The aim of the apprenticeship is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of process engineering.

This degree apprenticeship has been co-designed with pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, drink, chemical, and water companies. Apprentices will learn through designing, implementing, commissioning, operating and maintaining process systems to ensure process quality and efficient reliability.

It integrates academic learning at degree level with your full-time work experience. As you are employed as an apprentice throughout the programme, you will apply what you learn in the classroom to real-industry situations. At the same time, you will bring real industry challenges into the classroom to help develop a deeper understanding of process engineering.

What the apprenticeship covers

A Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer will be involved in process design and manufacture of chemical, biological, or science-based technology industrial or consumer products using solid, liquid and gaseous media. They will apply their knowledge of underlying engineering principles to implement and develop new processes or plant and to support product development; and work autonomously and as part of a wider scientific & engineering team. They will use project management skills to develop and manufacture products on time, on cost and to the right product quality. They will be proactive in identifying and supporting engineering solutions to challenging problems, be able to identify areas for business improvement and propose innovative ideas. In all contexts working safely and ethically is paramount and many companies operate under highly regulated conditions because of the need to control the quality of products and safety of their manufacture. Process specialists are involved in conception, design and operation of processes and may also be involved in pilot plant scale-up, manufacturing and packaging operations. Plant specialists ensure the plant, equipment and manufacturing assets are monitored and optimised to support the current and future processing operation whilst offering best value to the organisation. Both process and plant roles are critical to efficient manufacturing operations and they will frequently work together and will share a common set of skills that allows them to cover common aspects of their specialist roles.

What will I study?

The apprenticeship degree includes a 3-year taught work/study programme with an additional 6 months set aside for completing the compulsory End Point Assessment (EPA). As part of the apprenticeship standard requirements, you are required to have 20% of your working week dedicated to off-job apprenticeship learning (1 day in 5).

Each academic year consists of 120 credits of study, typically 40 credits per trimester. Each trimester is 15 weeks, and consists of:

  • 10 weeks of 1 day a week off-the-job in class studying
  • 5 weeks of 1 day off-the job degree assessment and/or directed/self-study activities.

Apprentices will be supported to develop as process engineers through working with a range of scientific and engineering teams to:

  • translate a set of bench top experimental procedures into larger scale production reality
  • operate and maintain existing API processes
  • commercially and safely produce and distribute commercial products
  • commission and decommission processes
  • service and clean process systems
  • process water material.

Our Engineering Apprenticeships adopt the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate) engineering education model, developed by the MIT. CDIO has been shown to develop and produce ‘industry-ready’ engineers and will assist in producing the right engineers for the local economy.

All about the course

Applied Physical Chemistry and Thermodynamics (20 credits)

Applied Chemistry to Chemical Engineering (20 credits)

Applied Heat and Fluid Transfer (20 credits)

Applied Chemical Engineering Maths and Computing (20 credits)

Introduction to Applied Chemical Engineering Project (40 credits)

How you'll learn

In 2020, we will open a major new facility for science, engineering, health and medicine, part of our £150m vision to transform our Canterbury Campus. The new building will be the main base for our Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, with specialist centres across the region located alongside Engineering and Technology businesses.


The assessments are designed to support learning and work-related activities to the benefit of the apprentice and the employer.

More information

Full information on the apprenticeship standard:

Find out more about apprenticeships

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Associated partners

The Graham Care Group
The Huntercombe Group
Medway Council
Pilgrims Hospices
The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
Strode Park Foundation