,100

Rest of UK

  • £9,250


  • £20,050

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship (FEES) for International Students

If you're applying for an MSc course you'll be eligible to apply for a Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship offering up to £3,000 towards your tuition fees.

The scholarship is available for application to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee paying students holding an offer of study for an MSc programme 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 MSc programme at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2019-20).

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU 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.

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.

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.

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.

International students

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

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


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. 

Contact us


Advanced Chemical and Process Engineering

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Advanced Chemical and Process Engineering

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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