- Start date: September & January
- Accreditation: Institute of Chemical Engineers
- Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time
Study with us
- cross-disciplinary programme with input from industry
- meets accreditation requirements for the Institute of Chemical Engineers
- develop sought-after understanding of sustainable approaches and practices
- open to full-time students wanting to take up careers in industry, also industrial staff seeking continuing professional development
Why this course?
What you'll study
The MSc requires you to take a range of classes from subject areas in chemical & process engineering, sustainability/environmental engineering and multidisciplinary skills. You'll take four in chemical & process engineering, two in sustainability/environmental and two in multidisciplinary skills.
You’ll work with a group of students from different pathways of the Sustainable Engineering programme. You’ll produce sustainable solutions to real-life industry problems. This project will include site visits, field trips and progress reports to industry partners.
An individual research project is offered where you'll be working with our highly talented team of leading researchers on chemical engineering issues of the future.
MSc students will study a selected topic in depth and submit a thesis.
Successful completion of eight modules, the group project and an individual project leads to the award of an MSc.
180 credits of classes are delivered over three semesters.
Some classes are compulsory and the rest are selected by you.
You should split your choices to allow for 60 credits per semester.
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development. The social, environmental, and economic impact of development strategies will be identified and the mitigation of negative impacts discussed.
The module will cover the following:
- shifting world views with respect to technology and ecology
- green politics
- green theoretical perspectives
- climate change
- sustainable development
- limits to growth (people, economies & cities)
On completion of the module, you'll be expected to:
- understand the concept of social, environmental and economic sustainability
- discuss population, urban, and economic growth strategies and their impacts
Sustainability Individual Project
You'll undertake supervised, individual project work, with the award of MSc being made on the basis of an acceptable report/dissertation submission.
This component is valued at 60 PG credits.
MSc Sustainability Group Project
In this module, teams of students will be formed, and each team will tackle a problem of practical relevance in close co-operation with industrial personnel. Each team will be required to make regular progress reports, culminating in the presentation of a final report to a panel of interested experts.
You must choose at least one class from this list:
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
On completion of this module the student is expected to be able to:
- carry out a systematic approach to design selection according to the chosen assessment criteria
- undertake a structured approach to designing the reaction, separation and recycle aspects of a flow sheet
- employ “Pinch Technology” methods to the overall targeting of hot and cold utility requirements and to heat exchanger capital costs, which would then involve the design of a simple heat exchanger network (HEN)
- apply a methodical approach to “retrofit” designs as well as to "new" designs (including understanding of the special features of batch processes)
Advanced Process Design
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 bet. 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
On completion of this module you'll be expected to be able to:
- show an understanding of the structured approach to the design of batch and semi-batch processes
- recognise the importance of wider implications, such as geographical location and stakeholder roles
- appreciate linkage of “key principles”: green engineering, ethics, professionalism and sustainability
- demonstrate knowledge and apply the principles of chemical product design
You must choose at least three classes from this list:
What is the module about?
The module gives an introduction to the field of petroleum engineering.
The oil and gas industry is often divided into two broad areas so called ‘‘upstream petroleum engineering’’ and ‘‘downstream petroleum engineering’’. ‘‘Upstream’’ is generally about getting oil and gas out of the ground (i.e. extracting it), whereas ‘‘downstream’’ is about what processing is done to the oil and gas after it already out of the ground.
Traditionally, a large number of chemical engineers work in ‘‘downstream’’ oil and gas, e.g. in areas such as petroleum refining. One of the main operations in petroleum refining, namely distillation, is very familiar to chemical engineers. Likewise, a cracking unit is used in petroleum refining is essentially a catalytic reactor, again an operation very familiar to chemical engineers.
This module focusses on the ‘‘upstream’’ end of petroleum engineering which historically is less familiar to chemical engineers than ‘‘downstream’’.
‘‘Upstream’’ is usually considered to be the province of petroleum engineers, rather than chemical engineers.
Chemical engineers do however possess the skill set needed to understand ‘‘upstream’’ oil and gas.
In order to extract oil and gas from the ground it is essential to understand what its phase behaviour is when still inside the ground and likewise what its phase behaviour will be once removed from the ground. Those are questions of thermodynamics, a subject that chemical engineers understand well.
Likewise, in order to extract oil and gas from the ground it is essential to understand what its flow behaviour is when still inside the ground as well as what its flow behaviour will be in a well taking material from inside the ground up to ground level. Those are questions of fluid flow, again a subject that chemical engineers understand well.
So the module is basically about applying knowledge of thermodynamics and fluid flow to understand upstream oil and gas.
How will the module operate?
Because the module is applying underpinning chemical engineering knowledge that students taking the module should already have, it will be delivered by problem based learning methods, rather than by lectures.
As a result of this the module being delivered in this fashion, students need to have good problem solving skills in order to undertake the module.
As the module progresses, students will be presented with a set of tutorial problems and by working through the tutorial problems and applying their existing knowledge, they will build up their understanding of petroleum engineering.
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
Clean Combustion Technologies
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'll also get chances to conduct self-leaning on three combustion-relevant advanced technologies: Integrate Gasification Combined Cycle process, Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR)/Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), and Chemical Looping Combustion.
At the end, you'll be able to:
- describe and analyse combustion processes
- calculate key parameters concerning gas and solid combustion
- solve quantitative problems concerning mechanisms of pollutant formation in combustion processes
- explain and evaluate emissions control methods for combustion, including carbon capture
- apply the principles of clean combustion technologies in solving engineering problems
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 cover the fundamentals of galvanic cells, with an introduction to equilibrium thermodynamics and transport phenomena, as well as introducing the most important aspects of commercialisation of emerging technologies.
The main topics will include:
- thermodynamics - equilibrium electrochemistry and galvanic cells
- kinetics - Faraday’s Law and current-voltage relationships
- 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
- techno-economic aspects of the hydrogen economy and grid-scale energy storage
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
- optimisation in higher dimensions
- engineering applications
Environmental Engineering for Solving Industrial Challenges
This module aims to develop students 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'll be expected to:
- Understand and describe the main environmental and legislative issues for chemical engineers working in the industrial sector.
- Understand the role of resource efficiency and the circular economy in making the industrial sector more sustainable.
- 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.
You must choose at least two classes from this list:
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
The aim of this module is to provide a structured introduction to the Design Management process, issues and tools.
The module will teach the following:
- background and design for competitiveness and sustainability
- Integrated Product Development, and different approaches and aspects to design development including concurrent engineering, team engineering, product management, design management, distributed design, and decision support.
- the design activity, methods and process models including role of the market, specification, conceptual and detail design
- basic team and management structures (organisation)
- key issues related to design complexities (e.g. relating to the people, processes, resources, product, key considerations, knowledge and information, decision making) and the key aspects of design co-ordination
- design performance and innovation
On completion of the module you'll be expected to be able to:
- Appreciate and understand the role of design within an organisation and the organisational structures required for effective design.
- Appreciate the role of design models, approaches and methods.
- Know a variety of aspects and the complexities of design development.
- Appreciate the role of innovation in design and know how to measure design performance.
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”. You'll 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.
The module will be assessed in two ways. First, a group assignment will test your ability to develop a full risk analysis for a technological system. Second, an exam will assess your understanding of key concepts and methods discussed in the course.
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
- and 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.
- understand issues in financial engineering and ability to analyse the significance of financial engineering in terms of the macro and micro aspects of economic activities
- identify and analyse issues arising from the financial accounts and reports of companies
- identify sources and methods of raising project finance and implications of these for business and financial risk
- analyse the principles underlying operation of financial/capital markets
- identify and evaluate financial strategies and instruments for corporate risk management
- explain business sustainability in terms the imperatives of financial engineering
Environmental Impact Assessment
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. You'll 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 pro-active 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.
On completion of the module you'll be expected to:
- be able to be conversant with the regulatory requirements for statutory EIA throughout the world
- be familiar with some of the methodologies commonly used in preparing EIA
- be competent in the evaluation of the quality of an Environmental Impact Statements and understand the requirements of the IEMA EIA Quality Mark
- be able to understand the relationship between EIA and development decisions and understand the ways in which EIA can contribute to sustainable development and project design, and its limitations in this regard
Steinemann, A. (2000) Rethinking human health impact assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 20 (6): 627-645. [Strathclyde 614.7 Serial]
Vanclay, F. (2006), Principles for social impact assessment: A critical comparison between the international and US documents. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 26 (1): 3-14. [Strathclyde 614.7 Serial]
Wilkins, H. (2003), The need for subjectivity in EIA: discourse as a tool for sustainable development. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 23: 401-414. [Strathclyde 614.7 Serial]
Learning & teaching
Teaching methods include:
- group work
- computer- aided learning
All classes are delivered over a twelve-week period.
The Emerging Technologies module makes extensive use of visiting speakers who are leading practitioners in their field.
The Safety Management Practices module gives you exposure to best industry practice and our course is one of only a few MSc programmes to offer this amount of required industrial training.
Assessment is through a balanced work load of class based assessment, individual and group based projects and exams.
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Currently, I am working on a project of decarbonising process heating in the whisky industry through various renewable sources and I love how it connects me to real world issues.
You'll be based in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. We have state-of-the-art research laboratories that feature a comprehensive suite of experimental facilities including:
- light scattering
- adsorption measurements
- High-pressure viscometry
As a distance learning student, you'll have access to the University library online. You can borrow online books and download academic papers and journals. The library also offers a postal service for distance learning students.
The programme meets accreditation requirements for the Institute of Chemical Engineers which would allow graduates to apply for chartered engineer status.
Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in chemical engineering or related subject.
Entry may be possible with other qualifications provided there is evidence of relevant experience and of the capacity for postgraduate study.
|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 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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 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
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
Course materials & costs
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.
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.
Visa & immigration
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my course?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Start date: Sep 2022
Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing
Start date: Jan 2023
Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing (January intake)
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