Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate study

Frequently asked questions

Does this degree lead to Chartered Engineer status?

Yes, you can apply as a graduate to become a Chartered Engineer. If you graduate from the BEng variant, as with all other Universities, you will need to complete further educational requirements.

What’s the difference between MEng and BEng?

MEng: 4 year or 5 year with a year in industry

BEng: 3 year or 4 year with a year in industry

The MEng course gives students the opportunity to study for an extra year. Subjects cover more breadth by offering management/business topics and the option of a European language. Depth of knowledge is increased by including technical topics studied at a more advanced level. The individual final year project for the MEng is called a "Professional Development Project" which is a more significant piece of work than for the BEng and may be carried out at a European university. These extra skills are attractive to employers as well as the MEng offering the most direct route to achieving chartered status whilst the BEng required a further period of study.

Are the courses accredited?

Yes. The course comply with the educational base for UK-SPEC. 

  • The Chemical Engineering course is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers. 

What are the graduate employment rates for Chemical Engineering at Loughborough?

The official HESA data (2012-2015 graduates) shows an average employment rate of 90% (work &  study) within 6 months of graduation with 97% in a professional/graduate role. The average starting salary of our graduates in 2015 is £29,000, one of the highest of all engineering disciplines at Loughborough.

What are the contact hours for undergraduate students in Chemical Engineering?

This averages approximately 18-22 hours per week over the course. In parts A and B it is more than this, and in parts C and D it is less. The latter years of the course carry more project based work (with regular and frequent individual and small group supervision by academic staff) and less lectures.

What is the difference between Chemistry and Chemical Engineering?

Chemists are concerned with the mechanisms of chemical reactions: how molecules come together to form a new substance, what makes their bonds strong or weak, what is the best way to synthesize a substance?

The Chemical Engineer takes this information to design, build and operate a process that can produce tonnes/hr of such a substance profitably and safely. Engineers are concerned with issues such as sizing chemical reactors, calculating heating or cooling requirements for processes, and designing control systems to ensure product quality.

Can I transfer from BEng to MEng?

Transfers between programmes can be made at the end of the first year. Transfers from BEng to MEng require MEng progression criteria (>60% average mark in part A) to be met at the first attempt, as BEng students do not have the option of resits to improve their average.

Do I have to be good at sport to come to Loughborough?

Not at all! Admission for our courses is on the basis of academic and not sporting ability. The world class sporting facilities at Loughborough are available for the use of students of all abilities, and if you like sports, you will be able to take part in your favourite sport at whatever level suits you.

Alternatively there is a wide range of other cultural and social activities both on-and-off campus that you can participate in, or not! The Students Union lists over 150 clubs and societies which cover pursuits as diverse as wine tasting, ballroom dancing, hang gliding, orchestra and hiking.

Do you offer any financial support?

Bursaries and  scholarships are available for privately financed international students. See our Fees and Funding page for more information.

What is the DIS?

DIS stands for "Diploma in Industrial Studies" and is awarded for successful completion of the sandwich year.

Industrial Placements – Information for Potential Employers

For more information on how to work with placement students from Chemical Engineering please contact Dr Mark Leaper 01509 225319 or email

You can also view the Guide to industrial placements pdf.

I have not decided yet whether I want do a sandwich year. Does this matter?

No it does not. You can, in theory, decide to opt for the sandwich year at any time before it starts, but you need to consider that most companies interview in the Autumn term of the second year so it is generally advisable to have made a decision by then. It also does not matter to us if you have not specified a sandwich (DIS) course on your UCAS application, as it is easy to transfer your degree programme registration.

What support is provided for me as a student in the Department?

Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor whom he/she meets usually on a weekly basis during the first two years of study. The tutor is able to help academically (such as help with maths), give advice, and generally ensure that you are progressing well with your studies.

What laboratory work is there?

Laboratories are very important to reinforce concepts, and to give a practical understanding of such concepts. Laboratories are run throughout the course to aid this. In the first year labs are held on a fortnightly basis.

In the second year more specialist labs featuring particle technology, food engineering, mass transfer and control are given. More in-depth research and development projects are undertaken in the final year of study for both MEng and BEng streams. MEng students also undertake a Professional Development Project in the third year of study, which usually has a practical dimension.

What computing work is there?

All students are given a basic course in Microsoft Office when they start but quickly move on to cover mathematical packages (such as Maple and MATLAB), flowsheet drawing packages (Autocad), process simulation packages (Hysys) and computational fluid dynamics (COMSOL).

What design work is there?

Loughborough offers students participation in design projects in each year of the course. Designing a chemical plant from scratch includes putting together a flowsheet, calculating process parameters (flowrates, compositions, temperatures, pressures, heat loads), sizing the various items of equipment and finally estimating capital and running costs. The level of design naturally increases each year.

Design uniquely allows the many facets of chemical engineering (which by necessity need to be pigeonholed), to be considered together. The interlinking between subjects is more clearly understood, and the reason for studying the subjects becomes much clearer. (Thermodynamics on its own looks a pretty theoretical subject but it is often indispensable to a design team). The design projects are typically undertaken in groups of 4-6 students, and students work together to produce an overall flowsheet.

However, key items of plant are normally designed by individual students. Our design projects therefore give you a good experience of team working which is often a large component of a professional chemical engineer’s job.

What are my chances of getting a place in halls of residence?

Everybody who firmly accepts a place at Loughborough and achieves the necessary grades is guaranteed a place in hall. Concessions - those who do not achieve the required grades but the School decides to accept nonetheless - are next in priority followed by those who put Loughborough as an insurance place or who come through clearing.  

What are the possibilities for studying foreign languages?

All students in the Department have the opportunity to study modules in French, German or Spanish at both beginners and more advanced levels. Evening classes and self-help laboratories are also available in more than 30 further languages.

When are University Open Days?

University Open days are held in June and September each year. See more information in the Undergraduate Prospectus.

Do you offer taster courses?

Yes. We participate in various courses run by the Engineering Schools. These enable students to learn about a variety of engineering disciplines, and sample student life on campus. For more information, visit Engineering School events or book a visit day with us here.

Is there support for students with disabilities?

Yes. If you have a disability then we will make every effort to accommodate you on our courses. See more information in the Counselling and Disability Service website