Chemical Engineering - 1st in the UK for Student Satisfaction

The University of Chester achieved 100% overall student satisfaction in the subject area of chemical, process and energy engineering in the 2017 National Student Survey, the largest national survey of final year undergraduates in the country. No other UK university achieved this perfect score in this subject area.

Accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), our three-year BEng in Chemical Engineering allows you to explore the innovative processes that help make the world a cleaner, safer and more sustainable place to live. We also offer a four-year MEng in Chemical Engineering that covers both fundamental and advanced aspects of chemical engineering.

Thornton Science Park

The Department of Chemical Engineering is based at Thornton Science Park. Formerly a Shell research and development centre, the 66-acre site is home to the University of Chester Faculty of Science and Engineering. The campus hosts a range of cutting-edge facilities in an enriching, high-quality professional environment.

Study spaces include well-equipped laboratories (shown above) for practical classes in chemical engineering; a science, engineering and maths library at Thornton Science Park; and IT labs with industry-standard software including specialist design, development and modelling tools. Not only that, but the campus is also home to a wide range of engineering companies, and our students study and share the campus amenities with the professional engineers who work on the site.

Field Trips

As well as the commercial enterprises on-site, Thornton Science Park is situated adjacent to the second-largest oil refinery in the UK and is at the centre of the North West Chemical Industries. Students have been on a variety of field trips including visits to Essar’s Stanlow refinery, the nearby ammonia fertiliser plant owned by CF Fertilisers, and the manufacturing and quality control facilities of Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals in Wrexham.

Supportive, Research-active Staff

Students are taught by enthusiastic and supportive staff and there is an excellent student-to-staff ratio within the department, meaning you never have to wait long to speak to a member of the team.

Taught sessions include traditional lectures, practical classes, tutorial classes and small group teaching. Specialist engineering equipment is used by students from the start of their degree, including the chemical engineering pilot plant (shown below), which allows students to perform experiments in fluid mechanics, heat transfer and other areas of the course on a larger scale than is possible in a traditional laboratory class.

Every student at the University of Chester also has a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT), who provides additional pastoral support to a student throughout their full degree.  In Chemical Engineering, your PAT would be one of the lecturers from the Department, giving you another opportunity to get to know an engineer.

Work Placements

Work placements are a key part of the course at Chester and help students gain professional experience before graduation. Chemical engineers are in high demand, with industrial roles offering some of the most generous graduate starting salaries of any degree around. It’s very important to us that our students have the opportunity to develop the technical expertise and professional skills required to thrive in modern industry.

All chemical engineering students at Chester complete work placements as part of their degree. An assessed Work Based Learning module in the second year requiring a five-week placement is completed by students. There is also a £1,200 bursary awarded for completion of a report on an optional four-week placement at the end of the first year. Placement ‘speed-dating’ events are organised to help students meet local engineering companies, and there are also often opportunities within research groups at the University. Some of our students have arranged industrial placements as far afield as Norway.

Want to Know More?

To find out more about chemical engineering at the University of Chester, please contact the Head of Department, Prof. Steve Wilkinson by telephone: 01244 513921, or by email:

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If you would like to know more about studying chemical engineering, or about living in Chester, why not visit us.  There are lots of ways to visit - check out our website.  

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