Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering will enable you to translate fundamental scientific principles into real-world applications to address key global challenges. It sits at the interface of science and engineering and brings together maths, chemistry, physics, biology, design, economics, and management, to shape the world around us. Chemical engineers are highly sought after for their versatility and problem-solving skills. This will allow them to take up leading roles in many different areas, such as energy, materials, artificial intelligence and medicine.

Top 10 in the UK for Chemical Engineering The Guardian University Guide 2024
Top 5 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in Chemical Engineering The Guardian University Guide 2024
£35,000 Average Starting Salary Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2021-22 graduates
£17m STEMLab teaching facilities
Top 10 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in Chemical Engineering The Complete University Guide 2025

Chemical Engineering at Loughborough

A chemical engineering degree from Loughborough will give you a significant advantage in the job market and open doors to a well-paid and successful career. We will provide you with a toolkit of engineering and soft skills to set you on your path to industry.

We have an outstanding reputation for producing highly trained and sought-after chemical engineers equipped to succeed in today’s global economy. Our teaching ensures students respond to a changing world by embedding key values in our teaching. These include safety, sustainability, resource efficiency and ethics.

Our courses are taught by practitioners spanning a wide range of expertise and supported by world-class facilities. The Department is housed in a newly refurbished building with state-of-the-art laboratories. These include bench and pilot-scale experiments, a 360-degree virtual reality environment (the Igloo) and modern computing facilities. We have close links with the industry and an established placement scheme that provides opportunities to gain vital paid work experience in a professional environment. On the MEng programme, you will have the opportunity to participate in world-leading research to address key global challenges, including low carbon technologies, sustainable healthcare or clean water.

Our courses provide thorough training in the fundamentals of Chemical Engineering and also allow you to undertake optional specialist modules in a range of areas. These include topics such as energy and the environment, healthcare, and biotechnology. You will also have the option to take language and management modules.

Links with industry

Throughout the year we hold guest lectures, workshops and feedback to our students that are led by companies such as BP, Exxon, Sellafield, Unilever and PepsiCo. We also have an industrial advisory board which ensures our courses remain industrially relevant.

During your degree, you will have the option of completing a paid one-year placement in industry. Our placements are recognised through a Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS) and you will be allocated a dedicated placement supervisor to support you and to ensure you get the most out of your placement.

Placements are an excellent opportunity to gain real-world experience and put the knowledge learnt from your degree into practice. Students returning from placements often do considerably better during the remainder of their degree. Placements are also a great stepping-stone into a permanent job. Many of our students return to their placement employer for their graduate role, having demonstrated their worth to the organisation and gaining an insight into what they can expect from a graduate position.

Whilst applying for a placement is competitive, our experienced career services team provides a wide range of training, drop-in and interview practice sessions to maximise your chances of success. Our close links with industrial partners ensure that we can provide considerable help to our students in identifying and securing their placement.


Our world-class labs give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. We have over 50 bench and pilot-scale experimental rigs that offer you enhanced learning opportunities.

We have invested £25 million into S-Building, home to our Chemical Engineering Department. Our facilities include:

  • Pilot engineering facilities that house new equipment and provide a flexible student space for computational and modelling work.
  • An 87-seater IT Laboratory – for taught sessions, project work and private study.
  • 'The Igloo' is a virtual-reality learning facility that uses special software to create simulations of real-life engineering scenarios. In the Igloo, students can engage and work in hazardous areas of industrial plants in a safe environment.

In addition to this, STEMLab is a laboratory facility that forms part of a wider £25M investment in the West Park of our campus, the home of our Engineering Schools, which includes an adjacent student learning and teaching hub.

STEMLab offers new ways to learn and collaborate. These include a ‘drop-in’ engineering workshop, teaching labs, workshops, computer-aided design and rapid prototyping facilities, a design studio and informal learning spaces. These enhanced facilities further increase our ability to train and develop skilled graduates who are targeted by major employers from across the world.


Our Chemical Engineering degrees are accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the globally recognised industrial body for chemical engineers in the UK. Accreditation means that our programmes are benchmarked against high, internationally recognised standards; this makes it easier to find a job (many companies require this), and puts students on a direct path to Chartership, a formal recognition of their engineering expertise.

Career opportunities

Chemical engineers are, above all, problem solvers. Many different types of employers seek their analytical and troubleshooting skills, making chemical engineers some of the highest-paid professionals in the country.

By having a degree in chemical engineering, you will be prepared for exciting and fulfilling careers in science, engineering, business and politics.

We are committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes needed to progress successfully in your chosen career. Our widely respected courses are designed to develop your talents and put you ahead in today’s global careers market with a skill set to put you amongst the strongest candidates in the field.

Our graduates benefit from an average starting salary of £35,000* (Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2021-22 graduates). Many of our graduates are employed by companies in the oil & gas, water, food & drink, pharmaceutical, plastics, and general chemical industries and they go on to hold senior positions in major companies.

*Average salary 15 months post-graduation – UK domiciled

Research-informed teaching

Our Chemical Engineering courses are designed to provide you with a strong foundation for a successful and future-proof professional career. We use industrial case studies and practical teaching laboratories to demonstrate how fundamental chemical engineering principles (e.g. thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mass and energy balances) are applied within current state-of-the-art processes. Our courses place strong emphasis on safety and sustainability, alongside economic performance, as these are vital to ensure the long-term viability of any chemical engineering design.

During your third and final years, you can choose from a wide range of optional modules, to deepen your understanding of specific areas of engineering or broaden your understanding of complementary subjects, such as business and management. Most of these courses are closely linked to our cutting-edge research in the department, in areas such as low-carbon technologies, circular economy, healthcare and artificial intelligence.

All students complete a major design project within their third year, bringing together all the different subjects from the course to conceptualise a fully functional chemical plant. Projects are allocated according to student’s personal preferences, to maintain alignment with their previous courses and career aspirations. Students on the MEng degree also complete a semester-long professional development project (PDP), where they can join a research group at Loughborough, in industry or abroad, to develop new knowledge within a particular field of science and engineering