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Why study for a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineers are at the forefront of scientific and technological development. We share why a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering may be perfect for you.

Apr 22, 2024
  • Student Tips

What is Chemical Engineering?

Applicable to nearly every industry, Chemical Engineering is the science of converting raw materials into everyday products. From the food and drink we consume to the energy we use, it all depends on chemical engineers' technical knowledge and ingenuity. Chemical Engineering graduates oversee these products' safe manufacturing process while managing resources and protecting the environment.

Chemical engineering involves high problem-solving and numeracy skills - both sought after by employers.

Chemical engineers work in nearly every sector, including consumer products, biotechnology, aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical.

As a chemical engineer, you may increase access to clean drinking water, create new food production techniques, or improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Typical duties performed by chemical engineers

  • Research and testing
  • Designing and evaluating equipment and processes
  • Overseeing compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

How is Chemical Engineering different from Chemistry?

Chemists develop materials and processes in academic or theoretical practice and involve much lab work.

Chemical engineers work with the same materials or processes, transform them into the industry, and find practical, economically viable real-world applications with minimal environmental impact. Chemical engineers train in industrial equipment and technology, spending time in the field.

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Master of Engineering (MEng) – what is the difference, and which should you choose?

Students can choose to study a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. You will obtain different professional titles when registering for professional status.

  • A BEng is an undergraduate degree of three years.
  • An MEng is an undergraduate program with an integrated Master's degree that lasts four years.

Choosing between a BEng or MEng depends on whether you want a professional status as an incorporated engineer (IEng) or a chartered engineer (CEng). BEng students can become IEngs; MEng graduates can become CEngs, as a chartered engineer involves four years of study.

BEng students can progress to a Master's program (MSc) after they graduate to become CEngs.

Professional registration indicates an engineer has met globally recognized professional standards, which expands career opportunities and raises earning potential.

Incorporated Engineer vs. Chartered Engineer

Incorporated engineers gain the knowledge and understanding to maintain and oversee technologies. Roles involve engineering, design, development, and manufacturing.

Chartered engineers have the same knowledge as incorporated engineers but typically work independently, providing consultancy services to companies.

Life studying for a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering

A Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering is challenging; most programs include an industry placement and are four years long. You will spend time in lectures or labs during your degree and many hours in self-study, as chemical engineering at the Bachelor's level will introduce you to new topics, subjects, and principles.

Your degree's industry placement will likely consist of 40 hours per week.

You will study modules across maths, chemistry, and physics during your program. You'll learn calculations and theories, run simulations, put your knowledge into practice, and see them in action during site visits.

Studying a Chemical Engineering degree may involve the following:

  • attending lectures and seminars
  • laboratory work
  • writing reports and essays
  • independent research projects
  • project work, group work, and running presentations
  • placements and industry experience

What will I study during my Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering program?

You will study the following modules during your Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering:

  • Cell Biology
  • Petroleum engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Environmental management
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Separation processes
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Heat, mass, and momentum

What are the entry requirements for students wanting to study for a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in the US?

You will need the following score to study for a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in the US:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0-3.5
  • Academic Requirements: Many programs recommend four years of science, including one year of physics and one year of chemistry, and successful completion of a college-level calculus course

What are the entry requirements for students wanting to study for a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in Europe?

Students will need an International Baccalaureate with 38 points.

  • You will need a total of 18 points in three higher-level subjects, including grades 6,6 in Mathematics and Chemistry, with no higher-level score below 5.
  • Another science at higher level might be preferred but not essential.
  • Some Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering programs will accept the following at higher level:
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches
  • Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation

Check the program's website to find country-specific admissions information.

What are the entry requirements for students wanting to study for a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in the UK?

A levels – Entry requirements range from BBC to A*AA; most universities and colleges ask for AAA.

Scottish Highers – Entry requirements for Highers exams range from BBBB to AAAAB, with most universities or colleges requiring AAABB.

Sometimes, universities ask for Advanced Highers to supplement Highers. If Advanced Highers are requested, universities or colleges typically ask for AA.

Vocational courses – Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications might be accepted as an alternative to A levels/Highers by some universities; these include:

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma
  • SCQF Level 6)

Check alternative entry requirements with universities or colleges.

What jobs can I get as a Chemical Engineering Graduate?

A degree in Chemical Engineering can lead to work as an engineer, management, or even analytical roles in supply chain or finance.

Many chemical engineering graduates progress on to roles as:

  • Design engineers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Nuclear engineers
  • Geochemists
  • Risk management
  • Project management
  • Design Engineer

What are the Postgraduate Opportunities for Chemical Engineering Graduates?

You could go on to postgraduate study in Chemical Engineering. Ideas for teaching master's and research degrees at the postgraduate level include:

We hope we have answered your questions about studying for a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering.