Change the world with a degree in chemical engineering

Chemical engineers play crucial roles in addressing today’s global challenges, including tackling complex issues relating to sustainability, among others. While the field’s as challenging as it is diverse, developing a specialisation in the field can help graduates with relevant degrees enhance their professional standing.

This makes pursuing a Master’s in Chemical Engineering alluring as it can not only help graduates and working professionals sharpen their skills and deepen their understanding, but also remain competitive and recession-proof. To boot, an advanced qualification can give students the opportunity to improve the world and make groundbreaking discoveries, developments and productions.

Various industries benefit from skilled chemical engineers, be it in the oil and gas, medical or food industries. However, as a big investment, you’ll want to pick the right institution that will equip you with the essential knowledge and training required to make strides in the field.

Many European universities offer quality advanced chemical engineering degrees that are more affordable study abroad options than popular locations like the US and Canada. If you’re keen to explore your options, here are four leading universities across Europe you should consider for your graduate degree in chemical engineering:


Finland’s education system is among the best in the world, making it an ideal study destination for international students. So, if you’re passionate about building a better and more sustainable future with the natural sciences and engineering, AAU, which operates in the modern cities of Turku and Vaasa, offers a two-year Master’s Programme in Sustainable Chemical and Process Engineering, all delivered in English.

The programme grants students a broad basis for specialisation in sustainable, environmentally friendly processes and products, including resource and energy efficiency, biofuels and chemicals from nature. It’s structured to ensure graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed within their chosen career and adapt to meet the demands of constantly evolving industries.

Here, students gain top-level expertise recognised on both a national and international level, allowing them to contribute to the research, development and day-to-day running of cutting-edge processes.

Source: AAU

As a university that prides itself on its research expertise, AAU conducts research in many fields. Its focus areas include minority research, drug development and diagnostics, molecular processes and material technology. Many of AAU’s international Master’s students continue on as PhD students – a study route that offers good prospects for PhD students to earn a respectable salary for four years.

The university also offers graduate programmes in biomedical imaging and information technology under the faculty.


Do you want to study in one of the world’s top 50 universities, according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019, KU Leuven is not only Belgium’s highest ranked university, it also stands among Europe’s oldest and leading research universities.

Students who are looking for a cultured study experience will find studying in Belgium ideal as the country is close to other European countries and is also multilingual, with three official spoken languages – Dutch, French and German.

This research university is known for offering a wide range of programmes, but prospective students looking to enrol in a graduate chemical engineering degree should look towards the institution’s Master of Chemical Engineering Technology (Leuven) programme. Interdisciplinary in nature, you will be exposed to fundamental chemical-scientific course units, in addition to coursework in numerous areas, including (bio)chemical/scientific coursework, socio-economics (management, economics) and biotechnology, among others.

Source: KU Leuven

There is also an option to pursue a flexible cross-campus elective package and a master’s thesis conducted in either a research-specific or industrial context, enabling students to focus their studies based on their interests and goals.

Sustainability is a pressing issue facing the world, and KU Leuven offers the Sustainable Process and Materials Engineering option which emphasises reliable technology that meets today’s demands, without jeopardising the welfare of future generations. Students can also partake in the Postgraduate Programme in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering, a cross-fertilisation between company and classroom where students will experience an engineering challenge as the central assignment with a company.


Swansea is a research-led university located in a beautiful UK coastal city. The university is among the top 300 in the world, based on Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.

Swansea has maintained its position as one of the top universities in the UK for engineering. The institution was named among the UK’s top 15 engineering departments by The Complete University Guide 2019. Graduate students will find a host of chemical engineering programmes available at this institution.

Swansea provides an excellent base for research with an MSc by Research in Chemical Engineering. To ensure your project goes smoothly, you’ll be supervised by academic staff who will support and guide you through your research project. This includes helping you develop your research plan, advise you on research aims and objectives and suggest relevant training or skills courses, among other things.

There are also a host of international scholarships for postgraduate students to help you make your dream of studying at a world-class research institution a reality.


This public university is known for training engineers, architects and industrial designers, making it an ideal school for engineering graduates who are looking to upskill. Polimi is among the world’s top universities, located in the vibrant city of Milan. Becoming a student here means being surrounded by the arts and beautiful architecture for a truly enriching study experience.

Source: Shutterstock

Polimi’s proficiency in engineering makes it an ideal choice to study the MSc in Chemical Engineering programme under its School of Industrial and Information Engineering. The two-year programme is conducted in English, during which students will be exposed to high level mathematics, chemistry and biology, studying subjects such as industrial organic chemistry, green and sustainable chemistry, applied mechanics, among others. There are also tracks for students to choose from namely: Product Engineer, Design Engineer and Process Engineer.

What’s unique about Polimi is the option to enjoy a study abroad experience. The school has an extensive list of international partners for students keen to go abroad through an exchange programme, like the Erasmus.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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