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

University College Cork (CPCE)
Key Programme Details

Certificate (Special Purpose Award)

NFQ Level

Level 7 About NFQ

Delivery Method



Part Time

ECTS Credits



Department of Process and Chemical Engineering

General Information

Lorna Moloney






Adult Continuing Education (ACE),
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. The programme 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.

Past graduates of the programme currently hold roles including 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.

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

Modules include:
* Introduction to Chemical Process Engineering: Includes basic engineering computation, engineering units, dimensions & conversions
* Material and Energy Balances: Includes law of conservation of mass, open & closed systems, system boundary
* Fluid Mechanics and Particle Processing: Includes properties of fluids, compressible and incompressible, fluid statics
* Heat Transfer and Applied Thermodynamics: Includes energy, entropy, work, 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics
* Mass Transfer and Separation Processes: Includes principles of mass transfer, phase equilibria, interphase mass transfer
* Process Control and Equipment Integrity: Includes control theory, measurement and transducers, process control

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.

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.

Career Opportunities

A dedicated UCC CAREER COACH will work with students and provide a tiered approach to supporting the participants with:
• Selecting the most suitable course and transitioning into university;
• The development of their job readiness;
• Their ultimate transition into employment/furthering existing careers.
The activities of the Coach will be structured to meet the differing needs of the eligible applicants for the 2021 Springboard+ call: those unemployed and previously self-employed; returners; and those in employment.

The University will provide both online and one-to-one guidance and support to prospective and incoming students in relation to potential career options and outcomes for their course(s) of interest prior to registration. The dedicated Springboard Careers coach will assist individuals in selecting a course that is closely aligned with their own skills, strengths, and personal career goals and objectives.

In terms of job readiness training, 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+ 2021 applicants.
2. JOB READINESS WORKSHOPS to compliment individual coaching sessions will be delivered focusing on positioning oneself for job readiness and moving forward into a job. Small group workplace skills training will also be delivered to help individuals with barriers to employment to gain confidence, and to 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. Past UCC Springboard students attended talks delivered by Voxpro, Biomarin, Cork Local Enterprise Office, among others.
• Meet with employers for informational interviews.

Students will be enrolled on an online 5 credit module entitled CAREER MANAGEMENT SKILLS. The objective of this module is to provide essential training in professional career management skills to assist students in actively planning and preparing for their future careers – whether that involves returning to the workplace after a period of unemployment/absence, or changing role/company for those who are already in employment. Module Content will include:
• Assessing job readiness;
• Exploring self-awareness and setting realistic career objectives;
• Understanding your strengths, development needs, opportunities and threats;
• Developing a career-management strategy and identifying career goals;
• Creative job-hunting both online and offline;
• Written applications, CVs and interview preparation;
• Implementing career plans.

Timetable Info

Lectures will be delivered one evening per week amounting to the delivery of 30 ECTS from Sept-May.

Delivery Notes

Delivery will be a blend of online and in-class teaching.

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:
* You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
* Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies. However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
* You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
* We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
* You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software. All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc. once registered.

Admissions Contact Details
Contact Person

Lorna Moloney


Adult Continuing Education (ACE),
University College Cork,
The Laurels,
Western Road,






RPL Information

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.

Application Procedures

In advance of applying for this course, please familiarise yourself with the programme entry requirements detailed on this page, as well as the Springboard+ eligibility criteria outlined at https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility.

To take a course through Springboard+ you will need to:

1. be living full-time in the Republic of Ireland
2. have your own, valid PPS Number
3. meet the nationality/visa requirement
- You are an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss national or:
- You have permission to remain in Ireland as a family member of an EU citizen or;
- You have Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM on your GNIB residence card or;
- You have official refugee status in Ireland / are here on the basis of refugee family reunification or;
- You have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999) or;
- You have permission to remain following the Minister’s decision not to make a deportation order.
4. have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK or Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years
- If you are a Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM holder, residency is calculated from the date you received your stamp. Any time before this cannot be counted.
- If you have refugee status in Ireland, residency is counted from the date you applied for International Protection.

Please ensure that you have ALL of the following documentation available at the time of application:

1. Copies of transcripts and parchments for any previous educational qualifications that demonstrate how you meet the programme entry requirements.

2. Application statement - please describe in a maximum of 500 words why you wish to study this course at UCC and explain how you meet the programme entry requirements. Applicants should also reflect on their ability to commit to the course's delivery method - whether on campus in UCC or online.

3. Detailed and up-to-date CV.

4. Proof of selected category of applicant, i.e. employed, self-employed, unemployed, or returner. Please see https://springboardcourses.ie/eligibility for acceptable documentation for each category.

5. Copy of IELTS/TOEFL/Duolingo certificate for non-native English speakers demonstrating level required by programme entry requirements.

6. Proof of meeting the nationality/residency requirement if applicable (Relevant applicants must provide evidence of residency for 3 out of the last 5 years).

PLEASE NOTE: Documents must be combined into one zip file and uploaded. Uploading of multiple documents is currently not facilitated. To create a zip file in Windows:
1. Select the files you want to add to the zip file. Selecting files.
2. Right-click one of the files. A menu will appear.
3. In the menu, click Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
4. A zip file will appear. If you want, you can type a new name for the zip file.


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

Fee applicable for those currently in employment - €292.50. This fee will be collected by UCC prior to the commencement of the course.


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.

We envisage three rounds of offers for successful applicants on July 14th, July 28th and August 16th. All unsuccessful applicants will be informed asap to afford them the opportunity to apply for alternative courses.

Eligibility for Springboard+ course will be checked at application stage and at course registration - proof of status must be provided on each occasion. Further verification checks will occur at least twice during the year where students will be expected to confirm their registration and status on the Springboard+ website.