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Education Bachelor's degree programmes Chemical Engineering
Header image Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Can biobased plastics be produced on a large scale? Can we convert CO2 into useful chemical products? How can you ensure that factories operate in a clean, safe and efficient way?

Chemical engineers work on the production of chemicals at industrial scale. The Bachelor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen will prepare you towards this profession. You will learn to deal with chemical processes on a large scale, to develop new chemical products and to design improved catalysts for the targeted reactions. At the same time you will learn to evaluate and improve the safety and sustainability of chemical processes. Along the way you will be also stimulated to develop your critical thinking skills and your problem-solving attitude.

The fascinating thing about Chemical Engineering is that you will be involved in the development of new products but you will also think about the production process and about the catalyst that is needed to promote the reaction. A Chemical Engineer is concerned with the entire development of a new product or processes, from A to Z. This means you will learn much more than just how chemical reactions work. Chemical Engineers at the University of Groningen, for example, have developed a new process for the production of biodiesels as well as new polymeric products for the oil industry and for high- tech applications.

Choose Groningen and you can't go wrong!

Groningen is the only University where you can study both Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. If you find it hard to choose between a Bachelor's degree programme in chemistry or in chemical engineering, Groningen is the place to be. The first year of both programmes is identical so you don't have to make a definite choice until your second year. It's very likely that you don't yet know which specialization to choose, so you won't have to decide until the second year.

Listen to the podcast!

Want to know more about this Bachelor's programme? Listen to the podcast with a student and lecturer of the Chemical Engineering programme. You can listen to the podcast here. (Please note: podcast is in Dutch).

Facts & Figures
BSc in Chemical Engineering
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • The Chemical Engineering programme in Groningen is unique due to the close connection with the Chemistry programme. The first year of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry is common and you can switch between the two in the entire first year.
  • Our students help in developing sustainable chemical products and processes through collaboration, especially during the BSc research projects, with a large variety of companies. Their contribution is often crucial in solving relevant industrial and societal problems.
  • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in Groningen are the home of 2016 Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa, who has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on a light-driven rotary molecular motor.
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Concepts of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Inorganic chemistry
Linear Algebra & Multivariable Calculus for Chemistry
Mathematics for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Molecules: Structure, Reaction and Function
Organic chemistry 1
Physical chemistry 1
Practical Synthesis and Analysis
Sustainability Projects
Transport Phenomena
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Computational Methods in Science and Technology
Green Chemistry: Technological, Societal and Ethical Aspects
Industrial Organic Chemistry and Catalysis
Industrial Organic Chemistry and Catalysis Practical
Linear Algebra for Chemical Engineering
Macromolecular Chemistry
Physical Transport Phenomena 1
Practical Macromolecular Chemistry
Product Technology
Seperation Processes
Single-Phase Reactors
Technical Thermodynamics
CoursesCourse Catalog >
Bachelor's Research Project
Chemical Process Development and Design
Electives: Electrochemical Technology/Medicinal Chemistry/Physical Properties of Materials 1/Structural Probes for Solid Materials
General Process Equipment
Multiphase Reactors
Physical Transport Phenomena 2
Process Control and Dynamics
Process Design
Special Process Equipment


The first part of Year 1 is designed to give you a broad introduction to the three Chemistry specializations and the Chemical Engineering programme. The first year of both programmes is identical so you can switch degree after your first year. You will follow classes such as Inorganic Chemistry, Spectroscopy, Physical Chemistry and Transport Phenomena, alongside laboratory practicals.

Further on in the Chemical Engineering programme you will do course units like Single-Phase Reactors, Macromolecular Chemistry and Separation Processes. You will complete your Bachelor's degree programme with a research project in Year 3.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek
  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde + scheikunde

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde B + natuurkunde + scheikunde

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Language proficiency certificate for English (except for applicants with a Dutch pre-university education (VWO) as well as the exemptions listed on the language exemptions webpage). More info:

other admission requirements

Before you apply!

When you cannot fulfil the vwo requirement, due to deficient profile or if you want to be admitted on the basis of a successfully passed first year of HBO or colloquium doctum, you need to submit an additional admission request via the Admission Board Bachelor programmes. Please go to this website for more information.

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education (vwo) is required.

A list of qualifications that are considered equivalent to pre-university education in the Netherlands can be found here:

If you have any questions concerning admission to the programme, please contact our Admissions Office:

additional subject

Sufficient background knowledge in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry is required.

The Admissions Board will determine whether your background knowledge in these subjects is sufficient to start the Bachelor's degree programme of your choice.

language test

You will need to submit proof of English proficiency in accordance with the requirements of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Please find our English language requirements (exemptions, IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page:

other admission requirements

Please note! The admissions procedure is independent of the matching procedure. Information about the matching procedure can be found here

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 19300full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After the three-year Bachelor's programme, you will be able to continue your study with our attractive Master's degree programme, but you will also have the option to look immediately for a job. As a graduate in the bachelor chemical engineer, you are qualified for a range of attractive positions, mainly in the business sector: for example, Chemical Engineers can find employment in advisory, control, R&D and management positions.

You may be involved in setting up a new factory, optimising existing processes or developing new products and materials.

Job examples

  • Academic researcher
  • Chemical engineer
  • Energy engineer
  • Product development scientist
  • Technical and research positions in laboratories or factories
  • Positions in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries

Within the University of Groningen there are several research institutes that are highly relevant for chemical engineers

The Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG) is most relevant for research during and after the bachelor’s programme. ENTEG is closely connected with the programme and the majority of the lectures are given by professors and lecturers from different research groups within ENTEG.

Examples of some research groups within ENTEG:

  • Green Chemical Reaction Engineering (GCRE) is mostly concerned with process development, catalysis, renewable materials, chemical recycling, highly efficient microreactors, and process intensification.
  • Product Technology (PT) focuses on polymer products, biobased polymers, polymer processing, electrochemistry, renewable hydrogen, 3D-printing with new materials, and supercritical CO₂.
  • Bioproduct Engineering (BE) is more concerned with the biological side of chemical engineering. Among other things, this research group focuses on bacterial degradation of plastic waste, food technology and enzyme development.
  • Products and Processes for Biotechnology in the Biobased Economy (BBE) is focusing on the transition from a fossil-based economy towards an economy using biomass as a primary source: from ‘fossil based’ to ‘bio based’.

Other research institutes that are connected to the programme are:

The Stratingh Institute for Chemistry (Stratingh). This institute is concerned with research and teaching in molecular and supramolecular chemistry. Core activities in the chemical sciences such as bio-organic chemistry, organic chemistry, molecular inorganic chemistry and molecular materials chemistry are embedded in the institute.

The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM). This institute is involved with symbiotic studies of functional materials involving researchers from physics, chemistry and biology. It is concerned with research at the molecular scale.

The Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG). Within this institute, the mission of performing energy and sustainability research is executed in a balanced way, with both an experimental part (laboratory and field experiments), and a part with model studies and studies into societal interaction with scientific knowledge.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourMore information


  • Academic Advisors FSE (For questions regarding the programme)
  • Ask Our Students! (Like to talk about the programme and student life with someone currently studying Chemistry?)
    Email: chemstudents
  • Study Science (For general questions for all prospective students)
    Email: studyscience
						Testimonial of Lara Witjes

    It turns out to be exactly the difficulty where I excel most

    – Lara Witjes
    Read more

    I knew quite early on that I wanted to study Chemical Engineering, at first it was driven by finding a combination of Chemistry, Math and Physics, which were the courses I excelled most at in my earlier education. Later I decided the relevance of the topic to a global perspective is also a great motivation for me. Although the degree isn’t quite what I had expected, I still enjoy all my courses. I did expect more number crunching theoretical math and pure physics of the whole world. The programme still has these aspects, but just applied to the cases relevant for chemical engineering, such as thermodynamics and physical transport phenomena. It turns out to be exactly the difficulty where I excel most, just hard enough to keep me interested but not too hard to be demotivating.

    In chemical engineering projects are very important, and quite a few of the courses are focused on this. I’m currently working on one project, which looks for solutions of the process of making Dimethyl Ether (DME) from Methanol. This process has many challenges, but more difficult, it is an equilibrium reaction, meaning you can never get to a full conversion (most efficiently). Later I will work on my bachelor's thesis where I hope to research the potential of a new industrial solvent, supercritical CO 2 , which would create a huge impact on the industry.

    Throughout my studies here in Groningen I’ve really enjoyed the student culture, I have been a member of 4 student associations, and even done 2 board years. The study association de Chemische Binding is where I’ve made many friends and where I frequently spend my study breaks. After my bachelors I want to focus my studies to a more specific area of industry, namely, Bioengineering, a fusion of chemical engineering and biology.

						Testimonial of Paula Herrera

    Best of both worlds

    – Paula Herrera
    Read more

    I have always been drawn to science. However, I used to hate chemistry in secondary school, and only became fascinated by how broad the field is—from the food and energy industries to medicine— when I grew up. It also allows us to understand the many attractive properties of the world around us and create new materials that can be used in fascinating ways.

    I study both Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. Studying Chemical Engineering allows me to gain more practical knowledge of the applications of chemistry, which, in my opinion, opens the door to job opportunities in the chemical industry. I want to pursue a career in industry, rather than in academia, for which I can see that Chemistry is better suited. But doing both degrees gives me the best of both worlds: theoretical and practical knowledge.

    As soon as I arrived in Groningen, the city had a certain something that captivated me instantly. It is not a big city, and this gives it a familiar feel; the easiness to meet new people, the everyday fun that the city offers. It is very different from Madrid, the big capital where I was born and raised, and it is something I love about Groningen.

    My favourite aspect of this programme is its practical nature, which allows students to apply the knowledge learnt to solve real-life problems. This way, you feel like everything you are studying will be helpful in your future career. Another essential feature of this programme is the attention the teaching staff pay to the students, which smoothens the process of learning and provides a feeling of familiarity, which, in my opinion, is one of the key values of the University.

    When I am not busy studying, I like to keep myself active. I do not play any specific sports, but I go to the gym regularly. I also like to play the piano in my free time. It helps to clear my mind when I am stressed. Currently, I am working as a teaching assistant for a first-year course unit in Linear Algebra.

    My goal for the near future is to get involved in an internship or a project that might launch me into the work field while I am finishing my studies. In the long run, I plan to do my Master’s and hopefully get an energy-related job in the industry, as that is my current specialization and primary interest.

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Study associations

Chemische Binding

De Chemische Binding, or CB, is the study association for students taking a programme in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen.
The name translates as The Chemical Bond. The association aims to represent the interests of all students of chemistry and chemical engineering by organizing activities to enhance learning, such as practice sessions and excursions. It also provides an opportunity for students to join each other in less serious activities, such as the weekly drinks get-together, the annual Christmas dinner and a night-time volleyball tournament with a beer relay race,

G.T.D. Bernoulli

The Groningen Debating Society for Chemical Engineers Bernoulli was founded on 20 May 1985 for students interested in Product and Process Technology.
Although most of the members of G.T.D. Bernoulli are students of Chemical Engineering, the society is also open to students of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technology & Operations Management and Industrial Pharmacy at the University of Groningen.
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be issued a study advice at the end of your first year of study. You can expect a positive study advice if you have earned at least 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS; most course units are 5 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative study advice, you will not be allowed to continue your degree programme.

You will receive a preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you are. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system.

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