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Best Universities for Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is a specialised branch of the engineering field that focuses on the design, operation, maintenance and improvement of chemical manufacturing plants and processes. It’s a subject area that is strongly oriented towards industry and industrial research, and as a result attracts many of its students to postgraduate study. 

Whether you’re looking to build your research expertise, gain advanced knowledge in a specialist niche of chemical engineering, or hoping to develop professional and industry experience during your further studies, you’ll want to study at the best universities for chemical engineering. 

This guide is your first stop in that search. Here, we look at the institutions with the highest chemical engineering rankings and what factors are worth considering during the decision-making process. 

Best Universities for Chemical Engineering 

While there are dozens of excellent postgraduate programmes to explore in chemical engineering, most students are keen to know which are offered by the top chemical engineering universities. You may not end up studying at or even applying to these institutions, but they’re a great place to start your research and get an idea of what’s out there. 

According to the Complete University Guide's 2024 league tables, the three highest ranked universities for chemical engineering in the UK are: 

Top choice for Student Satisfaction 

Student satisfaction is a central part of any university ranking, and will indicate what kind of experience you could have if you decided to study there. It relates to a range of factors, from the quality of the course and its associated facilities, academic and personal support services, sports and societies, accommodation and the general lifestyle offered in the local area. 

For chemical engineering students this is a particularly important indicator of how well courses are delivered and the quality of research and learning facilities—factors any prospective postgraduate student should prioritise. 

The best university for chemical engineering, in terms of student satisfaction, is University of Wolverhampton

Top choice for Graduate Prospects 

Graduate prospects are another factor that chemical engineering postgraduates tend to place as one of their highest priorities. As an industry-oriented subject, most chemical engineering students will be studying towards a career in research or industry. Graduate prospects describes the level of success that a university’s graduates tend to go on to, encompassing aspects like careers support, professional development within courses, networking opportunities and the quality of placements. 

The top chemical engineering university, when it comes to graduate prospects, is Imperial College London

Go to: Search for chemical engineering courses at Imperial College London

Top choice for Research Quality 

Research quality is an important consideration for all types of students, but chemical engineering postgraduates are particularly interested in the impact, relevance and quality of the research being conducted by their prospective university. 

This factor will indicate the quality of research expertise and facilities across the university’s departments, the opportunities open to chemical engineering postgraduate to get involved in significant research, and the reputation of the uni among key industry players that students will look to work for in the future. 

The top chemical engineering university for research quality is University of Cambridge. 

Ranking Information Source   

The data and rankings referenced in this guide are collected from the Compete University Guide League Tables, which sources data from a number of leading higher education sources such as the National Student Survey, the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, and the Higher Education Statistics Agency. This information is expertly evaluated using Complete University Guide’s unique methodology, resulting in rankings that capture the priorities and needs of prospective students. 

Go to: See the 2024 Complete University Guide chemical engineering subject league table  

Student reviews 

In addition to the Complete University Guide league tables, prospective postgraduate students in chemical engineering can get a unique insight into different universities with Whatuni student reviews. Current and recent students share details on everything about the university and their course. 

One university that particularly stands out due to its many positive reviews, including five-star ratings, is Loughborough University. One review from a student said, “I have had so many opportunities to develop, both personally and professionally, through being a student at Loughborough University.” 

Go to: Search for chemical engineering courses at Loughborough University

More universities for studying Chemical Engineering 

You can browse over 60 different postgraduate degree programmes for the next step in your chemical engineering journey, offered across nearly 25 universities in the UK. Our course and university search tools are a great way to browse all the available study options and easily find out more about them, from entry requirements to course content and more. 

Next: Search for chemical engineering courses


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