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Home > Apply to EBE > FAQs > Chemical Engineering FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - Chemical Engineering

Watch the Chemical Engineering Open Day talk  to find out more about studying chemical engineering at UCT.

  • Is Bio-Engineering part of the Chemical Engineering school?

    Yes. From your 2nd year, you can choose to specialise your degree to be in bioprocess engineering

  • Does that include Bio-Mechanical Engineering?

    No, the focus is on bio-process engineering.

  • Will I be accepted into Chemical Engineering with an APS of 35 and high maths and physics marks?


    The Chemical Engineering programme requirements refer to FPS, if you would like more information on how to calculate your FPS you may refer to pg12 of the 2022 Undergraduate prospectus. The requirements for Chemical Engineering can be found on pg32. The NSC (pure) Mathematics requirement is 80% and the NSC Physical Science requirement is 70%. We also require all of our applicants to have a bachelor's endorsement/matriculation exemption.


  • How many 1st year students did UCT accept for chemical engineering last year? And how much space is available for this year?

    We typically have a 1st-year class of around 120-150 students. We don't cap the number and instead focus on accepting students who meet our entry requirements.

  • Can one become a petroleum, nuclear or biomedical engineer through Chemical Engineering?"

    Chemical engineering equips you with the fundamental skills for all of these fields. But specialisation in these particular fields is generally done at the postgraduate level (after your undergraduate).

  • Are international high school programmes accepted for admission?

    International high school programme degrees are also accepted at UCT. There are different requirements depending on the programme. The information can be found here.

  • What can you do with a chemical engineering degree that you can't do with a chemistry degree?

    A chemistry degree is focused on laboratory work and analysis. A chemical engineering degree is focused on applying chemistry in our everyday lives, through developing and running chemical processes at a production scale.  The chemical engineering degree is four years and is accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa.

  • Is there any relation between Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering?

    Biomedical engineering focuses on the development of medical equipment, which is not a topic in chemical engineering. Biomedical engineering is available as a postgraduate degree through the Faculty of Health Sciences. You may have any undergraduate engineering degree to apply for a master's in biomedical engineering. Information can be found on the Division of Biomedical Engineering's website

  • If engineering does not allow for double majors, does chemical engineering allow one to take minors or courses from other faculties?

    Yes. We require our students to take a minimum of 3 courses outside of chemical engineering. One is a language, one is a humanities course, and one is a ""free"" choice in anything you like

  • What is the minimum WPS requirement for probable admission for chemical engineering?

    You can find the admission requirements here 480FPS will be considered for admission likely with 80% for maths and 70% for physical science

  • Is Petroleum Engineering offered as an undergraduate programme?

    Chemical engineering prepares you to work in the field of petrochemicals. Many of our graduates work for Sasol, Engen, etc

  • Can you meet the entry requirements and still get deferred?

    If you meet the entry requirements with your interim results, a conditional offer may be made. Firm offers are only made on final results. We may require more information/results before a conditional offer can be made which is why your application may be deferred. The Faculty Office is in the process of reviewing applications, so it is important to continue checking your application portal for any application status updates. If you have any specific questions, you are welcome to email them to ebe-faculty@uct.ac.za - please include your student number in the subject line/body of the email.

  • Will there be any tutors in case I don't understand the lecturer?

    Yes. All our undergraduate courses are supported by experienced tutors.

  • If you are interested in designing pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, should you study Chemical Engineering or another degree (given you are not accepted for Medicine)?

    Chemical engineering does prepare you to be employable in the pharmaceutical industry (production of the pharmaceuticals). Designing medical equipment is the focus of biomedical engineering, a postgraduate course in Health Sciences

  • I saw that a 4th-year language course is required.  What exactly does that entail?

    We require students to do at least one language course, of their choosing

  • Do all engineering degrees start with a first-year general degree or is each field’s undergrad different right from the beginning?

    There are some differences in the curriculum across the engineering programmes offered, including in the 1st year

  • I have guaranteed admission for BSc computer science but not chemical engineering. I just missed the guaranteed admission by 4 marks. With 95% for Physical science and 87 for maths and 80 for advanced programmable maths, can I get into chemical engineering?

    All requirements (FPS/WPS, Maths and Physics) must be met in order to secure a conditional offer. If you have a specific query, you are welcome to send them directly to ebe-faculty@uct.ac.za (please include your student number in the email).

  • Is it true that chemical engineering is one of the hardest courses?

    It is one of the most demanding from a time perspective and intense because of the project work. But well worth it for the internationally recognised professionally accredited qualification.

  • Are we allowed to use our first term matric marks to get pre-acceptance?

    Yes, you are. You could get conditional acceptance

  • Will chemical engineering be an online or in person course?

    At the moment we are online with a few classes face-to-face due to covid, but we will move back to face-to-face teaching once allowed