Prospective Students

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) defines Chemical Engineering like this:

"Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths and economics to the process of turning raw materials into everyday products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role."

Overall, Process & Chemical Engineering provides a pathway towards helping meet society’s needs. These include energy generation, food production, water supply, waste management, consumer goods and healthcare products. Moreover, societal needs are driven by economic considerations and framed by ecological limits. In this context, the challenges facing society through the twenty first Century are substantial. A number of radical innovations – both technical and non-technical, are required in order to overcome the many challenges ahead. Potential solutions will need to be rooted in the economic, social, environmental and political context. Process & Chemical Engineers, with their understanding of material and energy flows and of thermodynamics, are well placed to be key, indeed lead players in this universal and trans-disciplinary effort.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) have identified six key themes that will concern the profession (and indeed society) through the coming decades, as part of their Roadmap for 21st Century Chemical Engineering. These are:

  • Sustainability and Sustainable Chemical Technology
  • Health, Safety, Environment and Public Perception of Risk
  • Energy
  • Food and drink
  • Water
  • Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

So, are you up to the challenge? If so, why not consider a career as a Process & Chemical Engineer? The journey starts here. Make CK600PCE your first choice for an exciting, challenging and rewarding future.

The BE (Hons) in Process and Chemical Engineering degree (CK600PCE) 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 Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in 2017.

The programme combines the essential elements of fundamental maths, physics and chemistry with relevant applied chemical engineering modules on various aspects of process engineering and industrial processing, to develop computational and design proficiency, problem-solving and presentation skills, as well as safety, ethics and sustainability. There are specialisation options in either Pharma & Biopharma or Energy & Environmental. 

The first year of the programme is largely common with the other engineering programmes (a change to/from chemical engineering may be done at the end of year one). There are electives according to the specialisation stream chosen in years 3 and 4. The course incorporates a six-month industrial placement in the second half of year 3. The programme is accredited by both Engineers Ireland and the Institution of Chemical Engineers of the UK enabling graduates to become Chartered Engineers after complying with the requirements of additional academic degrees and/or professional practice according to the regulations of Engineers Ireland, the Engineering Council of the UK, or other engineering professional association of choice. These requirements vary among such associations.

Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

Minimum H5 in two subjects, one of which must be Mathematics or Applied Mathematics (if the H5 is in Applied Mathematics,a H6 in Mathematics is also required); O6/H7 passes in either four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate in Irish, English, Laboratory Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics with Chemistry (joint) or Agricultural Science) or Technology, and one other subject recognised for entry purposes.

Please note that, in addition to the minimum entry requirements above, incoming students must attain the CAO points required for the course in the year of entry. In 2014, the CAO first round points for CK601 were 505. In 2015, the CAO points for CK600PCE are the same as those for all CK600 entries to the School of Engineering @ UCC, at 415, since there is now just one points entry level. In 2016, this points level rose to 490 for all CK600 programmes.


Non-Irish EU Entry Requirements

EU applicants from outside Ireland wishing to gain entry into first year of any programme in UCC must read carefully through the minimum entry requirements on the Non-Irish EU Entry Requirements document which you can click on to read below. Please note that these are minimum entry requirements only, and places are allocated on a competitive basis.


Students should note that they must also satisfy the subject requirements for their proposed programme of study - see links below.

Guideline to EU (non-Irish) Entry Requirements 

A-Level Requirements  

Application procedure for non-EU applicants

We have enjoyed 100% Graduate employment in the past seven+ years with many final year students receiving multiple job offers before sitting their final exams. The UCC Careers Service Destination Report 2015 shows that 0% of graduates are seeking employment six to nine months after graduation in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 with just 1 graduate seeking employment at the time of the survey in 2013, but employed shortly thereafter.

Chemical Process Engineers find employment in a wide range of process industries – among them pharmaceuticals, food and drink, water, cosmetics, bulk chemicals, plastics and the energy sector. A large proportion are employed by Engineering consultancy firms and these often work in teams with groups of other engineers (Electrical, Civil, Mechanical, etc) in the design, installation and commissioning of plants and processes for companies operating in the process industries.

 The work of the Chemical Process Engineer usually involves one or more of the following:

• Designing a process to produce a given product through all the stages from intake of raw materials to output of finished product.

• Designing the equipment or 'unit operations' that make up this process.

• Improving the energy efficiency of the process, the safety of the process, the quality of the product being produced and making the process more environmentally friendly by for example, reducing or recycling process waste or energy consumption.

• Developing new processes or products which will better serve the needs of society and its environment.

Work placement is an essential part of the BE (Hons) Process & Chemical Engineering degree programme. Students work in industry for 22 weeks between 3rd and 4th year i.e. from April to September. They undertake an engineering project on which they prepare oral presentations and written reports. Work placement provides valuable practical experience for the students, while giving the employers an opportunity to complete a worthwhile project and also to evaluate the quality of the student.

Students are available for a 5-6 month placement in the period April-September. Each student receives a wage sufficient to meet living costs. Each student is allocated to an academic supervisor in the Department of Process & Chemical Engineering who visits or contacts the student during the work placement.

The performance of the student is assessed by the industry supervisor, and by the academics following an oral presentation and a written report.  The mark for the work placement module is then included in the final year exam marks.

For further information on work placement please contact:

Dr Maria J Sousa Gallagher
School of Engineering -  Process & Chemical
University College

Phone: (021) 490 3594

Placement is organised in conjunction with the UCC Careers Service.


Account of Work Placement - James  <<Click to Download

Account of Work Placement - Karen  <<Click to Download



Core Modules

Students take modules to the value of 55 credits:

AM1021 Mechanics I (5 credits)
AM1022 Mechanics II (5 credits)
CE1005 Engineering Computation and Problem Solving (5 credits)
CM1001 Chemistry for Engineers (5 credits)
MA1011 Mathematical Methods for Engineers I (5 credits)
MA1012 Mathematical Methods for Engineers II (5 credits)

ME1001 Engineering Materials (5 credits)
Professional Engineering Communication and Ethics (5 credits)
PE1003 Introduction to Process and Chemical Engineering (5 credits)
PY1006 Physics for Engineers II (5 credits)
PY1007 Physics for Engineers I (5 credits)

Elective Modules

And one of the following modules:

CE1003 Engineering Structures (5 credits)
EE1005 Electrical and Electronic Systems (5 credits)
NE1001 Introduction to Energy Engineering and Energy Policy (5 credits)



AM2021 Engineering Mechanics with Transform Methods (5 credits)
AM2032 Numerical Methods and Programming (5 credits)
CE2001 Solid and Structural Mechanics I (5 credits)
CE2003 Fluids I (5 credits)
CM2010 Introduction to Organic Chemistry for Process and Chemical Engineers (5 credits)
ME2002 Engineering Thermodynamics (5 credits)
PE2003 Heat Transfer (5 credits)
PE2004 Communication and Creative Problem Solving in Engineering (5 credits)
PE2005 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering (5 credits)
PE2008 Phase Equilibrium and Mass Transfer (5 credits) 
PE2009 Chemical Reaction Engineering (5 credits) 
PE2011 Plant Design and Commissioning (5 credits)



Core Modules

CM3030 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry 
PE3001  Applied Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics
PE3002  Unit Operations and Particle Technology
PE3005  Eng.Materials and Process Machinery Dynamics
PE3008  Safety and Environmental Protection I
PE3007  Process Dynamics and Control
CM3029 Organic Chemistry II for Process and Chemical Engineering
PE3013  Process Validation and Quality
PE3011  Sustainability in Process Engineering

Elective Module Streams

Students must opt for an elective stream in Third Year and must continue the same stream in their Fourth Year.

Note: While there is no upper limit on the number of students who may take a particular elective stream, modules may be withdrawn if there are insufficient entrants.

A. Energy and Environmental

CE3010 Energy in Buildings (5 credits)


B. Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical

PE3009 Pharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)

Students will attend PE3010 Work Placement (10 credits) before the commencement of the Fourth Year in Process andChemical Engineering. A pass in PE3010 is a requirement for the award of the BE (Hons) (Process and Chemical Engineering) Degree.



Core Modules

PE4001 Advanced Process Design (5 credits)
PE4002 Process Automation and Continuous Process Improvement (5 credits)
PE4004 Safety and Environmental Protection II (5 credits)
PE4005 Engineering Project (10 credits)
PE4006 Design Project (10 credits)
PE4007 Mechanical Design of Process Equipment (5 credits)
PE4008 Separations and Bioprocess Engineering (5 credits)
PE4014  Complex Reaction Systems (5 credits)
PE4015  Advanced Separation Processes (5 credits)

Elective Module Streams:

Students must continue the same elective stream that they have chosen in their Third Year.

A. Energy and Environmental

NE4005 Biomass Energy (5 credits)


B. Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical

PE4010 BioPharmaceutical Engineering (5 credits)

We have enjoyed 100% Graduate employment in the past seven+ years with many final year students receiving multiple job offers before sitting their final exams. The UCC Careers Service Destination Report 2015 shows that 0% of graduates are seeking employment six to nine months after graduation in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2014 and 2015 with just 1 graduate seeking employment at the time of the survey in 2013, but employed shortly thereafter.

The BE Hons in Process and Chemical Engineering at UCC provides graduates with a rigorous core Chemical Process Engineering degree, but also offers specialist elective streams (in Energy & Environmental or Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical) which provide the opportunity to add some specialisation in their area of interest.

Graduates are in huge demand for jobs in a wide range of areas such as in the pharmaceutical, food and other process industries, in design and manufacture of process equipment and processes, in environmental and energy related areas and with engineering consultancy firms. With something to suit everyone, you can't go wrong.

The degree provides graduates with the necessary technical and interpersonal skills to work in any process industry. There is a continuing emphasis on the development of soft skills such as teamworking, problem-solving, and presentation skills throughout the programme including a module on communication and creative problem solving skills in year two.

A six-month work placement between third year and fourth year provides undergraduates with valuable experience and insight into the work of a chemical process engineer, and helps provide them with the necessary skills and attributes to make a successful transition to a professional career following graduation.

Starting salaries are attractive (see here for Morgan McKinley Engineering Salary Survey 2017) and further career prospects are excellent. The staff are dedicated to delivering a world-class Chemical Engineering programme, and ensuring that every student gets to reach their full potential, providing a stimulating environment within a picturesque university setting. With so many excellent reasons to choose CK600PCE, what are you waiting for?

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