Curriculum

The 4-year undergraduate BSc degree in Chemical Engineering is made up of

  • Chemical Engineering Core courses,
  • Science fundamentals and specialisation courses,
  • Chemical Engineering Specialisation courses, and
  • a choice of electives.

Full details of the degree can be found in the Engineering and Built Environment Undergraduate Handbook.

Chemical Engineering Core Courses

In the core chemical engineering courses students are taught fundamental theory, structured into a coherent sequence. Project work is incorporated throughout the programme to allow for the building of crucial engineering skills in the areas of environment and economics, safety and health, communication, drawing and computing.
In each of the first three years of the programme the chemical engineering courses have the following features:

  • Each course is divided into a number of blocks, focused on a particular piece of theory.
  • Classes are structured into 45 minute lecture periods followed by tutorials of the same duration.
  • Laboratory practicals are used to reinforce theory through hands-on experience.
  • Regular theory assessment comes in the form of one mastery or basic concept test and one class test per block.
  • Complementary strand topics (computing, health & safety, environment, society & economics, drawing, heuristics, communication, and professional development) are developed throughout the duration of the degree and are evaluated in competency assessments.
  • Each block has project work. This is assessed through individual and group submissions in a range of formats involving both written and oral communication.
  • Examinations at the end of each semester are used for overall performance assessment.
  • Final course assessment integrates all course work.
  • Students who have not met the required mastery of the theory after the exams can receive extra tutoring in a vacation ‘boot camp’ and write a supplementary examination. This gives students the best chance to stay on-track with their academics.

The fourth year comprises two closely linked first semester courses taught in blocks, followed by the degree’s capstone design and research project courses in the second semester.

Chemical Engineering Specialisations

Students are required to take a minimum of 32 credits of Chemical Engineering specialisation courses, with a minimum of 16 credits at fourth-year level.
These courses apply the Chemical Engineering principles and fundamentals learnt in the first three years of the degree to more advanced topics. The courses are linked to research specialisations in the Department, including:

  • Minerals processing
  • Bioprocess engineering
  • Catalytic processing
  • Process modelling
  • Environmental process engineering

Alternatively, students may take any EBE course at or above the third-year level (including Masters level) for which they meet the course entry requirements, and where they have not already covered that content in another course. Such courses must be approved by the Programme Convener.

Science Courses

The core Science fundamentals for the degree comprises:

  • first and second year Engineering Mathematics
  • first year Chemistry
  • first year semester course in Physics (focusing on mechanics)
  • first year semester course in Statistics

From second year students choose to specialise in one of three science topics (to comprise a total of 42 credits with a minimum of 24 credits at the second year level):

  • Chemical Sciences
  • Geological Sciences
  • Biological Sciences

Students may apply for other combinations of Science courses to be accredited in this category, so long as they total 42 credits with a minimum of 24 credits at the 2nd year level.

Elective Courses

Students are required to choose electives in the following categories:

Language elective (18 credits)
You are required to do any language course at UCT that will give you exposure to a language other than English that you do not already speak at this level.
Most students will select from the intensive courses that are offered at first level, but students may alternatively select to study at the second level course a language they have previously studied at school.

Humanities elective (18 credits)
This selection involves courses that will broaden your capacity to cope with complex social questions that your professional practice will deliver. These courses will also require you to read academic texts and produce extended written responses, usually in the form of essays. These are outcomes that are valued by the engineering programme and will build skills that you will take forward in the core courses.

You may select any course for which you meet the admission criteria with the following UCT course codes:
  • AGE Archaeology
  • AXL Anthropology, Gender Studies, African Studies (excluding AXL Linguistics courses)
  • HST History
  • PHI Philosophy
  • POL Politics
  • SOC Sociology
The following specific courses have also been approved as options:
  • END1019L (Social Infrastructures: Engaging with Community for Change)
  • END1023S (Citizen Professionals in Engineering & the Built Environment)
  • FAM1001 (any suffix) (Film and Media studies)
  • REL1006S (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
If you would like to do a course not mentioned here that you think fills the objectives of this elective category, you may apply via a concession form for it to be considered for accreditation.
Please note that ECO (Economy) courses and SLL1002 (Wordpower) do not count as a Humanities elective. They can only count as a free elective.

Free elective (16 credits)

You may do any course at UCT for which you meet the prerequisites, and where you haven’t already covered that content in another course.
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