Chemical Engineering MPhil; PhD

MPhil: minimum 12 months full time; minimum 24 months part time
PhD: minimum 36 months full time; minimum 72 months part time


Fees per academic year 2014-15

UK and EU: full time £4,320-£9,420 part time £2,160-£4,710
International: full time £14,890-£19,940 part time fees

Fees vary according to the exact nature of the research project.

More information is available about tuition fees and discounts.

Research Areas

MPhil and PhD supervision is normally available in the following areas:

Chemical engineering science
Kinetics and mechanism; new materials and predictive modelling based upon mechanistic understanding; and work on catalytic kinetics, photocatalysis, photon-induced reaction and the elucidation of reaction mechanism. Work in this area also covers the production, property measurement and performance assessment of ceramics, polymers, metals and composites, in particular the development of new materials for advanced engineering applications (including microelectronics, optics and power transmission).

Current research includes: developing novel surface engineering processes and materials (such as fullerene-like coating materials); energy-based methods for performance modelling; and nanomaterials and nanocharacterisation techniques. The measurement and modelling of the mechanical response of materials at high-spatial resolution, particularly in microelectronic and optical devices, is a major specialism of the School and is supported by a combination of unique equipment and interdisciplinary expertise.

Measurement and analysis
Enhanced process understanding and process performance monitoring methodologies for batch, continuous and batch/continuous systems; the development of modelling algorithms that incorporate process dynamics, multiple operating modes and non-linear behaviour; novel approaches for the fusion of data from different sources including process and spectroscopic data for the development of robust models; the development of signal processing tools for the extraction of signals from data that has a very low signal-to-noise ratio, and subsequently the selection of the most appropriate ‘variables’ for the development of robust calibration models; and the development of techniques for the transfer of models between process lines or different operational sites.

Products and processes research
Membrane processes and novel reactor systems; separation processes; particle technology; bioprocess intensification and tissue engineering; intensified catalysts; materials for intensified processes; catalytic plate reactors; micro-bio/chemical reactors; spinning disc reactors; intensified bioreactors; compact heat exchangers; oscillatory flow reactors; rotating packed beds; and process miniaturisation and reactive distillation.

A major area related to process intensification research is concerned with accelerating the development time of a process across the entire R&D lifecycle. This highly interdisciplinary research combines high-throughput robotic systems with advanced software development. We are developing GRID technologies to support highly dynamic networks of organisations necessary to take processes from chemists’ ideas into production. Research collaboration between the School and two of the country’s top chemistry departments is combining high-throughput experimentation and reaction calorimetry with advanced modelling and statistical data analysis techniques, to develop a system that can automatically elucidate chemical reaction mechanisms.

Natural resources
Fuel cells and energy systems; gasification; cold plasma gasification; bio-fuel cells; bio-diesel production; gas and water treatment; nano-structured polymer composites for pollution control; sustainable and environmental electrochemical systems; and photochemical processes and electrochemical synthesis.

For more information about staff specialisms please see the School's website.

Research Degree Training and Skills Development

The School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials runs a postgraduate training programme that is compulsory for all new students and involves selected taught modules. You also receive research training from the Science, Agriculture and Engineering Graduate School that covers professional/key skills, personal development and research techniques. You have the opportunity to supplement your income by undertaking laboratory demonstrating and tutorial classes.

+Entrance Requirements

An upper-second-class Honours degree and preferably a good master’s degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 90 (Internet-based), Pearson's PTE Academic Test 62 or equivalent.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme, applicants will be informed of this in the offer letter.

 Our INTO Newcastle University Centre can provide extra tuition to help you meet the University's English language requirements.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has rules for international students regarding minimum English language requirements.

+Scholarships and Other Sources of Funding

Royal Society, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), or Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

International Students, consult your own government for funding. The University offers International Scholarships, and there are funding opportunities by external organisations available.

Students should consult their employers for sponsorship opportunities.

More information on scholarships, studentships, bursaries and other funding is available from our database.

+How to Apply

Visit our postgraduate application site.

Applications are considered throughout the year although specific deadlines for funding may apply.

There are three possible start dates for your research degree:

  • 6 January 2014
  • 28 April 2014
  • 22 September 2014

However, these dates are not mandatory and in some circumstances permission can be granted for alternative start dates.

Please note: As a formal condition of the offer to study at Newcastle University, students from outside the UK/EU are required to pay a deposit of £1,500 or submit an official letter of sponsorship for their chosen programme. The deposit payment is non refundable, but will be deducted from tuition fees upon registration.

+Further Information

For further information please contact:
Justine McGruther
School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7266

Subject Overview

This programme is within the subject area of Chemical Engineering.