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School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering




A degree from the University of Leeds is a significant advantage in today’s job market. The School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering has close links with some of the top graduate recruiters in the industry including BP, Shell, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Dow Chemicals, BRE, Arup and Wardell Armstrong to name but a few.

Careers in the field of Chemical Engineering are wide-ranging, and employment prospects are excellent. Recent graduates have either 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 other areas such as the utilities, consulting, environmental, health and safety, government agencies and banking and finance.

Recent graduate destinations include:

Company Position
BP Drilling engineer
Centrica Graduate Project Engineer
Sellafield Ltd Process Engineer
Cherad Energy Consulting Energy Consultant
Qinetiq Energetics Scientists
Unilever Production Management Trainee
Mars Project Engineer

Recently published results from IChemE’s Salary Survey 2012 revealed good news for graduate chemical engineers. The survey found that chemical engineering is the best paid of the engineering disciplines with 2011 graduates earning a median starting salary of £28,000 per year, making it the third highest paying degree course after medicine and dentistry.

Strong links with industry
Our strong links with the Chemical, Energy, and Petroleum Engineering industries means that your course is industry-orientated, with up-to-date material relevant to your future career. Consequently, graduates are highly sought after by employers.

We also organise a range of industrial visits and offer additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals. This means that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

Here are just a few examples of how the School’s links with industry can benefit you:
• Shell offers two scholarships each year to new students who enrol on one of our degree courses; the scholarship is worth £2,500 per year for the duration of the course.
• Unilever, a company behind some of the world’s best known brands, has strong links with the Engineering department going back many years.
• Many industry sponsored prizes are awarded each year to students who achieve an excellent performance (e.g. best student in year) or undertake an exceptional project.
• A number of employers are involved in personal development activities. An example is Shell, who help students with CV preparation, interview techniques and business games. Some employers are also involved in student mentoring.
Emphasis on project work

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.


All of our courses allow you to undertake work experience as part of your degree in the form of a 12 month industrial placement which usually takes place between years two and three. When you graduate you will have 'with Industrial Placement Year' added to your degree title.

A placement year option allows you to spend time in industry with one of the hundreds of companies that the University works with each year and can help you gain the skills valued by employers, as well as developing enterprise skills.
Watch our employability videos to hear some of our students across the Faculty talking about their industrial placement experiences.

Our dedicated employability team, located within the Faculty, will provide you with support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year in industry placements, as well as graduate positions.

You will also benefit from timetabled employability sessions (one hour per week) and full on-going support during internships and placements.

For more information on our approach to graduate employability, please see:

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.

Study abroad

The Study Abroad option is available on all of our courses. You may choose to spend a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, North America or even the Far East.

Increasingly valued by employers, this option provides you with a fantastic opportunity to experience life in another country and a different culture. Students who have participated say that they found it a life-changing experience. The Study Abroad programme can help you gain confidence, broaden your horizons and develop skills and experiences which can improve your employability.

If you have foreign language skills, ERASMUS exchanges are available to several European countries. If you wish to take part in this programme you may be able to take an additional module in your first year to enhance your language skills.

To find out more visit our Study Abroad website.

Careers support

Engineering Employability Team
Our dedicated employability team, located within the Faculty, will provide you with support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year in industry placements, as well as graduate positions.

You will also benefit from timetabled employability sessions (one hour per week) and full on-going support during internships and placements.

Careers Centre
Our on-campus Careers Centre is one of the largest in the country. It offers an excellent range of services and has a great relationship with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre is the place to get advice about what to do after university, help with finding work experience, improving your CV and dealing with job applications. The Careers Centre also holds training events and workshops to assist you with your career progression.

Engineering and Computing Careers Fair
The Faculty of Engineering holds an Engineering and Computing Careers Fair, annually, which attracts over 40 graduate recruiters including organisations such as 2e2, AECOM, Atkins, BP, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre, Interfleet Technology Ltd, Network Rail, Procter & Gamble Product Supply, PwC and Unilever Leeds, to name but a few.

As well as the Engineering Careers Fair, you can explore career opportunities at many other careers fairs and presentations that are organised throughout the year by the University’s Careers Centre. Some of the UK’s top recruiters also visit the Faculty to deliver presentations and workshops specifically for our engineering and computing students.

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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