MSc/PgDip/PgCert Chemical Technology & Management (Distance Learning)

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 36 months, part-time
    PgDip: 24 months part-time
    PgCert: 12 months part-time
  • Part-time study: the course is designed specifically for part-time distance learning

  • Ranking: Number 4 in the UK for Chemical Engineering by Complete University Guide 2021

Study with us

  • designed specifically for part-time distance learning
  • meets the management and technical development needs of those working in the chemical, pharmaceutical and process industries
  • directed at people working as chemists in research and development, manufacturing and business management roles

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Why this course?

This part-time distance learning programme in Chemical Technology & Management was originally developed in conjunction with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

The course is a three-year, postgraduate modular course with a major final-year project completed in the employees' place of work. A two-year Postgraduate Diploma and one-year Postgraduate Certificate are also available.

Students walking through Rottenrow Gardens on campus.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

The MSc Chemical Technology & Management and the MSc Process Technology & Management are delivered in parallel. Both courses have some of the same core and optional classes.

The modular approach to this course combines a designed core programme, with an element of choice that allows you to choose subjects relevant to you and your industry.

In your first semester, you'll take the 30-credit class Analytical Techniques for Industry. You’ll subsequently follow a programme of core management/business classes, and core and optional classes related to chemistry, chemical engineering, chemical and process technology.

Final project

You’ll normally take on this project in your own workplace allowing you to make practical use of the concepts learned throughout the course. The project is the main focus of the third year of the course. An academic supervisor with experience in your chosen project field will help you with the academic requirements of the project. The management and eventual conclusion of the project will be driven by you.

This course gave me the chance to continue my professional development while broadening my knowledge in a variety of subjects, and more importantly, applying what I learnt from the industry-based dissertation project to my job. The ease of learning via web lectures and study material provided, together with the readily available assistance from lecturers and administration staff made the journey all worthwhile.

Lara Scerri, Quality Affairs Engineer at Actavis Malta,
MSc Chemical Technology & Management (distance learning) graduate 

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.

We're shortlisted for University of the Year 2021 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide

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Course content

This MSc distance learning course has been designed to deliver in-depth knowledge and the skills required for your profession, while allowing you to select classes to suit your requirements and learning objectives. 

In Year 1 you'll study the 30-credit class, Analytical Techniques for Industry in the first semester, followed by three 10-credit classes in Semester 2. In Year 2, you’ll complete the remaining 60 credits of taught classes, before continuing to the final project in Year 3. This will normally be undertaken in your workplace and will allow you to apply the knowledge learned in your first two years.


The class descriptions are intended as a guide. Please note that although the general content and aim of the classes will remain the same, there may be changes to some content and assessment. Classes on offer may change.

Analytical Techniques for Industry

This module will teach the following:

  • a general introduction to analytical science
  • Section 1: handling chemical data
  • Section 2: chromatography
  • Section 3: advanced separations
  • Section 4: UV-Vis spectroscopy
  • Section 5: near mid/IR spectroscopy
  • Section 6: raman spectroscopy
  • Section 7: mass spectroscopy
  • Section 8: nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Section 9: atomic & nuclear spectroscopy
  • Section 10: surface analysis & X-ray techniques
Multivariate Analysis & Process Analysis for Industry

This module will teach the following:

Determination of covariance in data sets; use of the product-moment correlation coefficient. The use of t-tests to assess the significance of correlation coefficient values.

Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Decomposition of chemical data sets; determination of scores and loadings matrices; geometrical interpretation of PCA; interpretation of scores, loading and eigenvalue data plots.

Review of univariate calibration. Introduction to multivariate regression: multiple linear regression methods (classical least squares (CLS) and inverse least squares (ILS)); principal component regression (PCR); partial least squares (PLS). Determination of regression coefficients and prediction of concentration in unknown samples using spectral data. Comparison of multivariate regression methods: key features, advantages and disadvantages.

Review of Design of Experiments. Use of multivariate regression for determination of coefficients relating to main effects and interactions.

Introduction to classification and cluster analysis of multivariate data. Comparison of methods.

Use of multivariate curve resolution (MCR) for analysis of spectral data.

Benefits of improved process monitoring and control; differences in requirements of laboratory and plant based instruments; off-line, on-line, at-line, in-line and non-invasive analysis; sampling and sample conditioning.

Aspects of on-line mass spectrometry for process monitoring.

Aspects of on-line Raman spectrometry for process monitoring.

Process monitoring by UV-visible spectrometry and the use of flow-injection analysis methodologies; examples of industrial applications.

Use of mid infra-red spectrometry for on-line process monitoring; industrial examples.

Use of near infra-red spectrometry for on-line process monitoring; industrial examples.

Process gas chromatography.

Process control requirements; combination of control and process monitoring; examples from an ethylene production plant - safety, product quality, environmental factors (will feature different techniques including gas chromatography).

Understanding Financial Information

This module aims to provide you with an appreciation of how companies manage and report financial information. You'll learn about:

  • the nature and form of a company’s financial statements
  • the interpretation of financial reports
  • budgets and budgeting
  • the behaviour of costs and the implications for short-term decisions
  • calculating the cost of products and services and an understanding of the cost allocation problem
  • project evaluation techniques
Project Management

This class aims to provide you with skills relating to the use of engineering practices in project management. There's a focus on the effective and efficient use of resources.

This module will teach the following:

  • introduction to project management & various methods & frameworks used in industry
  • overview of the PMBOK framework
  • overview of the PRINCE 2 methodology
  • project scheduling & the use of project management software
  • project management case studies
  • guided in-depth study of an aspect of project management in an area of interest to the student. For example risk, quality, planning etc

Semester 1 Core class

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

Semester 1 Optional classes

Choose two classes from the below:

Safety Management Practices

This module provides you with an advanced level exposure to the role of management and management systems in safety and loss prevention.

It will involve in-depth analysis of major incidents in recent history pinpointing:

  • the structure of safety management systems
  • the approach to auditing safety management
  • the role of human factors
  • the process and concept of safe design

This course will also involve developing site emergency plans and accident investigation skills, as well as a review of legal structure for the UK.

Programming & Optimisation

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

The module will teach you to:

  • develop algorithms to solve optimisation tasks
  • present working Excel spreadsheets tackling optimisation tasks in a form suitable for other engineers to use
Petroleum Engineering

This module aims to:

  • introduce to the students the concepts of origin and formation of petroleum, types and quality of refinery feedstock and natural gas
  • provide detailed understanding of petroleum production processes from reservoir to export
  • introduce field development planning and economic assessment
  • introduce advanced topics in multiphase flow, flow assurance, and carbon capture and storage
Molecular Simulation in Chemical Engineering

The educational aims of this module are:

  • how chemical engineering processes operate at a molecular scale and how the molecular scale eventually determines what happens at the process scale
  • the usefulness of Molecular Simulation in a chemical engineering context
  • the theoretical framework that underlies molecular simulations, thermodynamics and most of chemeng, namely basic statistical mechanics
  • molecular simulation conventions
  • transferable skills useful for obtaining measurements from simulations, analysing data, and communication of technical data and ideas.
Electrochemical Energy Devices

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.

Molecular & Interfacial Science

This module aims to enhance students' knowledge and understanding of surface science and material properties, their underlying molecular origin, and their applications.

Clean Combustion Technologies

This module aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of combustion engineering, and the concepts and applications of clean combustion technologies.

Semester 2 core classes

IT Strategy

In this course you'll learn about the relationship between IS/ICT and Corporate Strategy in various different ways. We'll talk about certain IS/ICT tools that require strategic considerations, that can support strategy making, whether there is such thing as IS/ICT strategy and, if yes, how it relates to the corporate strategy.

Business & Technology Strategy

This class aims to provide you with an understanding of how companies develop their business strategy and the role that technology development plays in that process. You will learn about:

  • organisation, missions/vision/objectives, strategy, environments
  • analysing the environments
  • the organisation, value chain, organisational structure and culture
  • assessment of strategic options
  • planning
  • implementation, success or failure
  • models & theory school overview
Ethics, Sustainability & Environmental Engineering

This module aims to assist students to understand their role in engineering sustainability, environmental aspects and professional ethics and how these may influence their professional practice and will teach the following:

  • ethical dimensions to engineering problem solving; professionalism
  • codes of conduct; and obligations to the public; case studies engineering ethics
  • ethical frameworks; introduction to applied ethics
  • psychological aspects of decision making
  • history & global context of sustainable development
  • environmental engineering in the chemical & process industries
  • environmental legislation relevant to the chemical & process industries
Individual Project

This is the final assessment of the MSc programmes and is only taken by students in their final year of these degrees.

The module extends across the various advanced chemistry and business/management subjects taught during the course. You’ll explore an advanced technical issue and a business case within your industrial workplace.

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered online via our virtual learning environment, Myplace. Lecturers provide support through online tutorials, forums, email, telephone, and, if demand is sufficient, face-to-face on campus tutorials. 


Assessment is normally by assignment, project and occasionally online group work. Occasionally some classes will be assessed by a formal exam, but if you're not in the UK you can normally arrange an exam centre in your own country.

Ranked Top 10 in the UK for Chemical Engineering by Complete University Guide 2021

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant degree subject.

Other qualifications will be considered if they meet the same standard. Please note that due to the large variety of qualifications, a definite answer can only be given once a full application has been received.

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Fees & funding

Fees listed below are per 60 credits. This course is over three years and requires 180 credits, so the fee below is an annual fee.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course materials

We don't 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.

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

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A Masters degree will expand your career opportunities whether you're planning to progress your career into management, move into industrial or research chemistry, or move into a new industry. It will also provide you with a means to validate your skills and competency to your peers and employers.

A degree in Chemical Technology and Management is flexible and relevant to many industries. Our modular structure enables you to tailor your degree to your needs.

Relevant industries include food and drink, pharmaceutical, water treatment, among others.

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You'll be asked to set up an account with a password, after which you'll automatically be taken to the online application form. Please complete all sections of this, uploading copies of the following supporting documentation. The following items must be provided in order for an assessment of your application to be made:

  • a copy of the academic transcript and degree certificate for College and University qualifications
  • a full CV, detailing your employment history, outlining job titles, organisations worked for, and roles and responsibilities undertaken


  • name and email information for two nominated referees
  • a copy of your passport including photo page (international students only)

Start date: Sep 2022

Chemical Technology and Management

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484