University of Chester

Programme Specification
Chemical Engineering BEng (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Engineering (Single Honours)

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

University of Chester

University of Chester

Thornton Science Park

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years FT; 5 years PT

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Science & Engineering Chemical Engineering


Intention to seek accreditation with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

Science and Engineering

Wednesday 1st January 2014

The BEng Chemical Engineering degree programme, like the other engineering degree programmes, has been designed to satisfy the accreditation requirements of the relevant professional institution, in this case the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). These requirements are themselves based on the Engineering Council’s UK Specification of Engineering Competences (UK-SPEC) which enables engineering degree programmes to be based around a common core of subjects. The individual engineering degree programmes that are offered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering differ at the level of module content, particularly during the higher levels of study, but share common aims and outcomes. A feature which distinguishes Chemical Engineering from the other engineering programmes is that it also shares several modules with the Natural Sciences degree programme including topics such as chemistry and biotechnology.

The BEng programme aims to:

  • Offer an interesting, challenging, and industrially relevant degree programme that lays the common foundations of chemical engineering principles across a core engineering curriculum, delivered with design as an integrating theme;
  • Develop in students the ability to evaluate evidence, solve problems, exercise sound judgement and lay the foundation for creative thinking that they will need in their careers as professional engineers;
  • Equip students with an awareness of engineering in the wider commercial, social, environmental and ethical context;
  • Provide opportunities for access and personal development that will enable students to reach their full potential in all aspects of University life;
  • Create the highly motivated and creative graduates with the ability to evaluate evidence, solve problems and exercise sound judgement that will be in demand by a wide spectrum of organisations.
The BEng programme of Chemical Engineering further aims to deliver a systematic understanding and coherent knowledge of the core subject areas, including tools for analysis and design of chemical processes.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories, principles and the underpinning science of chemical engineering, together with an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary context of other engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering.
  • Possess a comprehensive knowledge of current practice and an awareness of developing technologies in relation to the student’s chosen area of specialism.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts, principles and models that is relevant to the analysis and solution of engineering problems.
  • Demonstrateknowledge and understanding of the commercial andeconomiccontext of engineeringprocesses, including an awareness of management techniques for achieving engineering objectives.
  • Apply the principles, processes and methods of engineering design.
  • Understand how safety, environmental, sustainability and ethical considerations should affect engineering decisions.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • Plan and conduct a technical investigation into an engineering problem, and identify constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations, health and safety and risk assessment issues.
  • Apply the appropriate engineering and mathematical tool, technique or model to analyse engineering systems, processes or components, and have the ability to assess the limitations of particular cases.
  • Synthesise ideas from a broad range of sources, including those outside engineering and science, to generate innovative designs for systems, processes or components that fulfil new needs.
  • Manage and adapt the design process and methodologies to accommodate a range of commercial, industrial, quality and environmental constraints, and be able to evaluate the outcomes.
  • Use creativity to establish innovative solutions to engineering problems and ensure fitness for purpose.

Practical Skills

  • Identify standard engineering equipment and be able to demonstrate its safe and competent use.
  • Use laboratory equipment to extract and accurately record data or experimental evidence.
  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge of the characteristics of a wide range of materials, equipment and processes or products.
  • Have an awareness of key operational constraints such as cost, quality and risk, and the legal frameworks that apply to engineering activities, and be able to apply these considerations during the design process.
  • Apply appropriate computer software or computer techniques to solve engineering problems.
  • Be able to work with technical uncertainty.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The engineering competencies demonstrated within this programme that also provide coverage of the QCA list of categories are:
  • To communicate effectively through written, graphical, interpersonal and presentation techniques to both a technical and non-technical audience.
  • The ability to identify such data that is pertinent and apply it in the solution of an unfamiliar problem.
  • Use ICT effectively to find and manage information from technical and other sources.
  • Develop, monitor and update a plan to reflect a changing operating environment.
  • Work in collaboration with others.
  • Understand and adopt a systems approach to the solution of engineering problems.

Transferable Professional Skills

  • Take responsibility for their own learning and development in unfamiliar situations.
  • The ability to exercise independent thought, and the confidence to make value judgements based on limited information.
  • Show a commitment to maintaining a high professional and ethical standard.

The IChemE defines Chemical Engineering (encompassing chemical, biochemical and process engineering) as “the application of science, maths and economics to the process of turning raw materials into everyday products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world.  Pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.” A chemical engineer is therefore a creative person who is able to integrate knowledge based on mathematics, science, design, materials processing, business and management in order to develop the processes and products needed by society. With this in mind, this curriculum has been developed to provide a general chemical engineering education and produce graduates with a strong academic background who are ready to enter cutting edge industry.

The structure and content of this programme has been determined from a variety of sources:

  • Accreditation of chemical engineering degrees. IChemE, February 2012.
  • UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence: Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer Standard, Engineering Council UK, January 2013.
  • The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence, Engineering Council UK, January 2013.
  • Guidance Note on Academic Accreditation, Engineering Council UK, October 2011.
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Academic Accreditation Guidelines, IMechE, April 2013.
  • IET Learning Outcomes Handbook Incorporating UK-SPEC for BEng and MEng Degree Programmes, May 2012.
  • The UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, April 2012.
  • The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, August 2008.
  • The Northern Ireland Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (NICATS): Principles and Guidelines 2002.
  • Beyond the honours degree classification; The Burgess Group final report, October 2007.
  • Proposals for national arrangements for the use of academic credit in higher education in England, Final report of the Burgess Group, December 2006.

Following the approach used in UK-SPEC, the programme is designed to build competence through each year and level of study. The threshold levels relevant for achievement of each level and exit award within this programme are:

Certificate of Higher Education: 120 credits
Students will have a firm knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of core engineering subjects. They will have learned how to take different approaches to solving standard problems. Students will be logical, numerate and able to communicate accurately. They will have developed both independent learning and team working skills.

Diploma of Higher Education: 240 credits
Students will have developed a sound understanding of the principles involved in core engineering subjects, and will know how to apply those principles to solve more advanced problems. They will be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Students will be numerate and able to communicate effectively. In employment, they will be able to take personal responsibility and work individually or as part of a team.

BSc (Hons) Engineering Science: 360 credits
Students who fail the Design Project module at the first attempt may, upon successful reassessment, exit with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science following successful completion of at least 360 credit points. Accreditation with the IChemE will not be sought for this qualification.

Bachelors of Engineering - Honours: 360 credits
Students will have developed an understanding of a complex and coherent body of knowledge relevant to chemical engineering. They will have developed analytical and problem-solving skills that can be brought to bear in a range of advanced engineering problems. Honours graduates will be effective communicators and able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions and reach sound judgments. In employment they will be motivated, efficient, and able to take personal responsibility and make decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.

Programme Structure

The first two years of study lay the common foundations of engineering principles. The final year provides an opportunity for students to deepen their education in through specialist topics. In the first year of the BEng Chemical Engineering programme, students will take;


LevelNameCreditComp. /Optional
SE40014Professional Skills for Scientists and Engineers20Comp.
SE40114Materials Processing and Manufacture20Comp.
SE40034Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers20Comp.
SE40074Chemistry Fundamentals20Comp.
SE40054Principles of Chemical and Process Engineering20Comp.
SE40084Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry20Comp.

 In the second year of study, students will take;  


LevelNameCreditComp./ Optional
SE50015Mathematics and Modelling20Comp.
SE50135Separation Processes20Comp.
SE50165Chemical Process Analysis20Comp.
SE50045Control Systems Design20Comp.
WB51015WB5101 Work Based Learning20Comp.

 In the third year of study, students will take;


LevelNameCreditComp./ Optional
SE60196BEng Design Project30Comp.
SE60176Process Design Principles10Comp.
SE60036Mapping the Modern Business Landscape20Comp.
SE60146Environmental Science and Process Safety20Comp.
SE60156Chemical Reactors and Catalysis20Comp.
SE60186Sustainable Energy and Waste20Comp.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SE4001 4 Professional Skills for Scientists and Engineers 20 Comp
SE4003 4 Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers 20 Comp
SE4005 4 Principles of Chemical and Process Engineering 20 Comp
SE4007 4 Chemistry Fundamentals 20 Comp
SE4008 4 Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry 20 Comp
SE4011 4 Materials Processing and Manufacture 20 Comp
SE5001 5 Mathematics and Modelling 20 Comp
SE5004 5 Control Systems Design 20 Comp
SE5005 5 Thermofluids 20 Comp
SE5013 5 Separation Processes 20 Comp
SE5016 5 Chemical Process Analysis 20 Comp
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Comp
SE6003 6 Mapping the Modern Business Landscape 20 Comp
SE6014 6 Environmental Science and Process Safety 20 Comp
SE6015 6 Chemical Reactors and Catalysis 20 Comp
SE6017 6 Process Design Principles 10 Comp
SE6019 6 BEng Design Project 30 Comp

24c Credit accumulation
Certificate of Higher Education in Engineering: 120 credits
Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 may exit at the end of the year with a Certificateof Higher Education in Engineering.
Diploma of Higher Education in Engineering: 240 credits
Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 may exit at the end of year two with a Diplomaof Higher Education in Engineering.
BSc (Hons) Engineering Science: 360 credits
Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6, but fail to satisfy PSRB requirements for the design project at the first attempt may exit with the alternative qualification of Bachelor of Science (with honours) in Engineering Science.
Bachelor of Engineering - Honours: 360 credits
Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6 will exit the programme with a BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering.

The admissions data provided below was correct at the time of creating this programme specification (August 2014). Please refer to the prospectus pages on the corporate website for the most recent data.

280 UCAS points from GCE A Level or equivalent including A2 Level Maths and Chemistry at a minimum of grade C.
International Baccalaureate 28 points including 5 in Maths and Chemistry
Access to HE Diploma with Maths and Chemistry at Level 3.

The QAA Subject benchmark statement for Engineering (2010) defines the academic standard of graduates with an engineering degree. Rather than reproducing the required learning outcomes from the UK-SPEC in full, the learning outcomes in this benchmarking statement are expressed for the threshold level that engineering students would be expected to attain on graduation and covers engineering degrees at the honours level (BEng) as defined in The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The defined learning outcomes are those published by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC): The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (2010) and programme teams are now directed to draw upon these ‘output standards’ to establish standards for a diverse range of programmes.

The diversity of practice in teaching and learning activities is recognised by the QAA as a particular strength of the engineering discipline. During the first and second year syllabus, a broad combination of strategies is used to reflect the student’s diverse background, to ease the transition from School to University and to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. An emphasis is placed upon team and group working, the use of industrially relevant problems, and transferable skills including communication skills. During the specialist final year there is a requirement for a deeper technical understanding that is informed by the research and scholarship of academic staff and involves substantial project work.

The development of the learning outcomes, and reinforcement of the student learning experience is promoted through the following teaching and learning methods:

  • Lectures are the primary means of conveying academic material and information. Most lecture courses provide problem sheets, worked examples and/or case studies. Students will also be directed to suitable resources involving a range of ICT to enable then to develop their understanding of the subject matter during their private-study.
  • Tutorial Classes are normally delivered to smaller (than class sized) groups of students. These classes provide an opportunity for academic staff to resolve problems in the student’s understanding, and to provide developmental feedback.
  • Workshops are used to enable students to work on “open-ended” and/or hands-on problems related to real engineering situations. They also provide good opportunities for developing team-working and communication skills as well as individual skills.
  • Laboratory Classes are used to introduce experimental techniques and practical methods. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to practice team-working and communication skills. Students will have significant exposure to hands-on laboratory work throughout their degree programme. Students may be required to work independently or in small groups.
  • Industrial visits, seminars and projects are used so that graduates will be aware of modern commercial, managerial and technical practices appropriate to the engineering industry. The faculty and the department will make the maximum use of industry-university links.  Opportunities for teaching delivered at external industrial sites by practicing engineers will be maximised.
  • The Design Project is completed in the third year of the degree programme. This project represents a substantial project to design a complete chemical engineering process. It is conducted under the supervision of a member of staff and involves students working both in groups and individually. This project provides an excellent opportunity for the students to pull together many aspects of their development during the programme.

A particular strength of this programme is the range of different assessment strategies that are deployed to ensure that the student has the best opportunity to demonstrate the attainment of a learning outcome. During the first and second years, a broad range of methods is used to reflect the student’s diverse background and to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. As the student progresses, problems become more open ended, and a greater emphasis is placed upon team and group working, the use of industrially relevant problems, and transferable skills including communication skills. Opportunities for the student to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes are provided through the following summative assessment methods:
  • Written Examinations are typically of 1, 2 or 3 hours duration. The content of these exams is previously unseen by the student, and many modules use written exams to assess knowledge and understanding, and selected subject-specific intellectual skills. Different modules will use open or closed book, multiple choice, open ended and essay type exams as appropriate to the subject matter.
  • Coursework Assignments are used throughout the curriculum where students are required to seek additional information so that they can develop and demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The exact form of assignment reflects the subject matter. In particular Laboratory Reports and/or Portfolios are used where the attainment of a subject specific practical skill is relevant. Technical Reports are used where the use of primary source material and some form of evaluation or analysis is required. Coursework may constitute the only or the major form of assessment in some modules (particularly design work), and can be conducted on an individual basis at the beginning of the degree programme, or increasingly as small groups as the student progresses.
  • Oral and Poster Presentations are often included as part of coursework assignments. These presentations allow students to develop their communication skills.
  • Computer Based Tests and Assessed Simulations are used in modules that involve a substantial computer-based element, and are used to demonstrate attainment of practical skills.
  • Peer Assessment is often used in modules that involve a substantial team-working element. Normally, students will moderate the final marks for the group project to reflect the contributions of different team member to encourage full an equal participation by each student. Students may also peer review other students’ coursework to develop their critical thinking skills, but in this case, the quality of the peer review is assessed.
  • Class Tests are conducted during the course of the academic year to assess a student’s progress. The results from class tests provide a useful opportunity to give developmental feedback to students.
  • The Design Project is the major project of the degree programme undertaken during the final year of study. The projects are assessed using written dissertations and oral/poster presentations. They are expected to be at a professional level.
Formative Assessments do not contribute to the final marks achieved for each module, but provide an opportunity for students to monitor their own academic progress. They also provide a useful opportunity for lecturers to give feedback to the students and to monitor and improve the students learning experience. These assessments will take the form of diagnostic tests, in-class tests and on-line tests during lectures, and evaluation and discussions relating to logbooks and equipment during laboratory and workshop classes. Students will have opportunities to develop their oral and presentation skills during tutorials and workshops.

According to the QAA (2010), the creative way of approaching all engineering challenges is regarded as a “way of thinking” and hence generic across all disciplines. Therefore, engineering graduates will;

  • Be rational and pragmatic, interested in the practical steps necessary for a concept to become reality.
  • Want to achieve sustainable solutions to problems and have strategies for being creative, innovative and overcoming difficulties by employing their knowledge in a flexible manner.
  • Be numerate and highly computer literate, and capable of attention to detail.
  • Be cost-and value-conscious, and aware of the social, cultural, environmental, health and safety, and wider professional responsibilities they should display.
  • Appreciate the international dimension to engineering, commerce and communication.
  • When faced with an ethical issue be able to formulate and operate within appropriate codes of conduct.
  • Be professional in their outlook, capable of team working, effective communicators and able to exercise responsibility.
Graduates of the BEng Chemical Engineering programme will be in demand by a broad spectrum of engineering, science and technology organisations doing manufacturing, R&D, consultancy in the process sectors (fine/bulk chemicals, oil and gas, water, food, pharmaceuticals etc.). The transferrable skills developed during this programme ensures that graduates will also be able to fulfil roles in management, finance, IT and the public sector.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.


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