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Study Chemical and Materials Engineering abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Chemical and Material Engineering
  • Where to study?
Chemical and Materials Engineering

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering concerned with the physical sciences such as chemistry and physics and is the art of understanding how to convert raw materials and chemicals into substances of more value. The subject has only recently become considered as an academic discipline in its own right and can be split into two strands; the design and manufacture of machinery and the development of new materials and substances.

Is this the course for me?

Are you passionate about the physical sciences? Are you fascinated by engineering? Are you thinking of pursuing a career within this particular sector? If this is the case then perhaps a chemical and materials engineering course would be the perfect programmes of study for you.

However, while a course of this nature demands a lot of contact hours, students will also be expected to study in their own spare time, conducting critical research and writing reports and assignments to demonstrate their understanding of the course content.

However, as well as having a strong grasp on scientific principles and a passion for the subject matter, it is also vital that students are able to cope with some of the more vocational aspects of the course. Although lectures and tutorials are pivotal to the acquisition of knowledge, students should also be capable of learning in a more practical environment.

Careers prospects

For a lot of graduates pursuing a course in this particular field of study, the hope is to find work as a chemical/materials engineer taking responsibility for the research, design and development of raw substances and advanced materials that can be used on a day-to-day basis.

However, those with a qualification in chemical engineering don’t have to pursue careers as materials engineers. Many former students pursue careers in product development roles and production management due to their in-depth knowledge as to how specific items are made.

Similarly, there are also a number of other fields suitable for those with qualifications in chemical engineering. Graduates may study for post-graduate qualifications in law, financial journalism and teaching if they wish to seek careers within other vocational sectors.

Studying Chemical and Material Engineering

Chemical engineering courses at a reputable establishment often request high grades, with the majority of Universities expecting their applicants to have A-levels or equivalent qualifications in Science and ideally maths. The degree will build upon your knowledge of these subjects, so your previous academic experience in these fields will have a significant impact upon your ability to study.

Most engineering courses assess their students through the setting of personal projects as well as expecting their students to become involved in work placement schemes through the University, particularly if you’re studying an undergraduate course. Most universities will have links with companies in this sector and will be able to assist in the finding of placements.

There are also a number of post-graduate courses available for those who have previous degree qualifications and relevant work experience within the chemical/materials engineering sector. The length of these courses will vary depending upon your level of study and whether you decide to study full-time or part-time. However, the majority of courses will last a year.

If English is not your native language, then you will be required to sit an IETLS test and score a minimum of 6.0 – 6.5 before studying on any course programme.

Where to study?

One consideration to take into account is the cost of your course, as well as the grade requirements. Most Universities will only accept undergraduates with A’s at A-level or with 2.1 degrees for post-graduate qualification, so before deciding that this is the course for you, check that your grades meet these requirements. Given that a chemical engineering course can potentially consist of up to four years, budgeting is also vital. Can you afford the fees? Can you afford the living costs? Will you be able to get part-time work to sustain your studies or are you eligible for any grants and scholarships?

There is such competition for places on Engineering courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level that the decisions you make regarding your institution of study will have a significant impact upon your future. You should ensure that you attend a prestigious university that has developed strong working relationships with companies within the chemical engineering sector as this will increase your networking opportunities as well as your chances of finding wor post-graduation.

Of course with all of the information that you’re going to be receiving, it’s easy to forget one important thing ; your emotional happiness.  You should ultimately aim to choose somewhere that will provide you with social as well as academic fulfilment for the duration of your course - particularly if you’re opting to live away from home. Wherever you choose to study, your degree will end up costing you a lot of money, so you need to ensure that you get the most out of your time as a student. As such it is important that you consider whether the surrounding culture will add to the pleasure of your University years as well as academic benefits of studying at a particular institution.

What Chemical and Materials Engineering courses are there?


Chemical Engineering


Materials Engineering & Technology


Materials Engineering (General)


Petroleum Technology

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