Published: 16 May 2018

A week in the life of a chemical engineering student

From labs in the new pilot plant to taekwondo at Surrey Sports Park, Ahmed Almusawy describes the average week in the life of a first year chemical engineering student.

Ahmed Almusawy


The following timetable is a general example – for the latest module information, visit the Chemical and Process Engineering subject page and select your degree programme.


9am – Industrial Chemistry lecture – this is a shared module with Chemistry students

10am – Catch up with friends over coffee

11am – Mathematics 2 lecture – a shared module with Civil Engineering students

1pm – Cycle from campus to Tesco to grab a meal deal lunch - prawn salad is my favourite!

2pm – Labs led by Chemical Engineering PhD students in the recently built pilot plant and laboratory areas; the former enables you to learn about chemical engineering process operation and management (work to start on next semester)

5pm – Cook - or I should say try to cook!

7pm – Checking emails and other life admin=


9am – Thermodynamics lecture

10am – Catch up with lecture notes and tutorial sheets

12pm – Head to the University supermarket Simply Fresh for a halal chicken teriyaki meal deal

1pm – Perform my daily afternoon prayers in the prayer room

2pm – Transferable Skills lecture: a chance to learn professional and work skills such as Excel and presentations. This is helpful stuff for placement year and beyond

5pm – Order a cheeky Deliveroo with my mates

8pm – Head over to Surrey Sports Park for taekwondo


9am – Mathematics 2 Lecture

11am – Industrial Chemistry lecture

1pm – GGA (Global Graduate Award) in Sustainability: this is an optional, free module Surrey offers to all students, which looks at environmental, economic and social challenges facing the world today

2:30pm – My shift as a Student Ambassador which might involve helping at an event or talking to prospective Surrey students

7:45pm – Watch Champions League: 5-2 to Liverpool!


10am – Fluid Mechanics lecture

12pm – Personal tutorial - discussion with my tutor on how I can improve my study techniques and exam preparation

1pm – Fluid Mechanics lecture

2pm – Smash friends at FIFA in the Students’ Union

6pm – Ahlulbayt Islamic Society weekly gathering, discussion and prayers


10am – Catch up with tutorial/exercise sheets

1pm – Group work meeting to develop our group lab report for the ‘Pump Investigation’ experiment

2pm – Fluids tutorial

3pm – Maths tutorial

5pm – Industrial Chemistry lecture

6pm – Futsal (5 a side indoor football) training

10pm – I’m heading back home to London for the weekend – which is only a 35 minute train ride or a short drive away


10:30am – Breakfast with my family

2pm – Meet up with friends who are at various London universities


Lie in! 

2:30pm – Back to Guildford

3:30pm – Weekly shop at Tesco

4:30pm – Campus laundrette

7pm – Library and prep for the start of the week

9pm – Catch up with flatmates



Outside of lectures and library sessions, there’s lots to do during your free time at Surrey.

Campus life

The Students’ Union lies at the heart of campus life. With over 100 sports clubs and societies on offer, it’s bursting with opportunities for you to discover new interests, have fun and make friends. The Union nightclub, Rubix, is a popular choice for nights out, and our beautiful lakeside campus has plenty of places to get a coffee, drink or bite to eat.

Ten minutes to town

The campus is also a short ten-minute walk from Guildford town centre, home to over 70 pubs, bars and restaurants. From ice skating at Guildford Spectrum to watching a film at the Odeon, Guildford has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a well-earned break from your studies.

Further afield

From London to the coast, discover some of the places our students like to visit during their free time at University.

Learn more about our chemical and process engineering degrees and read what our students have to say about life at Surrey to discover why we were ranked 5th in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017

Explore our programmes in chemical and process engineering.

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