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The University of Southampton

MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering (1 year)

Southampton is a centre for outstanding research in engineering and chemistry; on this one-year masters degree you’ll benefit from our academics’ expertise in both subject areas, as well as our strong industry links. Distinctive for its focus on sustainable approaches to chemical engineering, it offers an advanced training in process control and reactor design for sustainable technologies, enabling you to solve complex engineering problems. You’ll also gain real-world insights by working on a brief set by industry, boosting your employability.

Introducing your degree

In the context of climate change and diminishing natural resources, demand is growing for chemical engineers with the skills to design sustainable technologies and processes. Drawing on Southampton’s innovative research in areas such as low-carbon technology, fine chemicals, green energy, and water/wastewater engineering, the MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering degree will equip you with the specialist skill set needed to meet this demand.

You’ll graduate with a Southampton engineering degree that is highly respected by employers, with excellent job prospects in sectors such as energy, pharmaceuticals and biochemicals. Chemical engineering is a well-rewarded career with exciting opportunities; average salaries for experienced Chartered Chemical Engineers can reach over £70,000, and your skills will be sought after by companies around the world.

MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering

Whether you are looking to build on your undergraduate studies or advance your career, the MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering degree will help you achieve your ambitions.

In compulsory modules you’ll cover essential areas of chemical engineering, including the computer systems and algorithms that control chemical engineering processes, and safety and risk management. You’ll also learn about the design and operation of reactors for low-carbon and energy conversion technologies. 

You can also choose from a range of optional modules to deepen your knowledge in areas that interest you. You could focus on a specific theme, such as energy, waste management or high-value chemicals, or broaden your studies by taking options on multiple topics. Optional modules also give you the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge fields such as lab-on-a-chip technologies and micro and meso-scale reactors. Several  of our optional modules include hands-on practical work, such as

  • designing and 3D printing a micro-reactor
  • mathematically modelling microfluidic systems and devices
  • applying algorithms to control a real application
  • designing a carbon capture reactor

Group design project

You’ll undertake a group design project, which involves taking on the role of consultant and, as part of a team, working on a brief set by one of our industry partners. It’s an opportunity to address a real-world problem – for example, you could be asked to design a biodigestor unit for a specific location, solve a wastewater processing problem or design a new reactor for a fine chemical preparation. You’ll develop both subject-specific and professional skills, enhancing your employability.

In-depth research project

You’ll conduct a substantial piece of independent research for your MSc research project. As well as gaining in-depth knowledge of an aspect of chemical engineering that interests you, you’ll develop your research, problem solving and project management skills. The topics on offer are linked to our academics’ own research, so you’ll be exposed to the latest advances in the field. It’s also possible to do your research project in industry; our placement team can help you to look for a suitable placement. 

Industry-informed learning

We use our industry connections to give you insights into industry challenges and ensure you gain the skills employers are looking for. Partner companies, such as ExxonMobil, set group projects for our students, and you’ll hear from industry guest speakers in many of your modules. In addition, we organise site visits to a biodigestor unit, refinery plant and wastewater plant. These visits help you put your learning into context and give you the chance to talk to chemical engineers about current issues in their sector.

Outstanding facilities

Southampton’s chemistry and engineering facilities are among the best in the UK, giving you access to state-of-the-art equipment and learning spaces. The teaching laboratories and facilities in the Chemistry Building are undergoing a £12m refurbishment, which will be ready for September 2019, whilst much of Engineering has recently moved to the redeveloped Boldrewood campus, which houses resources such as a purpose built design studio. Depending on your MSc project topic, you could spend time conducting research in our £120m cleanroom complex.

Research expertise

As you would expect from a Russell Group university, Southampton has a proven track record for high-quality research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework our engineering research was ranked first in the UK for general engineering research power, and 94 per cent of our chemistry research portfolio was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

You’ll learn from the academics who are doing this exceptional work. They are contributing to advances in areas such as next-generation batteries and fuel cells, materials discovery, wastewater engineering, microfluidics and flow, and novel molecule synthesis. Through teaching and research project supervision, they’ll share their expertise and expose you to the latest ideas and technological developments.

Supporting your studies

You’ll join a welcoming and friendly postgraduate community at Southampton. The course is designed to help you get to know your classmates straight away, and you’ll be able to develop a network of friends and contacts from around the world during your time here. Your personal academic tutor and MSc project supervisor will provide the academic support you need to achieve your best. You’ll also have access to a range of University student support services should you need them, including learning skills and English language support.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

To Apply

You can apply through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, visit how to apply web page.

Programme Structure

This is a full-time programme. You’ll complete a Group Design project and take six taught modules across semesters one and two, three of which you can choose from a range of optional modules. You’ll then spend the final four months of the course working on your MSc research project.

Key Facts

94 per cent of our chemistry research portfolio was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)

We are first in the UK for general engineering research power (REF 2014)

Chemical Engineering Laboratory

Chemical Engineering Laboratory

We are creating a bespoke new laboratory for Chemical Engineering as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment of our Chemistry labs

Find out more

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Postgraduate: Bachelors Degree

Grades: 2:1 or 1st Class Degree in Chemical Engineering or a closely aligned engineering degree.
English Language Proficiency

Overall:  6.5
Reading:  6
Writing:  6
Speaking:  6
Listening:  6

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The full-time MSc programme lasts for 12 months. The first 8 months are normally spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (Semesters 1 and 2), and with exams at the end of each semester. The modules are listed at the end of this section. The final 4 months are spent full-time on a research project. Research skills training will commence in Semester 2 when project titles and supervisors are assigned. During Semester 2 you will complete the project proposal and literature survey so that you are able to focus on the research aspects during the Summer Semester.

The MSc award depends on passing the examinations and on successful completion of a dissertation on the project.

Students select one option module in Semester 1 (unless required to take SESA3030) and two optional modules in Semester 2.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

SESA3030 is compulsory if not met by prior learning. The requirements for students to take this module will be assessed at the time of the offer of a place on the course You must not take this module if you are not required to.

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two

FEEG6013 Group Design Project

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study locations

Chemistry building

Chemistry, Highfield Campus

Chemistry is based at the heart of the University of Southampton's Hig...Find out more

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