Master of Engineering (Chemical)

A competitive edge in chemical engineering

Chemical engineering is all about changing raw materials into useful products we use every day in a safe and cost-effective way. Chemical engineers create and develop the processes to produce, change or transport products and materials. They create, sustain and improve industries as diverse as clean energy, water and waste water treatment, food and beverage processing, petrochemicals, primary metals, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals.

Our Master of Engineering (Chemical) is suited to high-achieving engineering graduates, as well as engineers with relevant work experience, who want to learn the about the latest advances in chemical engineering. It is fully accredited by Engineers Australia.

What will you do?

This intensive degree comprises a foundation year and an advanced studies year. You will:

  • explore advanced chemical engineering concepts: fluid and particle mechanics, chemical reactor design, separation process, process synthesis & design
  • pursue electives according to interests and career goals – from Bioprocess Engineering to Quantum Materials
  • build skills in project management and entrepreneurship
  • undertake a significant research project—including sustainable process design, artificial intelligence in process engineering, energy materials, environmental remediation and biopharmaceutical engineering.

Where could it take you?

You could develop pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, energy materials, cosmetics or foods. You might work in water treatment, waste management or even tissue engineering. You could conduct safety and risk assessments on process plants. Perhaps you’ll design environmentally sustainable food production or energy storage for Space.


  • Ranked #50 in the world for computer science and engineering^
  • Undertake a major research project supervised by world-class academic staff
  • Graduates qualify for professional membership with Engineers Australia

^ARWU, 2022

Entry Requirements

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Before applying make sure you understand the eligibility and entry requirements for your chosen degree.

Look out for any prerequisites or assumed knowledge subjects. Some degrees also have additional entry requirements like interviews and auditions.

Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3CM058
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February and July
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree or equivalent in a related discipline with a minimum GPA of 4.5.

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students 10 83.3%
    All students 12 100.0%

Ready to Apply?

Find out more about the application process and start your studies at the University of Adelaide.

Be sure to check the critical dates to avoid missing application deadlines.


Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Australian Full-fee place: $43,500

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.

This is an Australian full-fee program. As a domestic student you may be eligible to:

  • receive a zero interest government assistance package to cover your course fees and
  • use over $100,000 in HELP assistance over your lifetime
Check your eligibility today at Study Assist


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

Chemical engineering graduates can seek national and global careers, and may work in an office environment, the outdoors, a chemical plant or a combination of these. Some industries and careers that chemical engineers are involved in include:

  • biotechnology industries (e.g. biofuel production, production of nutrients from microalgae)
  • pharmaceutical industries (e.g. production of vaccines and antibiotics)
  • winemaking
  • food production (e.g. beer, milk, cheese)
  • petrochemicals (e.g. oil refining and natural gas processing)
  • industrial bulk chemicals industries (e.g. production of chlorine and explosives)
  • personal and home care products (e.g. production of detergents, soaps and cosmetics)
  • plastic and rubber products industries (e.g. production of polymers from raw materials such as oil or wood, production of items from polymers ranging from cling film to rainwater tanks to high performance products for building, automotive and aerospace applications)
  • mining and minerals processing (e.g. concentrating minerals, production of iron ore, steel, aluminium, uranium and similar from minerals)
  • environmental engineering (e.g. air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, waste disposal, resource management)
  • semiconductors and microelectronics (e.g. production of computer memory and central processing units, flat screen televisions)
  • nanotechnology (e.g. production of nanoporous materials for catalysis, separations and energy storage)
  • renewable energy sector (e.g. green hydrogen production, solar fuel production, solar energy)
  • management consulting (e.g. engineering business and financial management).

Many chemical engineers go on to manage companies, or start their own businesses.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Professional Accreditation

The Master of Engineering (Chemical) is fully accredited by Engineers Australia.

Potential careers

Graduates of this program have gone on to roles such as:

Chemical Engineer;  Engineer;  Biotechnology;  Biotechnology Engineer;  Pharmaceutical Engineering;  Food Engineer;  Food Scientist, Food Technologist;  Winery Engineer;  Metallurgist;  Nanotechnologist ...

Degree Structure

The Master of Engineering is a 48-unit program comprising:

  • 12 units of core courses;
  • 12 units of foundation courses;
  • 12 units of elective courses and;
  • a project to the value of 12 units, which introduces candidates to research.
Normally, students will complete the requirements for the Master of Engineering in two years of full-time study.

Graduates of a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Adelaide or another institution whose program is equivalent to an AQF level 8 honours program and accredited under the Washington Accord will be eligible to be considered for credit—allowing them to complete the master's program in less than two years, with a minimum of one year of full-time study.

International students from non-English speaking backgrounds will be required to take an English language communications course as part of the program.

The availability of all courses is conditional on the availability of staff, facilities and sufficient enrolments.

Program Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes for this program were informed by the University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies and the characteristics of the Adelaide Engineering graduate.

Graduates of a Master of Engineering (Chemical) will be able to:

  1. Employ highly developed oral and written communication skills to communicate complex information and present persuasive arguments.
  2. Exercise professional judgement, founded on a strong commitment to principles of continuing professional development, ethics, sustainability and social responsibility.
  3. Contribute pro-actively to the work of teams, both as a team member and a team leader, and maintain respectful, constructive and diverse team environments.
  4. Plan and manage resources using systematic methodologies to create solutions to complex engineering problems.
  5. Think critically and independently, apply logic and exercise judgement to create safe and sustainable outcomes.
  6. Apply in-depth knowledge of the principles and methods of research, and of the research directions in the nominated field of specialisation to devise innovative engineering solutions.
  7. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the natural and physical sciences, and mathematical and computer sciences, which underpin the nominated field of specialisation.
  8. Apply an in-depth specialist body of knowledge and skills in the nominated field of specialisation.
  9. Create innovative solutions to complex socio-technical problems using the established engineering methods, tools and processes in the nominated field of specialisation.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Master of Engineering (Chemical)

Example Study Plan

Core Courses
Students must complete all of the following:

Students must complete all of the following:

Students must choose four of the following (12 units):

Research Project
Students must complete all of the following:


Assessment includes course and project work. All students are required to complete a minimum of 12 weeks of practical experience outside normal class time. Practical experience can be undertaken in Australia or overseas.

Students who have already completed equivalent practical experience deemed acceptable may be given a partial or total exemption from this requirement.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 10 Oct 2023