Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering (Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering)

University College Cork (CPCE)
Key Programme Details


NFQ Level

Level 7 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



School of Engineering

General Information

Lorna Moloney






Adult Continuing Education,
University College Cork,
The Laurels,
Western Road,



UCC Springboard+ Programme Coordinator

Important Dates
Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date


About this Course

The Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering provides participants with an understanding of the basic principles which underpin Process and Chemical Engineering and how they are applied in the process industries. Participants on the Certificate programme will be exposed to the fundamentals of chemical process engineering. This includes not only the fundamental principles which underpin process engineering (fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, thermodynamics), but also the application of these principles (pumps and piping systems, flow measurement and sampling systems, heat exchanger design, energy conservation and integration, thermal process engineering, refrigeration, combustion, steam generation, combined heat and power plants and a range of separation processes involving heat and mass transfer). The important area of powder technology (characterisation, storage, handling, dust control) is also covered, as is process instrumentation, automation and control.

Past graduates of the programme currently hold roles including process operator and process technician in biopharma, pharmachem, engineering, food and beverage, and manufacturing industries, as well as roles as maintenance staff, process chemists, quality control/assurance and those working in engineering related roles. Anecdotal evidence from ongoing contact with past graduates indicates that they progressed to higher positions in their organisations and/or moved to higher positions in new organisations as a result of completing this course.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are required to have a NFQ Level 6 qualification or equivalent and it is expected that they will have relevant experience through working in the process and related industries, but this is not essential.

Candidates applying to the programme will be considered for a place through the proactive use of UCC's Recognition of Prior Learning policy, which includes the recognition of previous work and experiential learning.

English language requirement: all applicants whose first language is not English are expected to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual section lower than 6.0.

Long Description

The Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering incorporates tutorial style in-class active student engagement through problem solving, supported by the lecturer. In order to complete the assignments, participants learn to apply programme information in a practical manner. Continuous assessment plays a very important role in the programme assessment comprising 30% of all modules. Assignments are provided for each course module at approximately three week intervals. The remaining 70% of assessment is gained through end of year exams, which are conducted entirely as open book exams. This is in line with an adult learning philosophy, which strongly promotes active engagement and deep learning over rote and shallow learning.

Upon completion of the programme, students will be able to:
* Grasp the sciences (of chemistry, physics, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology) which underpin chemical engineering.
* Illustrate an understanding of core chemical engineering methods and principles.
* Utilise the mathematical methods that underpin the solution of engineering problems (algebraic and differential equations; complex numbers; expansion of functions in series; transforms).
* Derive expressions and apply solutions for quantitatively solving defined problems in chemical engineering using a knowledge of the sciences, engineering sciences, technology and mathematics.
* Identify, formulate, analyse and solve engineering problems, including perform process design of unit operations, including evaluation of operating variables; sizing of the equipment; evaluating any utility requirements, such as electrical power, heating, cooling etc.; perform sensitivity / optimisation analysis of how variation in input variables influence the performance of the unit operation; creation of P&IDs.
* Apply critical and innovative thinking to a Pharma/Biopharma engineering workplace.
* Execute leadership roles in a dynamic and challenging workplace setting.

***Please note that places are limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. This course may be closed prior to the application deadline if all places are filled early.***

Why Choose This Course

There is a demonstrated growing requirement in the Biopharma sector for people with Engineering qualifications. This has been quantified in the recent EGFSN report on ‘FUTURE SKILL NEEDS OF BIOPHARMA INDUSTRY IN IRELAND’ (2016) which points to the following: “A particular difficulty cited is the sourcing of experienced staff especially for Process Engineering. Process engineering skills required include process development and scale-up.” Indeed, throughout the process industries (Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Food, Biopharmaceutical, etc.) there are many cases where personnel with a strong scientific background are in contact with Process and Chemical Engineers and/or whose job develops in such a way that they require a greater understanding of Process and Chemical Engineering principles and applications. The Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering addresses these needs and helps students up skill in an area that is very much in demand among employers.

In addition, a dedicated UCC Employability Coach will work with students on this programme and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with the development of their job readiness and their transition into employment. The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the 3 categories of eligible applicants for the 2020 Springboard+ call: those unemployed and previously self-employed; returners; and those in employment. Main activities will include:

1. ONE-TO-ONE CAREER COACHING to formulate Individual CAREER ACTION PLANS leading to employment: Individual career coaching will be provided for each participant to reflect on:
* Where they are now in their careers;
* Where they want to be;
* Strategies for gaining employment on completion of their Springboard+ course.
These individual coaching sessions will be customised to the needs of the student within the three categories of Springboard+ 2020 call.

2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to complement individual coaching sessions will be built into the programme as outlined below:
* Positioning oneself for job readiness (4 workshops): Setting realistic career objectives; Understanding strengths and skills; Learning from successful role models; Developing a career management strategy.
* Moving forward into a job (4 workshops): Taking action by developing career goals and implementing them;
* Creative job-hunting both on-line and off-line; Written applications, CVs and interview preparation and Implementing career plans.
* Small Group Workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, develop the people skills and the insights needed to transition to the world of work.

3. Participants will be given the opportunity to MEET EMPLOYERS by:
* Attending UCC organised recruitment fairs, jobs roadshows and other events where employers will be invited on campus to meet students;
*Attending employer-led events on building workplace competencies.
*Meet with employers for informational interviews.

Career Opportunities

Due to our deeply embedded connections with local process industries, we regularly receive EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES from local employers. We will forward all relevant opportunities to Springboard+ students to help them return to sustainable employment or further progress in their careers.

There are also numerous NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES for participants of the programme as virtually all participants already work in the process industries, and are developing their Continuing Professional Development capacities, while working as operators, technicians, scientists and engineers. Typically, up to about half the participants on the programme have been educated to level 8 degree level and beyond, so the programme offers a diverse mix of participants and opportunities for networking for Springboard+ students.

Past graduates of the programme currently hold roles such as process operator and process technician in biopharma, pharmachem, engineering, food and beverage, and manufacturing industries all over the country. Anecdotal evidence from ongoing contact with past graduates indicates that they progressed to higher positions in their organisations and/or moved to higher positions in new organisations as a result of completing this course. Many have also continued to other level 8 and 9 programmes in order to increase their knowledge of process, chemical, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical engineering and advance their careers in these industries.

Timetable Info

Classes will run on Tuesday evenings from late September until early June

A number of classes will also be delivered on Monday evenings for the first several weeks of the programme.

Delivery Location

UCC Campus & Online

Delivery Notes

* Given the current public health advice around social distancing, this programme will likely be delivered in a blended manner comprising live online classes, online recordings, and face-to-face teaching where possible.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorna Moloney





RPL Information

RPL may be used by Springboard participants applying to this course to gain admission to the programme where an applicant many not otherwise reach the standard educational qualification entry requirements.

Application Procedures

Apply online at www.springboardcourses.ie. Candidates are advised to apply early as high demand is anticipated and places are limited.

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been received. Please ensure that you have the following documentation available at the time of application:

* Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous relevant educational qualifications

* Current CV

*Application statement (In 500 words or less, please outline why you wish to study this programme at University College Cork and explain how you meet the programme entry requirements)

* References where applicable

* Copy of IELTS/TOEFL certificate for non-native English speakers

PLEASE NOTE: Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated.


No fee applicable for jobseekers (unemployed and formerly self-employed) and returners (homemakers, carers, etc.).

Fee applicable for those currently in employment - €293. This fee will be collected by UCC prior to the commencement of the course.

**Please note that this course may be closed prior to the application deadline if all places are filled**

UCC Certificate in Process and Chemical Engineering