MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering

Cranfield University

Program Description

MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering

Cranfield University

Chemical Engineering is key in addressing global challenges relating to the sustainable supply of clean energy, food and water, through the production of chemicals, functionalised products and fuels.

The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering provides technical and management training that employers increasingly demand from chemical engineers. The programme offers two elective study routes. The general chemical engineering option covers core chemical engineering subjects with a focus on theoretical and practical elements in operation, design and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The biorefining route provides an advanced understanding of the production of bioenergy and biofuels while strengthening the knowledge on chemical engineering discipline.

Cranfield’s strong reputation and links with industry provide outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers.


  • Start date: October
  • Duration: One year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • Delivery: Taught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%
  • Qualification: MSc
  • Study type: Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Cranfield campus

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for engineering and applied science graduates who wish to embark on successful careers as chemical engineering professionals.

Our general Chemical Engineering route equips you with diversified skills in advanced engineering, which includes theoretical and practical elements in operation, design, and control of a wide range of chemical processes. The Biorefining route (formerly the Biofuels Process Engineering MSc) equips you with the fundamental understanding of chemical engineering and solid skills to address the challenges of the rapidly growing and dynamic bioenergy sector. This option covers the sustainable production of heat, power and fuels from biomass within the biorefining framework. Both routes include training in management applied to the energy sector which enables engineers to effectively fulfil a wider role in a business organisation.

Why this course?

Chemical engineering is a continuously evolving discipline linked to a variety of industries. Chemical engineers lead the design of large-scale facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and industrial biotechnology sectors.

A distinguished feature of this course is that it is not directed exclusively at chemical engineering graduates. This MSc will provide you with the training and knowledge skill set that employers actively seek in a desirable engineering graduate. We recognise the importance of an interdisciplinary approach; as such the core and optional modules and course contents have been carefully developed to meet the engineering skill shortage currently faced within the industry. In particular, no other university in the UK offers an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering with a dedicated option in Biorefining. You will develop the professional profile required by the growing biobased sector (more than 480,000 jobs and an annual turnover of about €50 million only in the European Union), with a high level of skills' transferability across the chemical and energy sectors.

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university with distinctive expertise in technology and management. There are also numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study here. These include:

  • Teaching activities involving bespoke pilot plant facilities
  • Undertaking projects in consultation with industry, government and its agencies, local authorities and consultants
  • Lecturing from leading academics and industrial practitioners
  • Dedicated support for off-campus learners including extensive information resources managed by our library.
  • Very well located for part-time students which enables students from all over the world to complete their qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.
  • A Career Development Service, which is an accredited member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) and provides a personalised service to Cranfield students and alumni, working to enhance careers and increase opportunities.

Informed by Industry


Course details

The taught programme is delivered from October to February and is comprised of eight modules. The modules are delivered over one week of intensive delivery with the latter part of the module being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the Course Director.

Group project

The Group Project, undertaken between February and April, enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. Projects are often supported by industry and potential future employers value this experience. The group project is normally multidisciplinary and shared across the Energy MSc programme, giving the added benefit of working with students with other backgrounds.

Each group is given an industrially relevant problem to solve. During the project, you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a poster presentation to industry partners. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a Group Project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Recent Group Projects include:

  • Design appraisal for a large scale anaerobic digestion plant for treatment of organic residue from municipal waste
  • Study of bio-conversion processes for biofuel production from Algae biomass
  • Fuel cell technology coupled with dry reforming of biogas
  • Performance Analysis and Technical Evaluation of Micro Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) Systems for Domestic Applications
  • Utilising biomass-derived fuels for CHP generation
  • Improving the quality of products generated from Mixed Plastic Waste
  • Conversion of consumer waste plastic into new plastics
  • Engineering Assessment of Alternative Greenhouse Gas Removal Technologies
  • Optimal Design for Hydrogen Combustion Burners in a Domestic Setting
  • Design specification of pilot scale 142 kWth air/rock

Individual project

The individual research project allows students to investigate deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real-world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. The individual research project component takes place between May and September.

If agreed with the Course Director, part-time students have the opportunity to undertake projects in collaboration with their place of work, which would be supported by academic supervision.

Individual research projects undertaken may involve feasibility assessments, reviews, practical evaluations, designs, simulations, and experimental investigations.

Previous individual research projects include:

  • Microwave-assisted hydrothermal liquefaction of microalgae.
  • Co-pyrolysis of biomass and oil sand bitumen.
  • Production of an H2-rich gas from steam gasification of biomass with CO2 removal.
  • Techno-economic analysis of hydrogen production from steam gasification of fast pyrolysis bio-oil.
  • Co-upgrading of heavy oil and bio-oil: synergies and challenges of the technology.
  • Design and simulation of a process plant to obtain jet fuel from microalgae biomass.
  • Design of a lab scale setup for Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) of Isochorysis and Pavlova, algae species and analysis of the products obtained from the process
  • Comparison of microalgae biomass production using organic manure and anaerobic digestate organic fertilisers as nutrient sources
  • Algem™ - Developing multi-parametric simulations of global microalgae productivity
  • Developing a technology platform for large-scale ultrasonic-assisted extraction of chemicals from olive mill waste.


Taught Modules 40%, Group Project 20%, Individual Research Project 40%

Your career

Industry-driven research makes our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for recruitment by companies competing in a range of industries, including chemicals, petrochemicals, biochemicals, conventional energy and bioenergy, food, materials, consultancy and management.

Those wishing to continue their education via PhD or MBA studies in the chemical or energy sectors will be greatly facilitated by the interdisciplinary, project-oriented profile that they will have acquired through this course.

Cranfield Careers Service

Our Careers Service can help you find the job you want after leaving Cranfield. We will work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation. We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in sustainability and corporate and social responsibility has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates.


Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

  • Home-EU fees:
    • Full-time: £10,250
    • Part-time: £1,635*
  • Overseas fees:
    • Full-time: £20,500
    • Part-time: £20,500**

* This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per taught module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount will be invoiced annually. The fee for each taught module is £1,340 and this amount will be payable on attendance. The course consists of a number of taught modules with each module usually worth 10 credits. MSc and PgDip awards consist of 8 taught modules and PgCert awards consist of 6 taught modules. Where a module is worth either 5 credits or 20 credits then the module fee will be adjusted accordingly (so a 5 credit module fee will be halved and a 20 credit module fee will be doubled).

** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including the UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related engineering or applied science. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic - 6.5 overall
  • TOEFL - 92
  • Pearson PTE Academic - 65
  • Cambridge English Scale - 180
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - C
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency - C
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - minimum overall score of pass

In addition to these minimum scores, you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking an IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 25, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
1 - 3 years
Part time
Full time
10,250 GBP
Home/EU students, full-time program. £20,500 overseas students.
United Kingdom - Cranfield, England
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
United Kingdom - Cranfield, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info

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