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School of Chemical and Process Engineering



Careers in the field of chemical and process engineering are wide ranging and employment prospects are excellent. According to a salary survey undertaken by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), in 2014, the average starting salary for a chemical engineer in the UK is in the region of £29,500.

All our degrees will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in industry. From design, problem-solving, numeracy and analytical skills to transferable skills such as communication and teamwork, you will be highly valued by employers.

Recent graduates have gone on to further study or have successfully secured positions in chemical and pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuel and renewable energy plants, mineral processing and metals recycling operations, as well as areas such as the utilities, consulting, environmental, health and safety, various government agencies, banking and finance. According to the latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 90% of our recent chemical engineering graduates have successfully secured a professional or managerial role within six months of graduating.

They can be found working as senior chemical engineers, drilling engineers, graduate project engineers, process engineers, energy consultants and production managers for organisations such as BP, Centrica, Sellafield, EDF Energy, Qinetiq, Procter and Gamble, Mars and Unilever, to name just a few.

Recent graduate destinations include:

Company Position
ABB Graduate Engineering Technician
AMEC Graduate Nuclear Process Engineer
Baker Hughes Technical Support Engineer
BP Chemical Engineer
BP Exploration Drilling Engineer
Centrica Graduate Project Engineer
Energus Nuclear Engineer
Exxon Mobil  Chemical Engineer
Heineken Chemical Engineer
Kuwait Gulf Oil Company Thermal Reservoir Engineer
Maersk Oil Production Technologist
Qinetiq Energetics Scientists
Saudi Aramco  Drilling Engineer
Sellafield Ltd Nuclear Process Engineer
Shell Graduate Oil and Gas Production Technologist
Tate Lyle Sugar Refinement Engineer
Unilever Process Project Engineering

Strong industrial links
We have close links with some of the top graduate recruiters in the industry, including BP, Shell, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Dow Chemicals, BRE and Arup. Our links with the chemical, energy, petroleum and food industries mean that our courses are industry oriented, with up-to-date material relevant to your future career. Our graduates are consequently highly sought after by employers.

We organise additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals, meaning that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from the start. Furthermore, our Industrial Advisory Board, with a membership drawn from various process industries, ensures that our courses are current and meet the needs of industry.

Our close links with industry means that you will benefit from industrial input into design projects at a variety of levels, from setting projects through to more direct involvement in discussions and consultancy and arranging plant visits.

Industrial placements
All our degrees allow you to undertake a placement year as part of your degree. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. On successfully completing your placement, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your unique expertise to future employers.

A comprehensive support programme exists for students pursuing a 12-month placement. A dedicated in-house system advertises hundreds of roles and we provide lots of support to help you with your placement search, from lectures and workshops to handbooks and industrial guides.

Whichever organisation you join for your placement year, one thing is certain: you will be assured of experience relevant to your degree, which will allow you to apply your learning in an organisational context while you develop both personally and professionally. Your placement can also count towards the professional experience you will be required to demonstrate if you wish to become a chartered engineer.

Watch our employability videos to hear some of our students across the Faculty talking about their industrial placement experiences, or take a look at our student profiles.

Summer research placements
Our research groups offer a number of paid summer internships to work on research projects at the end of years 2 and 3. This gives you the opportunity to work with world class academics on ground breaking technologies and allow you to experience the possibilities of following a research career at the end of your degree.

Part-time work
Many students work part-time, either for the extra money or to gain valuable experience and to improve their future employability. Either way you will find plenty of opportunities through our student employment service - Joblink. This is based on campus in the Students' Union.

The study abroad option is available on all courses. You will spend either the third year of the BEng or fourth year of the MEng studying at a university in Australia, North America or even the far east.

Increasingly valued by employers, this will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to experience life in another country and a different culture. Some of
the universities our students have studied at recently include Illinois, Santa Barbara and Wisconsin-Madison in the USA and New South Wales in Australia.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, this will extend your studies by 12 months.

To find out more visit our Study Abroad website.

Employability team

Our dedicated Employability team, located centrally in our Employability Suite, will provide you with specialist face-to-face support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year-in-industry placements, as well as graduate positions.

The Employability team has been awarded the 'Most Improved Commitment to Employability' category in the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2016.

The team also organises an annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fair, which attracts over 40 graduate recruiters. In addition, you will benefit from timetabled employability sessions (one hour per week), ongoing support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

The team works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. The centre provides high-quality professional support and advice for all our students and access to thousands of opportunities for graduate employment, placements and internships.

Leeds for Life

Leeds for Life is an unique approach to helping you make the most of the University and prepare for your career from day one. Leeds for Life will help you enhance your employability by highlighting the wide range of co-curricular opportunities on offer from the University and the Students’ Union. You can join
societies, get involved in volunteering and undertake projects in the UK or overseas, or you can attend academic conferences that will help you develop your knowledge and skills. You can also access valuable career insights from our diverse graduate community via our online career networking tool, Leeds Network.

At the heart of Leeds for Life is personal tutoring where you receive structured one-to-one meetings to support your personal and academic development. This ensures that you not only do well in your degree, but also become a confident, articulate and highly employable graduate.

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