Process Systems Engineering MSc

To learn more about Surrey and what we offer, sign up to a webinar.

Why Surrey?

The MSc Process Systems Engineering programme will widen your understanding of the fundamental concepts of process systems engineering.

It will provide you with a thorough grounding in current technologies and trends that will prepare you will for a rewarding career and/or further research.

Programme overview

This Masters programme trains graduates of engineering, science or related disciplines in general and specialist process systems engineering subjects.

Such areas are not generally covered in engineering and science curricula, and BSc graduates tend to be ill prepared for the systems challenges they will face in industry or academia on graduation.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Facilities, equipment and academic support

Modules related to the different groups are taught by a total of six full-time members of staff and a number of visiting lecturers.

As part of their learning experience, students have at their disposal a wide range of relevant software needed to support the programme material dissertation projects. In recent years, this work included the design of various knowledge-based and business systems on the internet, the application of optimisation algorithms, and semantic web applications.

Numerous laboratory facilities across the Faculty and the University are also available for those opting for technology-based projects, such as the process engineering facility, a control and robotics facility and signal processing labs.

The work related to the MSc dissertation can often be carried out in parallel with, and in support of, ongoing research. In the past, several graduates have carried on their MSc research to a PhD programme.

Career prospects

Engineers and scientists are increasingly expected to have skills in information systems engineering and decision-support systems alongside their main technical and/or scientific expertise.

Graduates of this programme will be well prepared to help technology-intensive organisations make important decisions in view of vast amounts of information by adopting, combining, implementing and executing the right technologies.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme aims to provide a highly vocational education which is intellectually rigorous and up-to-date. It also aims to provide the students with the necessary skills required for a successful career in the process industries.

This is achieved through a balanced curriculum with a core of process systems engineering modules supplemented by a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue an element of specialisation relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.

An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme. The programme draws on the stimulus of the Faculty’s research activities.

The programme provides the students with the basis for developing their own approach to learning and personal development.

Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • State-of- the-art knowledge in process systems engineering methods, in the areas of: modelling and simulation of process systems, mathematical optimization and decision making, process systems design, supply chain management, process and energy integration, and advanced process control technologies
  • Advanced level of understanding in technical topics of preference, in one or more of the following aspects: renewable energy technologies, refinery and petrochemical processes, biomass processing technologies, and knowledge-based systems

Intellectual / cognitive skills

The programme aims to strengthen cognitive skills of the students, particularly in the aspects of problem definition, knowledge and information acquiring, synthesis, and creativity, as collectively demonstrable through the successful completion of the research dissertation. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:

  • Select, define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level
  • Collect and digest knowledge and information selectively and independently to support a particular scientific or engineering enquiry
  • Develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies for analysing the issue, developing solutions, recommendations and logical conclusions, and for evaluating the results of own or other’s work

Professional practical skills

The programme primarily aims to develop skills for applying appropriate methods to analyse, develop, and assess process systems and technologies. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:

  • Assess the available systems in the process industries
  • Design and/or select appropriate system components, and optimise and evaluate system design
  • Apply generic systems engineering methods such as modelling, simulation, and optimization to facilitate the assessment and development of advanced process technologies and systems

Key / transferable skills

The programme aims to strengthen a range of transferable skills which are relevant to the needs of existing and future professionals in knowledge intensive industries irrespective of their sector of operation. The key learning outcomes include the further development of the skills in the following areas:

  • Preparation and delivery of communication and presentation
  • Report and essay writing
  • Use of general and professional computing tools
  • Collaborative working with team members
  • Organising and planning of work
  • Research into new areas, particularly in the aspect of literature review and skills acquisition

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Tao Chen

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: To be confirmed
  • Part-time: To be confirmed

Start date:

Feb 2017, Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

Candidates should be graduates with a minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering, science or related subject. Practitioners with suitable qualifications and relevant experience in engineering, science or technology are also welcome to apply.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Feb 2017 £8,000 £18,000
Part-time Feb 2017 £4,000 £9,000
Full-time Sep 2017 £9,500 £19,000
Part-time Sep 2017 £1,100* £2,200*

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


The Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence

For all (with the exception of MBA) postgraduate taught courses starting in September 2017 within the Surrey Business School and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management we are offering all applicants who hold a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent the opportunity to be awarded between £2,000 and £4,000 through the Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Download a flyer or read more for eligibility and to apply.

For more details

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.