International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical and biological engineering are about turning raw materials into useful products, such as fuel, clothes, food and plastics. Important in every aspect of daily life, these two areas of engineering can improve food production, make medical breakthroughs and invent new materials.

Chemical engineering careers often focus on specialist areas, such as petroleum, plastics or crystals. Biological and biomedical engineers apply the principles of biology and the tools of engineering to develop new products and materials, such as prosthetics, tissue-engineered organs, biopharmaceuticals and bioenergy.

Chemical and biological engineers design the best manufacturing processes to make each product. They rely on specialist skills in chemistry, maths, physics and biology. Each process is designed and tested in a laboratory before being used for large scale manufacturing. Many engineers achieve chartered status. This international qualification verifies your expertise and leads to a pay increase.

Why study Chemical Engineering or Biological Engineering?

Amazing inventions

Chemical and biological engineers find solutions to major world challenges. They make life-changing breakthroughs in food supply, sustainable energy and clean drinking water. With a biological or chemical engineering career, you could make ground-breaking innovations that affect millions of people around the world.

Practical skills

Throughout your degree and career, you’ll develop a huge range of practical skills. You’ll learn how to design new processes, install production plants and test production methods. You’ll also be an expert in managing resources, protecting the environment and meeting health and safety standards.

Career diversity

A Chemical Engineering degree gives you a huge range of employment options. You could work with water, energy, food or pharmaceuticals. Some graduates become chartered engineers, others follow completely different career paths. Transferrable skills make you highly employable in a range of careers.

Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering ranks first in the UK for research environment and is one of the top five for chemical engineering output (Research Excellence Framework 2014). One of the UK’s largest departments for Chemical Engineering, it tackles major world challenges, including disease and clean energy.

Learning takes place in the £81m Diamond building, which has state-of-the-art laboratories. These include a fluid mechanics lab, a thermodynamics lab and an analytics lab. At the Diamond Pilot Plant, you’ll use large scale process equipment that prepares you for industry. 

Degrees are designed with your career in mind. You’ll gain hands-on industry experience from early in your degree, and you’ll develop key skills that you can use in a career. Sheffield graduates find jobs quickly – 90% of MEng Chemical Engineering graduates are in work or further education within six months of graduating.


Chemical Engineering degree options at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield’s BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering develops technical and research skills, with an emphasis on practical lab work. You’ll study core modules in years one and two, and you’ll take part in a process design project in year three.

Related degrees:

Degree preparation at the International College

The International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering prepares you for a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Sheffield. Choose the Physics and Physical Engineering pathway and you’ll study modules that are directly related to your degree. You’ll also develop your English language skills and study skills during interactive classes.

Chemical Engineering career prospects

Chemical Engineering graduates from the University of Sheffield are sought after. You could apply for a job as a chemical engineer or a related profession.

Career options:

  • Chemical engineer
  • Energy engineer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Product development scientist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Mining engineer
  • Production manager

1st in the UK

engineering research income and investment (HESA 2019)

Top 5 in the UK

for chemical engineering research output (Research Excellence Framework 2014)

Your pathway to studying Chemical Engineering 

Find out more about the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering.

Entry Requirements

See the entry requirements and fees for studying Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield

Sheffield IC student in a lab


Born in Dubai.

Made in Sheffield.

“If I am going to do something for my whole life I might as well do something that will make me love it. I am going to do it with passion. That is why I chose Sheffield and I am glad I made this choice. I want to go into the nuclear sector or perhaps solar energy. I just want to apply this greater understanding and depth of knowledge that the UK provides.

Mohammed studied the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering, progressed to BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering