UCC Undergraduate courses

Process and Chemical Engineering

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Process and Chemical Engineering

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science

  • Duration

    4 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BE (Hons)

  • Fees

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Refer to CK600. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2019: 476

  • CAO Points Range

    2019: 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.


See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme 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

View Video

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 Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

Refer to CK600.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK600.

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET: See our QQI FET Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact