UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

Advanced Chemical Engineering

Diploma  |  Placement Year:   No

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will study 5 compulsory core modules and 60 credits of optional modules. In the summer semester, each student on the MSc programme will then undertake an individual project in a research area of their choice within one of the School’s internationally recognised research groups.

The multidisciplinary core modules cover the fundamental science and engineering underpinning the design of sophisticated formulated products. Depending upon your academic background, you will begin by studying the fundamental principles of either chemical engineering or the relevant biological science.

A wide range of optional modules enables you to gain specific knowledge relating to fuel cells, food and/or pharmaceutical product development. Safety, regulatory and quality issues applicable across the relevant industries are also considered. Core skill modules are topics that may be applied across all themed areas.

You may also choose to study business and management modules, or develop mathematical modelling skills. You will have the freedom to pick and choose modules from each theme (providing timetabling allows for this).

Programme description

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will study 5 compulsory core modules and 60 credits of optional modules. In the summer semester, each student on the MSc programme will then undertake an individual project in a research area of their choice within one of the School’s internationally recognised research groups.

The multidisciplinary core modules cover the fundamental science and engineering underpinning the design of sophisticated formulated products. Depending upon your academic background, you will begin by studying the fundamental principles of either chemical engineering or the relevant biological science.

A wide range of optional modules enables you to gain specific knowledge relating to fuel cells, food and/or pharmaceutical product development. Safety, regulatory and quality issues applicable across the relevant industries are also considered. Core skill modules are topics that may be applied across all themed areas.

You may also choose to study business and management modules, or develop mathematical modelling skills. You will have the freedom to pick and choose modules from each theme (providing timetabling allows for this).

Key Modules

In this course we consider the important aspects of chemical engineering in the 21st century that address the issues of the design and development of key formulated products such as fuel cells, food and pharmaceuticals.

Our themes enable you to specialise in areas of chemical and process engineering that interest you; from the production and formulation of pharmaceuticals, formulation of structured food products, hydrogen energy and the business surrounding chemical and process engineering.

Research strengths

Our research strengths are in the design and characterisation of products, heat and mass transfer, fluid flow, particle technology and materials engineering across chemical, biological and physical systems. We collaborate with world-class industry and leading edge engineering and science departments, both nationally and internationally.

Why choose Birmingham?

  • Explore important aspects of modern chemical engineering, addressing the design and development of key formulated products such as fuel cells, food and pharmaceuticals
  • Specialise in areas that interest you, from the production of pharmaceuticals and formulation of structured food products, to hydrogen energy and the business surrounding chemical and process engineering
  • Benefit from our collaborations with world-class industry partners, and international, leading-edge engineering and science departments
  • This programme is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • The School has a first-class reputation in learning, teaching and research, and is highly placed in both The Guardian and The Times league tables
Module & Subject

This course consists of 180 credits: 60 credits from the five core compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules and a 60-credit research project carried out with one of the department’s research teams (MSc only).

The programme has options in Fuel Cells, Food Processing, Pharmaceutical Technology and Business Studies, subject to timetabling constraints

Some modules advertised currently may be subject to change, either in terms of the module content as stated below, or in terms of if the module will be available for this programme (due to staff changes, timetable changes, etc).

Modules
Introductory modules*

Bioscience for engineers.
10 credits.

If you have not studied biological science during your first degree then this module is for you. Topics include: biochemistry, cell structure and characterisation, bioenergetics, fundamental molecular biology, cell signalling, histology and physiology. This module will also address the practical application of aseptic techniques and other methods for the handling, manipulation and containment of biological material. Many of the areas and concepts covered in this module will be developed further in subsequent modules.

Process engineering fundamentals.
10 credits.

This module introduces students from a non-chemical engineering background to the fundamental aspects of process engineering. The ideas and skills developed during the module are essential for anyone planning to work in the process industries. The module starts with material and energy balances and then looks at fluid flow, heat and mass transfer and reactor design. The mathematical skills required for this and subsequent modules will be developed through tutorials.
*These modules will be timetabled to allow students to attend both if required. However, only one will be formally assessed as agreed with the course director.


Core modules:

Colloid chemistry and rheology.
20 credits.

This module provides an in depth study of the world of colloidal systems and their industrial importance. The course will concentrate on three main systems namely suspensions (e.g. paints, toothpaste), emulsions (e.g. margarines, pharmaceutical preparations) and foams (e.g. mousses, shaving foams). Rheology, which is the study of how materials deform and flow, will also be covered in detail. The emphasis of the course is on how interparticle forces control the structure of colloidal systems and understanding how the processing of a fluid affects its structure, stability and function on both a micro- and macroscopic scale.

Molecular delivery.
10 credits.

This module defines and explains the principles of molecular delivery that underpin formulation engineering in food, pharmaceutical and speciality chemical processing. The first part of the module outlines the engineering science of diffusion and molecular transport, in terms of Fickian and non-Fickian diffusion and mass transfer models. The emphasis is on the physical factors that give rise to each type of diffusional and transport process and how they can be represented physically and mathematically. In the second part of the module, the ways in which this type of approach can be applied practically will be outlined using a series of examples and case studies e.g. encapsulation in drug delivery, consecutive mass transfer and diffusion stages in flavour delivery, and transport processes in catalysis and fuel cells.
Measurement techniques.
10 credits.

This module examines a wide variety of techniques that are important for characterising the structure and quality of formulated products and the processes used to make them. X-ray microtomography, micromanipulation, positron emission particle tracking, particle image velocimetry and dynamic vapour sorption are just some of the methods studied.
Frontiers in interdisciplinary bioscience.
10 credits.


Research project. MSc only.
60 credits.

Our interdisciplinary summer projects fully exploit links within the School of Chemical Engineering and other schools, and also with industry, offering opportunities to join teams of high calibre research staff. The project consolidates course work and intensive research experience in an exciting way, providing a route to technological publications, and rounding off the year of study in a satisfying way.

Optional themed modules – choice of 60 credits (MSc & Diploma)
Modules from different themes can be combined within timetabling constraints. All modules are offered subject to sufficient enrolled students. All module descriptions are provisional and subject to minor change. Example optional are listed below:

Hydrogen Energy Theme

Introduction to electrochemistry.
10 credits.


Advanced electrochemical applications.
10 credits.


Fuel cell & hydrogen technology.
10 credits.


Techniques for fuel cell characterisation.
10 credits.


Food Engineering Theme

Food structure for performance.
20 credits.


Food plant and process.
20 credits.


Food chain security
10 credits.

This module is an examination of the systems used to manage food safety hazards including HACCP, allergen risk assessment & management principles and quality assurance systems. The module sets these systems within both the legal and food safety context and thus considers the application of these.

Pest management and cleaning systems.
10 credits.

Pest management and cleaning systems are basic requisites in all types of food businesses to ensure safe production of food, whether small or large. This module will provide the knowledge and understanding to control the hazards associated with pests and fouling. Lectures will take place on the biology and ecology of common food pests, cleaning materials and methods and the importance of hygienic design. There will be a range of problem solving workshops to apply this new knowledge and evaluate pest management and cleaning systems. This module is essential for anyone who wishes to work in hygiene management sector of the food industry.
Chemical contamination of food and water.
10 credits.

You will learn about the importance and effects of the major classes of chemical contamination in food and drinking water. Additionally, you will be made aware of a) sources of contaminants, b) methods of treatment of food and water and c) the importance of contaminants in food relative to other uptake pathways. Legally accepted chemical additives will also be considered in this module.
Sustainability in the food industry.
10 credits.

Sustainability and the need to address environmental issues is a significant driver in the food industry. It has a major impact on the production and therefore the safety of food. This module provides an overview of the main issues facing the industry, including the economic, legislative and political contexts which influence the options available to the industry.
Principles of nutrition.
10 credits.


Pharmaceutical Theme
Plant design and manufacturing principles
for pharmaceutical production.
10 credits.

This module provides students with an understanding of the engineering and operational issues involved in the manufacture of new chemical and biological products for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Topics include the design and layout of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, principles of quality assurance (QA), good manufacturing practice (GMP), quality control (QC) and validation. Cleaning (CIP), sterilisation methods, aseptic processing and containment are also discussed. Part of the module is delivered by external speakers from industry.

From bench to market: the development of pharmaceutical drug products.
10 credits.
From the latest technologies used in drug discovery through to post market surveillance activities – this module looks at the stages involved in the multimillion pound process of drug product development. You will learn about drug discovery in the post genomic era, preclinical studies, clinical trials, pre-formulation and formulation activities, manufacturing considerations and regulatory procedures.

Design and development of drug delivery systems.
10 credits.
Drugs are rarely administered to patients solely as chemical or biological substances – instead, they are first formulated into dosage forms or drug delivery systems. This module examines a range of available methods and technologies for the delivery of chemical and macromolecular drugs (peptides, proteins and nucleic acids) and concentrates on the scientific and engineering principles underpinning their design.

Business Studies Theme
Effective project management.
10 credits.

This module introduces project management and covers economic project appraisal, resource management, safety awareness, project planning and critical path analysis. There are exercises on critical path analysis, time management and team working.
Business methods, economics and strategy.
10 credits. The module is divided into three sections: 1) human relations; 2) economics; and 3) strategic analysis. Examples of topics discussed include: theory of the firm; managing change and conflict in the workplace; communication and methods of communication analysis; economic models; and strategic decision making.
Marketing and total quality management.
10 credits

The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the concepts of consumer behaviour, marketing and market planning and research and concepts of total quality management in engineering companies.
Core skills
Modern minerals engineering.
10 credits.


Systems modelling.
10 credits.


Chemical nanoengineering.
10 credits.


Explosion science, prevention and protection.
10 credits.


Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Entry Requirements
  • A good Honours degree (2:1 or higher) or postgraduate diploma from an UK university or equivalent. The degree must be in a relevant subject and applicants must meet the following module criteria:

 

For applicants with a degree in Accounting, Finance, Accounting and Finance, International Accounting, International Finance or International Accounting and Finance:

 

One module with minimum 2.1 grade from: Accounting, Financial Accounting, Corporate Reporting, Financial reporting, Senior Financial Accounting and Theory or Accounting

One module with minimum 2.1 grade from: Business Finance, Corporate Finance, Finance, Financial Management, International Finance or International Financial Management

  • All other Applicants:

 

One module with minimum 2.1 grade from: Accounting, Financial Accounting, Corporate Reporting, Financial reporting, Senior Financial Accounting and Theory or Accounting

One module with minimum 2.1 grade from: Business Finance, Corporate Finance, Finance, Financial Management, International Finance or International Financial Management

Two modules with minimum 2.1 grade from a list of 22 other possible modules, including Auditing, Investments, Money and Banking etc.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

 

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band).

Students with a bachelor degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.

 

Please refer to the ‘Business School’ guidance below if you are applying for a Business or Economics programme (not including MBA). You can see the relevant courses on the Business school website.

 

Please refer to the ‘All other programmes’ guidance below if you are applying for all other courses.

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS TO THE BUSINESS SCHOOL (BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS COURSES EXCLUDING MBA) 

GROUP 1 UNIVERSITIES

University is ranked in the top 100 Netbig ranking either in 2012 or 2013. We will also consider institutions part of the prestigious 211 and 985 universities.

 

We will consider students from these institutions with 80% or above.

 

Borderline cases: we will consider students with 70-79% if you have a relevant degree and good grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience.

 

GROUP 2 UNIVERSITIES

University is ranked in the top 101 to 150 Netbig ranking either in 2012 or 2013.

 

We will also consider certain institutions that are AFFLIATED COLLEGES of the prestigious 211 and 985 universities or top 150 ranking university in Netbig 2012 or 2013.

 

  • We will also consider the following 9 specialist Business universities:

 

  1. University of Shanghai for Science and Technology

 

  1. Beijing Technology and Business University

 

  1. Huaqiao University

 

  1. Nanjing University of Finance and Economics

 

  1. Tianjin University of Finance and Economics

 

  1. Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

 

  1. Jiangxi University of Finance

 

  1. Capital University of Economics and Trade

 

  1. Nanjing Audit University

 

We will consider students from these institutions with 85%.

 

Borderline cases: we will consider students with 80-84% if you have a relevant degree and good grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience.

 

  • ALL OTHER INSTITUTIONS

If you do not meet the requirement for group 1 or 2 university above then you are not likely to be considered for entry to our Business School. However you may be considered for other programmes outside of the Business school, see details below.

 

  • ENTRY REQUIREMENTS TO ALL OTHER PROGRAMMES (INCLUDING MBA)

GROUP 1 UNIVERSITIES

University is ranked in the top 200 Netbig ranking either in 2012 or 2013. We will also consider institutions part of the prestigious 211 and 985 universities.

We will also consider certain institutions that are AFFILIATED COLLEGES of the prestigious 211 and 985 universities or top 200 ranking university in Netbig 2012 or 2013.

We will consider students from these institutions with 80% or above.

Borderline cases: we will consider students with 70-79% if you have a relevant degree and good grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience.

  • GROUP 2 UNIVERSITIES

University is ranked in the top 201 to 500 Netbig ranking either in 2012 or 2013.

We will also consider certain institutions that are AFFLIATED COLLEGES of these universities.

We will consider students from these institutions with 85%.

Borderline cases: we will consider students with 80-84% if you have a relevant degree and good grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 

GROUP 3 UNIVERSITIES

University is ranked in the top 501 to 800 Netbig ranking either in 2012 or 2013.

We will also consider certain institutions that are AFFLIATED COLLEGES of these universities.

We will consider students from these institutions with 85% if you have a relevant degree and good grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience.

THREE-YEAR DIPLOMAS

Applicants with three year diplomas and substantial work experience at managerial level (5-7 years) can be considered for entry to a non-business postgraduate degree programme.

 

  • ALL OTHER INSTITUTIONS

If you do not meet the requirement for group 1, 2 or 3 university above then you are not likely to be considered for entry to our courses.

 

Students with Master’s degree may be considered for PhD study.

Foundation Campus
No Foundation
Course Option
Course Duration: 1 Year
Course Fee:  14460.00
Course Level:  POSTGRADUATE
Location
Country:  UNITED KINGDOM
Campus Location:  Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
Intake Deadline
SEPTEMBER