School of Chemical Engineering

This Postgraduate Virtual Open Day is designed to inform prospective postgraduate students, applicants and offer holders about the postgraduate courses available within the School of Chemical Engineering and how to prepare you for your course.

The School of Chemical Engineering is consistently in the top five chemical engineering schools for research in the country. It has a first-class reputation in learning, teaching and research. Chemical Engineering is key to many issues affecting our quality of life. Industry is increasingly focused on high value chemicals and products which deliver the right molecule to the right place at the right time.

Dr Kostas Gkatzionis (Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Chemical Engineering), Professor Paula Mendes (Director of Postgraduate Research), Dr Tim Overton (MSc Biochemical Engineering and MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering), Professor Neil Rowson, (Director for MSc Industrial Project Management), Madeleine Smith (Director of the MSc Food Safety, Hygiene and Management)will be available between 14:00-15:00 for the Live Q&A.

Seven of our postgraduate mentors have studied in the  School of Chemical Engineering:

You are welcome to ask them any questions you have about what it’s like to study in the School.

More information about postgraduate study in the School of Chemical Engineering

View related Virtual Tour

Speaker profiles

  • Dr Kostas Gkatzionis

    Kostas is a Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Chemical Engineering. (Live Q&A 13:00-14:00)

  • Professor Paula Mendes

    Paula is a Professor of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and Director for Postgraduate Research. (Live Q&A 13:00-14:00)

  • Professor Neil Rowson

    Neil is a Professor in Minerals Engineering and course director for MSc Industrial Project Management. (Live Q&A 13:00-14:00)

  • Madeleine Smith

    Madeleine is a Teaching Fellow in Food Safety and course director of the MSc Food Safety, Hygiene and Management. (Live Q&A 13:00-14:00)

  • Dr Tim Overton

    Tim is a Senior Lecturer and course director for MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering and MSc Biochemical Engineering. (Live Q&A 13:00-14:00)

Q&A Archive

These were the questions asked during the School of Chemical Engineering live event.

We’ve come to the end of our Q&A session today. Thank you very much to everyone who took part – I hope we managed to be of assistance and provide the information that you were looking for.

We will hold many more of these virtual open day events over the coming months so please check now and again to see what we’ve got lined up for the future. If you’d like to visit our campus (in real life!), our next Postgraduate Open Day will take place on Wednesday 22 November 2017. We also run bespoke campus tours throughout term time and Cafés at which you can meet current students.

Gavan Jassi asked:

Hello Dr Overton, for the MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering are the exams spread between both January and May? Also could you give some examples of topics for the research project. Thank you

Tim Overton replied:

Dear Gavan

The exams are split between January (for some modules taught before Christmas) and May (for the other modules). Some modules are also assessed by coursework – either totally or in part.

Research projects are supervised by most members of academic staff here in the school, so cover a very wide range of topics – for example, tissue engineering, food formulation and processing, flow visualisation, petrochemistry, fuel cells, thermal energy storage, advanced materials, bioprocessing, and so on.  The webpage on the research within the school is here:

Hope that answers your question


Phil Robbins asked:

Hi Neil, is the MSc IPM possible to do via distance learning, and when are the start dates

neil rowson replied:

Hi Phil

The MSc IPM is now a distance learning course taking a minimum of 3 years under normal circumstances.

The intake of new students is once a year: early January start date.

We can be a little flexible on this.



Natali asked:

Hello Dr. Overton, I’m interested in the MSc course Biochemical Engineering. Could you please tell me how many students per year start that course? Further I’d like to know when the exams normally are. Are all the exams at the end of the year, or are the exams spread over the year? Also a colleague of you told me the MSc course is taught in block teaching but she wasn’t sure. Is this true? And since I’m from Germany and not familiar with the teaching and exam style of the UK I’d furthermore like to know whether (and if yes where) there is a little support for students like me. Thank you very much for your time. Best regards, Natali

Tim Overton replied:

Dear Natali

Thanks for the question. We usually have between 10 and 20 students on the MSc Biochemical Engineering per year, from a variety of backgrounds and countries – we are a very international department.

The exams are in January and May, and some modules are also assessed by coursework – so there is a mixture of assessment method.

Each 10-credit module is taught within a week, so some 20 credits modules are spread over two weeks. However, there is time after the weeks teaching to consolidate the taught material – activities such as coursework, guided reading and independent learning – supported by tutorials. I hope this helps.

Best regards




Chemical Engineering at Birmingham combines teaching from lecturers who are global experts in their field, together with leading edge teaching facilities and laboratories to enhance the learning experience for our students. We also have strong links with key employers who provide projects and work placements for our students and regularly recruit our graduates, including Procter & Gamble, bp, ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil, Cadbury Trebor Bassett, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline.