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MSc Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Institute of Chartered Engineers
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time
  • Ranking: Number 4 in the UK for Chemical Engineering by Complete University Guide 2021

Study with us

  • cross-disciplinary programme with input from industry
  • satisfy key requirements to attain Chartered Engineer status
  • develop sought-after understanding of sustainable approaches and practices
  • open to full-time and part-time students wanting to take up careers in industr, also industrial staff seeking continuing professional development

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

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Why this course?

What you'll study

The MSc requires you to take eight taught modules. You'll take four in chemical & process engineering, two in sustainability/environmental and two in multidisciplinary skills.

Group project

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.

Individual project

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.

A worker at an industrial chemical plant

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Course content

You must take up to five specialist modules if you’re studying for an MSc.

Financial Engineering

Lecturer: Dr Zawdie

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.

Learning Objectives

  • 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
Project Management

Lecturer: Dr Wong
Assessment: 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

Lecturer: Dr Megiddo & Prof Walls

Module introduces fundamental techniques of risk management and risk-informed decision making.

Under health and safety legislation, and under the wider European Post-Seveso Directives, it's 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.

Module is split into two distinct sections.

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

The module considers the basic principles of uncertainty and consequence modelling, 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 risk analysis methods during his time with Scottish Power and Natural Power.


  • group assignment to test ability to develop a full risk analysis for a technological system
  • exam to assess understanding of key concepts and methods from the course
Environmental Impact Assessment

Lecturer: Dr João
Assessment: 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 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 the student is expected to be able to:

  • Be able to be conversant with the regulatory requirements for statutory EIA throughout the world
  • To 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
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
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

Assessment: coursework (25%) and exam (75%)

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 
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
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
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%)

Clean Combustion Technologies

Lecturer: Dr Li
Assessment: 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-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 will be able to:

  • Describe and analyze 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.
Individual Project

All students undertake an individual research project working with our high quality researchers on cutting-edge chemical engineering challenges. The module will teach the application of core and advanced chemical engineering principles within a research setting.

The module extends across the various advanced chemical engineering and business/management subjects taught during previous years to consider an advanced technical issue and a business case, within the students industrial workplace.

On completion of the module the student is expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate an ability to work across subject boundaries in response to specific technical problems
  • 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
  • be able to present a business case in support of proposals generated by research

Learning & teaching

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • discussions
  • group work
  • debating
  • 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.

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

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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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
  • spectroscopy
  • 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.

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

Academic requirements/experience

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in architecture, 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.

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.

International students

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

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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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.

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.

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.

Eilidh Maclaren, Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing (MSc) student
I chose this course to develop new skills and enhance the engineering skills I gained in my undergraduate degree. Strathclyde is a world-class university and its strong industrial links contribute to the range of classes on offer.
Eilidh Maclaren
Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing
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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.

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Start date: Sep 2022

Sustainable Engineering: Chemical Processing

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484