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UCC Adult courses

Process and Chemical Engineering - Dip

Course Fact File
Duration2 years
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 7
NFQ Award TitleMinor
Fees€2,925 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date8 September 2023
Next IntakeSeptember 2023

UCC Campus

Start DateSeptember 2023

Course Outline

This course teaches the fundamentals of process and chemical engineering. You will be given an overview of key aspects of the discipline. It appeals to people from a wide range of backgrounds. This includes those who would like to obtain a formal qualification in chemical engineering, who want to use the course as a step towards a professional degree qualification, who are interested in gaining a formal chemical engineering qualification as part of their continuing professional development and graduates of other disciplines whose work brings them into the sphere of chemical engineering. There is strong support from local and national employers in sectors such as bio/pharmaceuticals, food, drink, water, energy and environmental and technical services.

You will be studying process and chemical engineering. This includes the fundamental principles of process engineering (fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, thermodynamics) and also the applications of these principles (pumps and piping systems, flow measurement and sampling systems, heat exchanger design, energy conservation and integration, thermal process engineering, refrigeration, combustion, steam generation, combined heat and power plants, and a range of separation processes involving heat and mass transfer). The important area of powder technology (characterisation, storage, handling, dust control) is also covered, as is process instrumentation and control.

The Modules for the Diploma are as follows:

Year 1

  • PE1811: Introduction to Chemical Processing Engineering
  • PE1812: Material and Energy Balances
  • PE1813: Fluid Mechanics and Particle Processing
  • PE1814: Heat Transfer and Applied Thermodynamics
  • PE1815: Mass Transfer and Separation Processes
  • PE1816: Process Control and Equipment Integrity

Year 2

  • PE2802: Process Optimisation and Occupational Health and Safety
  • PE2803: Environmental Engineering and Safety
  • PE2804: Reaction Engineering and Unit Operations
  • PE2805: Process and Plant Design
  • PE2810: Chemical Engineering Project

Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinator Dr. Denis Ring at

For Online Application Support please click here. 

If you require further assistance with your online application please contact the Programme Administrator Noreen Power at 

Course Practicalities

This course takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6.30 -9.30pm ( 6.00pm to 10.00pm when there is a tutorial being delivered).


There is a one-and-a-half-hour end-of-course open book exam for each module. Assignments are also given for each module at approximately three week intervals. Apart from the Design Project module, where there is no exam.Each unit is marked on the following basis; Assignment: 30%; End-of-course exam: 70%. The pass standard for each module is 40%.

Who teaches this course

This course has been developed by the Department of Process & Chemical Engineering. Lectures are provided by staff from the department, and by relevant industry personnel.

Why Choose This Course

  • If you have a strong scientific background and are in contact with process and chemical engineers, or your job requires a greater understanding of process and chemical engineering principles and applications, this course will give you the opportunity to develop these skills further by giving you a formal qualification in the area
  • There is a growing requirement in the PharmaChem sector for people with engineering qualifications
  • A number of places will be reserved on the level 8 BE (Hons) Degree in Process and Chemical Engineering (CK601) for candidates who have successfully completed the diploma and satisfy the mathematical requirements for entry to the BE honours degree. This means having achieved a Grade C3 or better in Leaving Certificate Higher Mathematics or equivalent, i.e. you must be capable of showing a demonstrable knowledge of and aptitude for mathematics
  • This course will give you an understanding of the basic principles of process and chemical engineering and how they are applied in the process industries


  • In order to be admitted to the programme, candidates will be required to have a Level 6 NQAI qualification or equivalent and it is expected that they will have relevant experience through working in the process and related industries.
  • There are 35 places on the programme per annum. Where the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, entry will be on a competitive basis. Applicants will be selected for the programme on the basis of the following criteria (in order of importance): Qualifications of applicants and their relevance; Experience of applicants and its relevance; ‘Reasons for entering programme’ as indicated by applicants on course application form.
  • Diploma programmes are offered subject to a minimum number of eligible applicants registering for the programme. Following completion of year 1 of this programme, should a sufficient number of eligible students not wish to progress form year 1 to year 2 of this programme as to make the year 2 viable, students will graduate with a certificate at that point. Programme viability is determined by reference to fee income and applicable costs in running the programme.
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score.
  • Candidates who successfully complete First Year may opt not to proceed to Second Year and may exit the programme with a Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering.

Fees and Costs

€2,925 per academic year

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here


How To Apply

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 
Select the following options:
Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Application Statement
  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photograph 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • Transcripts [if applicable]


Year 1 Modules

  • PE1811: Introduction to Chemical Process Engineering (5 credits)
    Basic engineering computation, engineering units, SI units, dimensions and conversions, moles, molecular weights, basic chemical reactions and stoichiometry, chemical engineering heuristics. Block Flow Diagrams (BFD), Process Flow Diagrams (PFD), Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID).
  • PE1812: Material and Energy Balances (5 credits)
    Law of conservation of mass, open and cloased systems, system boundary, batch and continuous processes, material balance equations, material recycle. Law of conservation of energy, forms of energy, development of energy balance equations, process applications, reading and using steam tables.
  • PE1813: Fluid Mechanics and Particle Processing (5 credits)
    Properties of fluids, compressible and incompressible, fluid statics, fluid dynamics. Pumps, fans, compressors, piping systems, flow measurement, sampling systems, Bernoulli's equation, design of pump-pipeline systems. Particle and powder characterisation, dust fires and explosions, dust separation and air pollution control, powder storage and transport.
  • PE1814: Heat Transfer and Applied Thermodynamics (5 credits)
    Energy, entropy, work, 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. Heat transfer principles, heat exchanger design, condensers. Refrigeration, cooling, chilled water systems, cooling towers, combustion, boilers, steam, CHP, generators. CO2 plant, N2 plant, HVAC.
  • PE1815: Mass Transfer and Separation Processes (5 credits)
    Principles of mass transfer, phase equilibria, interphase mass transfer, distillation, absorption, solvent extraction, evaporation, drying, crystallization, adsorption, ion-exchange.
  • PE1816: Process Control and Equipment Integrity (5 credits)
    Control theory, measurement and transducers, process control systems, automation in industry, S88 & Gamp4, advances in control systems. Materials of construction, mechanical properties of metals, polymers & ceramic materials, corrosion, emergency pressure relief & venting, welding of process vessels, safety & process fluid leakage.

Year 2 Modules

  • PE2802: Process Simulation and Optimisation and Occupational Health & Safety in the Process Industries (5 credits)
    Process optimisation and continuous process improvement. Overview of a systems engineering approach to process analysis. Identification of the crucial factors that affect a system's response: use of appropriate Design of Experiments techniques, factorial analysis using ANoVA and Pareto analysis. The Taguchi method of robust engineering design for minimising waste and non-conformity costs. Introduction to health and safety legislation, risk assessment methodologies, safe systems of work, technical/process safety, incident/accident investigation, emergency planning and response.
  • PE2803: Environmental Engineering and Safety (5 credits)
    Environmental Engineering; Pollution and environmental impacts, legislation; Treatment & disposal of wastes: liquid and solid wastes treatment; landfill, incineration and other thermal treatments. Waste minimisation. Sustainability. Engineering safety; plant layout, plant operation, containment, pressure system design, reactor stability, emergency venting, formation and dispersal of vapour clouds, fire, explosion, toxic release.
  • PE2804: Reaction Engineering and Unit Operations (5 credits)
    Reaction Engineering; Introduction to chemistry, atoms molecules and how reactions work. Reaction terminology and the types of different reactors used in industry. Overview of reaction order, reaction kinetics and reaction thermodynamics. The influence of temperature and pressure on chemical reactions. The design and assessment of simple reactor operation. Unit operations: particle characterization; particle dynamics; elutriation; sedimentation; filtration; charging, dispensing of solids and size reduction; size reduction equipment; membrane separation processes; mixing/blending of powders; oral solids dosage forms.
  • PE2805: Process and Plant Design (5 credits)
    Process design and simulation (using SuperPro Designer/Dynochem) incorporating the concepts of sustainability and clean processing. Development of plant design in order to generate data for a process piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID). Overview of plant location, layout, design and build. Engineering management, concepts of control, evaluation, budgeting and scheduling and closeout. Capital investment/running costs and the methods for their estimation. Profitability analysis (return on investment, pay-back time, discounted cash flow rate of return, net present value.
  • PE2810: Project (10 credits)
    Project selection; project planning; literature survey; work of theoretical, experimental or computing nature leading to achievement of objectives; preparation of project report.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact