Chemical Engineering

Frequently asked questions

How many students are there in this programme?

The last few years the number of first-year students in Chemical Engineering at the UT has been around fifty. All of the practical classes and team projects are done in small groups of mostly four or five students.

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Is Chemical Engineering a difficult programme?

If you like the sciences and did well at them at ‘vwo’ level, you should be able to follow this programme. Of course, your own motivation is important too. Don't be afraid of being challenged and of dedicating 40 hours a week to your studies. Because the programme focuses strongly on the technological application of chemistry, physics and mathematics are also essential. So it is important that you enjoy and are good at all of these subjects (this means that your grades in these subjects are 7s or higher). If you scored a 6 for some of the sciences subjects at ‘vwo’, you will have to put in more time and effort than others to succeed in Chemical Engineering.

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How high is this programme's success rate?

Approximately 70 to 75 per cent of our first-year students continue on to the next year. Most of the students who stop leave during or just after the first half of the programme. The reasons for this vary. For some people, Chemical Engineering turns out to have been the wrong choice. Others transfer to a more practically oriented university of applied sciences. Our experience shows that students who scored a 7 or higher in chemistry, physics and mathematics at ‘vwo’ level have better chances of succeeding at Chemical Engineering than those with lower grades. The University of Twente will help you if it comes to choosing another programme.

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Where can I study Chemical Engineering and what are the differences between programmes?

Apart from the University of Twente, you can also study Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TUD), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and at the University of Groningen (RUG). There aren't fundamental, substantive differences between these Bachelor's programmes, although each university does have its own focal points:

At RUG, the first year of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry are done together and TUD does a joint degree in Molecular Science and Technology with the University of Leiden. Both Bachelor’s programmes offer a combination of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and during the first year the focus is on chemistry.

At the University of Twente the themes for the first three modules are: chemistry, process technology and material science. This allows you to become familiar with the programme's three pillars and decide whether the programme suits you. Later on in the programme you can choose whether to follow the molecular and material path or the process technology path.

The University of Twente's educational concept (TOM education) offers modular, thematic education with a project and practical side to each module. This concept enables us to present the subject matter in its full context. During the third year, our programme has a semester-long minor worth 30 study points. It is an elective minor; you can use it, for example, to study abroad.

Many students who opt for the University of Twente choose it because of the personal and pleasant atmosphere at the university, on campus and in the city.

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What is the male/female ratio in this programme?

About 20 per cent of our students are female. Some of our lecturers are female, too. Watch a video of one of our teachers, Nathalie Katsonis, on winning the Professor De Winter prize.

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Where can I find information on the subjects I will have later on?

Take a look at our study programme and read up on this programme's content.

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How much mathematics is there in the first year?

You need some mathematics to solve chemistry problems. That is why you will spend about 20 per cent of the first year on mathematics.

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In what languages is the programme offered?

Starting in September 2018, the Bachelor's programme Chemical Engineering will be fully English-taught. In order to make the transition easier, Dutch first-year students will still be allowed to sit exams in Dutch. Our Master's programme Chemical Engineering is also completely in English.

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Is my English good enough?

Starting in September 2018, the Bachelor's programme Chemical Engineering will be English-taught. ‘Vwo’-level English is enough to follow an English-taught programme. You will soon get used to the English jargon.

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How much money will I need for textbooks?

In the first year, your books will cost about 500 euros. After the first year, you will spend far less, as you will be using your first-year books throughout the whole programme. We also work a lot with handouts. A handout is a collection of study material that has been specially put together. Handouts are a lot cheaper than books. For some of the projects you do need a lot of books, but the University of Twente offers you the possibility of borrowing them.

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Are there costs, aside from tuition and text books?

On top of tuition and textbooks there are some other costs. For example, you will need a laptop. You might also have travel expenses, and if you don't live at home then you need to think of costs like rent and food. You can make a financial study plan on this website. And you can read more here about living on campus.

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How much time will I spend studying?

Chemical Engineering is a fulltime university degree. We assume that you will spend approximately forty hours a week on going to lectures, seminars, workshops and on independent study. Find out more by reading up  on our students' experience.

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Do I have to buy a laptop?

A laptop is not officially mandatory, but in fact, you can't do without one. The majority of our students work with a laptop and our teaching is based on that fact. For example, to analyse processes during the practical classes it is handy to have all the information in digital format.

The University of Twente has excellent facilities for laptops. The whole campus is wired with free Wi-Fi. You can also make use of our attractive laptop scheme, which offers devices at good prices and with good service. For more information on the laptop scheme, visit our Notebook Service Centre website.

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Is there any tutoring?

Good student guidance during our Bachelor's programmes is important to us. The Chemical Engineering degree has an on-going mentoring programme. Not only will your mentor help you with any problems you might come across, he or she will also support you when it comes to choosing a Master's degree or exploring possibilities to get the best out of your studies, for example by signing up for our Honours programme. Additionally, you can always contact our study advisor.

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Can I travel abroad during the programme?

In your third year, for the elective module, you can travel abroad. Doing your Bachelor's thesis abroad is also possible. Also, every year the Alembic study association organizes a three-week intercontinental study trip. With a group of about twenty students and a few teachers you visit universities and companies. There are also several cultural outings. Destinations include South Africa, Argentina and this year Japan. For more information and photo reports on study trips, visit https://alembic.utwente.nl/buco/. During the Master's programme there are also several possibilities for going abroad, for example during your Master's internship.

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Do I have to have a Nature and Technology profile ?  

No, you can also start Chemical Engineering with a Nature and Health profile. Please note, however, that your ‘vwo’ profile must include Physics and Wiskunde B (advanced mathematics).

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Does Chemical Engineering have a one or two-year Master's degree?

Chemical Engineering is a technical degree so it has a two-year Master's degree.

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What Master's specializations are there for Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente?

Within the Master's programme Chemical Engineering you can choose from two specializations: Chemical & Process Engineering and Molecular & Materials Engineering.

Chemical & Process Engineering focuses on industrial processes. Some examples of industrial processes are cracking oil into gasoline and chemicals, brewing beer and making perfumes or raw materials for medicine. The Master's programme centres mainly on the subjects of renewable energy and advanced reactors and separators.

Molecular & Materials Engineering centres on designing new materials and molecular structures with very unique properties. For example, super strong fibres for bulletproof vests, or materials that are easily accepted in the body and can be used for making artificial blood vessels or bone tissue.

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Where do Chemical Engineering graduates work?

Most engineers join a company, for example, in the chemical industry (AkzoNobel or DSM), the oil industry (ExxonMobil, Shell or Gasunie) or the metal industry (TATAsteel). There is also a demand for Chemical Engineering graduates in the food industry (Heineken, Grolsch, Unilever and Friesche Vlag), the pharmaceutical industry (Organon) and the energy sector (Nuon and Essent). Some of our students choose careers at design agencies, research institutes, in education, with ministries or provincial and municipal authorities. Other graduates become independent entrepreneurs and launch a start-up, with or without financial support from the university.

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Do graduates find a job soon after graduating?

Chemical Engineering graduates usually find a job within a few months. And the job market seems to be getting better. Fewer people are studying Chemical Engineering today than ten years ago. At the same time, a large group of chemical engineers will soon be retiring. Multinationals such as Shell and DSM are already hiring young engineers on a large scale. Chemical engineers are also sought after outside the industry, as they can analyse problems quickly and come up with creative solutions.

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How do I find housing?

Enschede is a real student city. It's usually not hard to find housing. You can find more information about 'student housing' on this website.

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