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UCC Undergraduate courses

Process and Chemical Engineering

Course Fact File
Duration4 years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBE (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
CAO Points2019: 476
CAO Points Range2019: 476-625

Course Outline

The first year of the BE is a broad education in engineering fundamentals. At the end of the first year you can choose to enter Process and Chemical Engineering. Your chosen area of specialization in second year will also offer a route to Process and Chemical Engineering at Masters (ME) level. At the end of a successful 3rd year, students enter 4th year, to embark on a pathway to either the 5 year Integrated ME for eligible students or exiting after four years with a BE(Hons). The ME pathway incorporates a Professional Work Placement that takes place during the 2nd semester of Year 4 and during the summer break (8 months).

Process and Chemical Engineers are involved in the design, modification and operation of processes to produce products across a broad range of process industries, including bio/pharmaceuticals,  food and drinks production, bulk chemicals and fuels/energy. Process and Chemical engineering helps provide a pathway towards meeting societal requirements around health and wellbeing, energy provision, food production, water supply, waste management and consumer goods.


Year 1 modules

Refer to CK600

Year 2 modules

Engineering Mechanics with Transform Methods; Numerical Methods and Programming; Fluids; Communication in Engineering; Solid and Structural Mechanics; Plant Design and Commissioning; Introduction to Organic Chemistry for Process and Chemical Engineers; Ecology for engineers; Heat Transfer; Introduction to Biochemical Engineering; Chemical Reaction Engineering; Data Analysis for Process and Product Development.

Years 3 modules


Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry; Applied Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics; Unit Operations and Particle Technology; Phase Equilibrium and Mass Transfer; Process Safety; Process Dynamics and Control; Organic Chemistry for Process and Chemical Engineering; Sustainability and Environmental Protection I; Food and Bioprocess Engineering; Pharmaceutical Process Validation; Chemical Process Equipment; Design, Integrity & Materials.


Energy in Buildings; Pharmaceutical Engineering.

BE Year 4 Modules


Process Design and Feasibility Analysis; Mechanical Design of Process Equipment; Design Project; Optimisation and Continuous Process Improvement; Entrepreneurial Business Start-Ups.


Sustainable Energy or BioPharmaceutical Engineering, plus four from: Work Placement; Biomass Energy; Global Food Policy; Primary Energy Engineering; Materials and Sustainability.

ME Year 4 Modules:

The first part of Year 4 involves a ‘design semester’, including the capstone design project module. From January to August you will have an industrial work placement to further develop work place skills in a practical environment. Work placement is supported in advance of the placement with professional lectures to help support the skills needed to work effectively within a workplace environment.


Process Design and Feasibility Analysis; Mechanical Design of Process Equipment; Design Project; ME Work Placement.


Sustainable Energy; Biopharmaceutical Engineering.

ME 5 Year Module


Sustainability and Environmental Protection II; Advanced Separation Processes; Research Project; Carbon Geocycles and Capture Utilisation and Storage; Complex Reaction Systems; Process Industry Optimisation; Continuous Process Improvement and Data Analytics; Industrial Process Safety; Applications and Control Systems; Entrepreneurial Business Start-Ups.


Pharmaceutical Industry Advances and Developments; Energy Innovation.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture/lab/practical hours

Classes consist of lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals, totalling 20-26 contact hours per week during 24 weeks of the year, divided into two semesters.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment.

Yearly course grades are based on a balanced combination of continuous assessment and written examinations, organised at an individual module level. Around one-third of the total credits are awarded on the basis of continuous assessment and project work.

The final BE(Hons) degree grade is based on a weighted combination of the marks from Year 3 and Year 4, while the ME is based on a weighted combination of the marks from Year 4 and Year 5.

Who teaches this course


Why Choose This Course

[The facilities] are fantastic! We have our own labs and lab technicians... Our computers are top-notch.

Ailbhe Connolly

Student, BE Process and Chemical Engineering

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I chose [the course] at UCC because it is highly regarded,[...] I also loved the idea of a six-month salaried work placement.

Ailbhe Connolly

Student, BE Process and Chemical Engineering

View Student
In first, second and third year, there's ongoing projects and these are individual and in groups.

Katherine Condon

Student, BE Process and Chemical Engineering

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The Process and Chemical Engineering degree (CK600PCE) is accredited at full MEng level by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and by Engineers Ireland. It is an award-winning degree, recognised as world class in the area of chemical engineering sustainability by virtue of the conferring of the ‘Sustainability Teaching Award’ by the UK Institution of Chemical Engineers in 2017.

Particular strengths of the degree at UCC include:

  • small class sizes (40)
  • excellent staff-student interaction with staff who care that you enjoy the course and who ensure that the course provides you with all you need to have a rewarding career dynamic course content reflecting an evolving industrial environment
  • strong links to a variety of industies, including a salaried eight-month work placement as a chemical engineer
  • modules on key topics relating to Process and Chemical Engineering, plus communication and teamwork skills, innovation, sustainability, data analytics, bioprocesses, ethics and safety
  • electives on both Energy & Environmental and Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical pools available.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The five year integrated ME programme includes an eight-month salaried work placement in industry based in Ireland or abroad (the four year BE programme has a corresponding three-month optional work placement). During this placement, you will gain excellent hands-on experience as a chemical/process engineer, as well as making valuable industry contacts. Opportunities also exist for academically strong students to spend a period in an institution abroad, receiving full credits for the work done there towards your degree.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this course can look forward to strong employment prospects in bio/pharmaceuticals, food and drinks, or energy sectors, in environmental and technical services (including engineering consultancy), medical devices, education or finance and management.

Over the past several years all our graduates have gained employment within six to nine months after graduating, according to the Careers Service First Destination Report.

The degree is internationally accredited by both the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Engineers Ireland. Graduates are well equipped to work in transdisciplinary teams, across a wide range of industry and business sectors and on a global basis.

Since 2013, engineering graduates with a BE require an additional one-year Masters-level qualification (or equivalent) as well as relevant professional experience to be eligible to apply for Chartered membership of Engineers Ireland. The integrated ME facilitates this.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements:

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H4 in one subject, minimum grade H5 in one subject and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

The following are considered Lab Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry (Joint) and Agricultural Science. Technology can be substituted for a Lab Science subject.  

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:




Lab Science or Technology





*If the H4 is in Applied Mathematics, a H6 in Mathematics is also required.

Students presenting with a 2016 (or previous) Leaving Certificate must present with a HC2 in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics;  if the HC2 is in Applied Mathematics, a HD3 in Mathematics is also required.

Mature entry applicants

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK600.

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact