Chemical and Bio-Systems Engineering MEng – 2018 entry

I was instinctively drawn to the friendly atmosphere in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The class sizes are relatively small, and the lecturers take the time to get to know the students.

The course also offers a varied range of modules in engineering that are relevant to a successful future career.

What you'll study

Developed in consultation with industry, our Chemical and Bio-Systems Engineering programme will enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world challenges. Combining exceptional facilities with teaching from research-active academics, this course will prepare you for a career in the pharmaceutical, water or food sectors.

Programme overview

Surrey is one of the few universities in the world offering you the chance to experience the complete chemical engineering process. Our new £1.7m chemical engineering facility includes a fully operational pilot process plant, allowing you to use the kind of state-of-the-art equipment you will find in industry.

Our modules combine traditional chemical engineering topics with multidisciplinary design, biochemical engineering and sustainability, and include compelling environmental, biological and life sciences content. Students on this programme take part in a multi-disciplinary project which sees them working with other engineers across the university – an invaluable way of broadening their knowledge.

Programme structure

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specification documents which include further details such as the learning outcomes. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Professional Training placement (optional)

Many of our students opt to do a Professional Training placement. These normally begin at the end of the second academic year and finish in time for you to begin the third year of study.

Professional Training placements offer students the opportunity to gain access to the world of work, including meeting employers, developing job search skills and acquiring the employability skills that employers look for. Find out more about Professional Training placements.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 4 (FHEQ Level 7)

In Year 4, you will work in multidisciplinary teams, under the supervision of senior industrial experts, where you will design a whole industrial process, factory or system. You will also undertake a research project and there is a choice of lectured modules specific to your chosen pathway.

Professional recognition

All programmes are accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), except for Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, which is pending accreditation.

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) logo


Teaching involves conventional lectures combined with coursework, tutorials, case studies, projects, practical and discussion classes.

Methods of teaching and assessment in the early stages of the programmes aim to ensure your acquisition of techniques and relevant knowledge, including practice in finding information and deciding whether it is relevant.

The methods adopted in Years 3 and 4 (MEng) are influenced by the need to broaden and deepen the knowledge you have gained at the earlier levels, and to develop the higher order skills you will need as a professional engineer.

Our degrees in Chemical Engineering equip you with problem­-solving, analytical and other transferable skills to enable you to succeed in whatever career you pursue. You learn to assess business proposals which require capital investment but bring long-­term profits.

Discover more about our academic staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

Continuous assessment operates in the form of written assignments associated with many modules.

Laboratory modules are continually assessed on the basis of written reports and presentations. 

Design and research projects are assessed mainly on written reports. Written examinations are held at the end of each semester. In the BEng programmes, Years 2 and 3 contribute to the final degree award, whilst for MEng programmes, it is Years 2, 3 and 4.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's Module Catalogue. See the programme structure section for more information.


We are one of the very few chemical engineering departments in the world able to offer you the chance to learn on a complete chemical process, and not just pilot­scale individual operations such as distillation.

In Year 3, you undertake a realistic exercise in operating the process and taking responsibility for factors such as safety, profitability and environmental impact.

Other laboratory experiments are a centrifugal pump test, a heat exchanger and the mysterious tank investigation (thinking inside the box). You also receive 24-­hour access to our computer rooms.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on your option choices and future career, helping you to get the most out of your time at Surrey.

Global opportunities

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges pages.

The international exchange programme offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either one semester or a full academic year as part of their degree.

Currently, for students on the Chemical Engineering programmes this is possible in your second year at one of the partner institutions:

  • USA (Texas, North Carolina, Cincinnati or Florida)
  • Australia (La Trobe, Monash or Swinburne in Melbourne or at the University of Queensland or Sydney)
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

The exchange programme enables you to study and live in another country without paying additional tuition fees to the partner. In doing so you will broaden your horizons meet other students from around the world and experience student life in some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Studying abroad also enables you to become more independent, teaching you how to adapt and adjust to the culture and climate of another country.

In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have worked at Grace in Germany, Labo Derva in Brussels or in Malaysia.

If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant. This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.

Personal and professional skills

We recognise that in order for chemical engineers to perform to the highest level, they need a wide range of skills in addition to technical proficiency. We also recognise that experience is the principal driving force in development of these skills.

Chemical engineers often work in teams to solve problems; they adopt leadership roles and are required to be effective communicators. Our Personal and Professional Skills programme is designed to give you a head start in developing your skills in these areas.

Employers will see the personal development skills which our programmes provide as giving you ‘something extra’, in addition to your technical competence.


In addition to general University scholarships and bursaries, our extensive contacts in industry have resulted in prizes being awarded to undergraduates by:

  • Atkins
  • Halliburton KBR
  • Air Products
  • UOP
  • IChemE
  • The Worshipful Company of Engineers

Careers and Professional Training

We are very proud of our track record for graduate employability. One of the main reasons for our graduate employability success is our Professional Training placement programme which is one of the largest in the World, with over 2,300 partner organisations in the UK and overseas. To find out more visit our Careers and Professional Training pages.

Our academic work in all areas is enhanced by strong industrial links, both in the UK and overseas. These links have enabled us to arrange professional placements in which we have built up considerable experience and expertise.

Placements provide the opportunity for you to gain invaluable first ­hand experience of how industry operates, and to apply your theoretical knowledge to real-­life technical problems. 

Most of our students take a Professional Training placement, which provides an outstanding opportunity to gain practical experience, giving you a head start in your future career. Companies that have participated in our scheme include:

  • Heatric
  • BP
  • British Sugar
  • ExxonMobil
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Shell

Graduate prospects

Chemical engineers work across a range of sectors in the UK and overseas, and are increasingly sought by speciality chemical industries that manufacture high-­value­-added products.

Chemical engineers on average earn more than any other engineering discipline and graduates are consistently paid more than chemists and other scientists. The high salaries paid reflect the level of responsibility and importance which chemical engineering graduates quickly attain. 

At Surrey, our graduate employment record is excellent. This demonstrates the strength of our programmes in preparing you for the world of work and the substantial benefits of undertaking our Professional Training placement programme.

Our Personal and Professional Skills programme is undoubtedly another factor in the exceptional employment record of our graduates.

Demand for graduates with the specific skills and knowledge gained on our specialised programmes is expected to be high, especially within modern, high-­growth sectors, including:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Healthcare
  • Cosmetics
  • Energy
  • Land remediation
  • Water and waste management
  • Oil
  • Chemicals

We have worked closely with industrial organisations to design these programmes around their needs, to ensure that there will be excellent opportunities available to you upon graduation.

Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:

  • Air Products, Graduate Trainee
  • BP, Chemical and Process Engineer
  • Fluor, Graduate Process Engineer
  • Foster Wheeler, Graduate Process Engineer
  • KBR, Associate Technical Professional
  • Shell, Graduate Engineer
  • UOP, Graduate Technical Advisor

2018 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?


Overall: AAA. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Required Subjects: Mathematics and Chemistry.

GCSE: English Language C(4) and Mathematics C(4).

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and A-level Mathematics grade B.

Required Subjects: Modules must be in relevant subjects.

GCSE Equivalent: Completion of GCSE English and Mathematics equivalents within the Access programme.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: D*DD BTEC Extended Diploma and A-Level Mathematics at Grade B.

Required Subjects: BTEC must be in a relevant subject.

GCSE Equivalent: English Language C(4) and Mathematics C(4).

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 76% overall.

Required Subjects: Mathematics and Chemistry Grade 8.

GCSE Equivalent: English Language (1/2) - 6 English Language (3) - 7 Mathematics 6.

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 34.

Required Subjects: HL6/SL7 in Mathematics and Chemistry.

GCSE Equivalent: English HL4/SL4 and Mathematics or Mathematics studies HL4/SL4.

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Scottish Highers

Overall: AAAAB.

Required Subjects: Mathematics and Chemistry.

GCSE Equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Mathematics - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: AAA from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Required Subjects: A level Mathematics and Chemistry.

GCSE Equivalent: Completion of GCSE English and Mathematics equivalents within the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2017 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
MEng 4 years H8C1 View KIS data set
MEng 5 years H8CC View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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