Chemical Engineering MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Chemical engineering research integrated with basic science, offers great potential for bringing essential understanding and innovative technological solutions to the challenges of the future. To this end, we collaborate widely with various academic and industrial research groups and are partners in the Sargent Centre for Process Systems Engineering, UCL CoMPLEX and the UCL Materials Chemistry Centre.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with Merit or above; or an MEng degree from a UK university with an upper second-class or above; or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Research is a core activity in the department, and it covers a broad range of scales from the molecular to the complex systems level. Our work is organised in five research groups: Catalysis & Reaction Engineering, Electrochemical Engineering, Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics, Multiphase Systems and Product & Process Systems Engineering addressing challenges in three research areas: Energy & CO2, Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing and Health & Environment.

The foundation of your career

Chemical engineering offers great potential for bringing quantitative understanding to the service of the chemical industry. Chemical industry alone is one of the UK's largest manufacturing industries and number one exporter. The skills achieved by our students not only make them employable in the major chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and energy industries, but are also transferable to other sectors including environmental technology, biotechnology and even management and finance. Our graduates have been employed in major industries such as GSK, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Shell, Amec, Tate & Lyle Sugar, as well as continuing successfully in academia.


Recent graduates have secured positions in a wide range of industries, from engineering to finance. Examples of organisations include: Shell UK Exploration and Production, AMEC, Petrofac, Sun Chemicals, M W Kellogg, Procter and Gamble, Barclays Bank, UBS and HSBC. Many of our graduates who chose an academic career pathway hold academic posts in world-leading universities.


Extensive networking opportunities are provided through our weekly international departmental seminar series where eminent and worldwide experts from academia and industry talk about their research and development and new cutting-edge applications. The department has strong links with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as other learned societies via the breadth of research undertaken in the department. In addition, career development seminars are embedded in the teaching curriculum and provide the students with an opportunity to learn more about the process and network with their peers as well as invited guests.

Teaching and learning

Research students’ attendance is not formally monitored; however, it is expected that their research time mirrors that of staff engagement as closely as possible. It is therefore recommended that Full-time research equates roughly to 36.5 hours per week; this should be pro-rata to whatever Part-time equivalent has been agreed, but not normally less than 50% the Full-time-equivalent (FTE). If a student has external funding, they should also ensure they meet the Terms & Conditions of their funder in this regard.

Research areas and structure

  • Catalysis & Reaction Engineering
  • Electrochemical Engineering
  • Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Multiphase Systems
  • Product & Process Systems Engineering

Within these areas, research expertise includes:

  • Catalysis, photo catalysis and electro catalysis
  • Cement chemistry and processing
  • CFD modelling of multiphase flows
  • Computational catalysis
  • Data mining and visualisation
  • Electrochemical engineering
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Fuel cells and batteries
  • Functional materials
  • Kinetic modelling
  • Micro reaction technology
  • Molten salts
  • Particle technology (crystallisation and fluidisation)
  • System modelling and optimisation
  • Statistical modelling
  • Thermodynamic modelling
  • Two phase flow
  • X-ray, micro PIV

Research environment

Through our research, we aim to create pioneering breakthroughs in science and technology and seek solutions to Grand Challenges (such as energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, materials, sustainable manufacturing, health and environment), based on significant advances in fundamental knowledge. To this end, we collaborate widely with other departments in UCL Engineering, Chemistry and beyond, as well as various academic and industrial research groups. 

In the latest Research Evaluation Framework (REF 2021), 97% of our submissions rated as either “world leading” (4*) or “internationally excellent” in the Engineering Unit of Assessment at UCL.

The UCL Department of Chemical Engineering has access to a range of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment used for multidisciplinary research, including within our:

  • Bio-Energy Technology Research Laboratory 
  • Materials and Catalysis Laboratory (MCL)
  • Multiphase Labs
  • Fluidization and Advanced Imaging Laboratory 
  • Solar Energy & Advanced Materials (SEAM) Labs
  • Crystallisation and Nanoparticle Labs
  • Adaptive and Responsive Nanomaterials Labs
  • Centre for Correlative X-ray Microscopy
  • Nature Inspired Chemical Engineering Labs

Details about these labs and their equipment are available on our website.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

The programme may be subject to an Additional Fee Element (AFE). The AFE (also known as a bench fees) is levied to cover the additional costs related to consumables, equipment, materials, attending conferences etc. As each PhD project is unique in nature, the AFE is calculated on a student by student basis and is determined by the academic supervisor. The AFE is banded into four fixed amounts: £1,000, £2,500, £5,000, £10,000 with one further band for variable sums over £10,000.

Information concerning current studentships available can be found on the departmental website.

There are a number of funding opportunities throughout the year. For instance, we offer the H. Walter Stern Scholarship.
There are UCL Research Scholarships (GRS and ORS) available each year.
There is also the Dean's Prize, which supports overseas fee-paying students who have won a competitive scholarship to cover their stipend, by waiving the international fees.
Eligible students may apply for a UCL EPSRC DTP award, such as the DTP Open Doctoral Studentships Competition or the Interdisciplinary DTP scheme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The department receives Research Council awards for outstanding research students.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Value: Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Deadline: 13 January 2023
Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Year of entry: 2022-2023

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