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Chemical Engineering in the UK

Harsh Ranjan      August 25, 2021

“Chemical Engineering more than any other may be called the Engineering of the future. It is the future of an evolution in which most of the other branches have played a part… The Chemical Engineer stands today on the threshold of a vast virgin realm; in it lie the secrets of life and prosperity for mankind in the future of the world.”

--- John Hays Hammond


Chemical Engineering is the basis of all that the world functions on. Everything from the food and water that we consume to the energy that we use – all of it is obtained from work carried out by chemical engineers. Chemical engineering is a technical subject that uses engineering principles and chemical lab processes to provide us with energy and other resources for commercial purposes. Studying chemical engineering gives you access to various fields and industries that work to manufacture and develop products for our consumption. 


The United Kingdom is one of the best destinations for international students to study chemical engineering. The UK has some of the best institutions globally for engineering, with some renowned for their expertise in the field. The degrees offered by universities in the United Kingdom are known to attract the attention of all employers around the globe. It is widely believed that a chemical engineering degree from the UK enjoys a high reputation across the globe. 


Chemical Engineers are also known to attract higher salary packages than most other occupations in the United Kingdom. Besides, the chemical engineer job has been listed in the essential job category for prospective internationals willing to work there. Therefore, studying the subject in the United Kingdom would give you an edge over the rest of the candidate pool as well. Furthermore, studying chemical engineering in the United Kingdom also sets students up for success and security since the job is known to be recession-proof. 

Job Prospects after studying Chemical Engineering

 Graduates in the field of chemical engineering can find plenty of job opportunities in the United Kingdom. The skills, technical know-how of the subject, and the theory learnt by chemical engineers find application in fields such as aerospace technology, biomedical engineering, and the military-industrial complex. 

As a chemical engineer, you will be focussing your efforts on designing and developing products. Chemical engineers essentially use a chemical process to convert raw materials into commercial products. 

The industries that employ chemical engineers include:

The energy generation industry.

Food and drinks industry.

Oil and gas.

The pharmaceutical industry.

Plastic industry.

Toiletries industry.

Water treatment. 

Graduates in chemical engineering usually end up working in such fields or related fields that require similar knowledge. Universities in the United Kingdom also teach students to develop their communication and managerial skills, which helps in the long run.  

Income of Chemical Engineers

 Even though chemical engineering is one of the higher-paying jobs in the United Kingdom, it is still listed in the essential category of the jobs list in the United Kingdom. About 85% of all graduates in chemical engineering end up obtaining a job in the field within six months of completing graduation. 

The median salary of a chemical engineer in the UK is anywhere between £30,000 to £32,000 a year.  

The salaries for chemical engineers depend on various factors such as their experience, the region they are working in, and the industry they are employed in. Industries such as the oil and gas and FMCG industries are usually the higher-paying industries. Entry-level chemical engineers should expect to earn close to £30,000, while experience along the way can fetch you salaries as high as £60,000. 

For graduates who have become Chartered Engineers, salaries can even be as high as £78,500. 

Studying Electrical Engineering in the UK

 Universities in the United Kingdom have a reputation accredited to their name across the world. The universities are equipped with some of the best facilities to study engineering and have a great life for students to enjoy during their time in the UK. 

The universities that offer degrees in chemical engineering are

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Birmingham
  • Newcastle University

Other popular schools to study engineering in the UK include the University of Bristol, Leeds, Northampton, and Surrey. 


What are the typical courses in Chemical Engineering?

 The universities in the United Kingdom offer degrees in chemical engineering at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Besides these, if individuals wish to pursue their studies further in the field, they could even apply for research degrees or give exams to become a Chartered Engineer. Chartered Engineers are those who are specialized individuals in their field. 

The degrees in chemical engineering available at the undergraduate level are:

  • BEng in Chemical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons.) Chemical Engineering 

The degrees available at the postgraduate level are: 

  • MEng in Chemical Engineering
  • MEng (Hons.) in Chemical Engineering


Besides the above, various courses at both levels are available that offer a different outlook on chemical engineering. Depending upon the university, they might specialize in a certain aspect and be linked to a certain industry. This allows the students to obtain some hands-on experience as well. 

Entry Requirements

Universities in the United Kingdom require you to have Physics, Maths, Computers as your subjects if you pursue an undergraduate degree. You should have also passed these subjects with an A-Level grade. Besides this, the universities also require you to submit IELTS scores to assess your proficiency in English. A score of 6.5 is usually accepted. 


Suppose students are going for a master’s degree in electronic engineering. In that case, the requirements for language scores remain the same, while the subject requirements ask you to have a degree from a recognized university with First or Upper Second Class Honours. 


Besides the above, students are also required to submit essays or cover letters depending upon university requirements. Some universities may even take interviews to assess the quality of your candidacy as a student.


Harsh Ranjan
Harsh Ranjan

Digital Mktg. Manager

A seasoned marketer with the ability to craft narratives that elevate brands and drive volume. Harsh loves researching, finding new ways to connect with potential audiences

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