Chemistry or ChemiCal engineering by elitecx764


or ChemiCal
Do both at Wits!
Chemistry or ChemiCal
Why not do both?

A five year programme that leads to a BSc (majoring in Chemistry) followed by a BScEng (Chem Eng)!

Which should I choose: Chemistry or Chemical Engineering?
Because the chemist and the chemical engineer work so closely in industry, there is little doubt that the chemical engineer
who has a deep understanding of chemistry, or the chemist who has an understanding of engineering principles, will be in a
better position to compete in the job market. That is why we are offering you a means of studying both disciplines! We offer
a five year programme that leads initially to a 3 year award majoring in chemistry but in which topics in chemical engineering
are also covered, followed by a further two years of study that qualifies you for a BScEng(Chem Eng) degree.

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering offer exciting career prospects.
Chemistry is a branch of science that has its roots in the late seventeenth century and was born out of alchemy, itself a
mixture of natural philosophy, astrology, magic and mysticism. Chemistry has changed a lot since then. It is now a rigorous
science, but it still retains the elements of magic and mystery that excited the alchemists. As we delve into and unlock nature’s
secrets we gain the knowledge and understanding that enables us to create new materials and compounds. That act of
creation, of achieving insight and understanding, is what excites chemists and makes Chemistry a rewarding and pleasurable

Chemistry is often called the central science. It draws on the language of mathematics and the laws of physics to describe
the world around us from a chemical, biological and physical point of view. Chemistry plays a vital part in our understanding
of the structure and the interactions of matter in the universe. It is therefore crucial for a thorough understanding of many
disciplines as diverse as geology, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science and environmental studies.

Chemical Engineers apply the theories and laws of chemistry. They use these together with the fundamental laws of physics,
expressed in mathematical language, and concepts such as unit operations and reaction kinetics to develop industrial chemical
processes for the production of materials that require chemical processing.
The chemical engineer usually builds on the findings of the research chemist, who works with small amounts of materials in
the laboratory. The chemical engineer is concerned with the design, construction, operation and marketing of equipment
that can reproduce on a large scale the processes or products developed by chemists. These include materials needed for
specialist applications in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical and electronics industries. In recent years chemical engineers
have started working in biotechnology, designing bioreactors for plant cultures or using bacteria to extract minerals from
their ores. Another frontier for the chemical engineer has been electronics, where research is conducted on the synthesis of
microelectronic components.

The chemists and the chemical engineer often form a close-knit team. The engineer takes over after the chemist has
developed a new product or process, such as a new adhesive or an improved way of refining platinum. The engineer, in
consultation with the chemist, will solve the practical problems in the manufacture and use of these products. Together they
do experiments and calculate things such as temperature and pressure to be expected during an industrial process.
They help to design buildings and plan what machinery will be needed. They estimate the number of people needed to
operate a plant as well as the cost of power and raw materials. The team must also consider the effect of a plant or process
on the environment. They often build pilot plants that are small-scale models of the actual processing facility. These allow
them to test their work and their calculations.
                        BSc Chemistry with Chemical Engineering option

 BSc degree with three years of Chemistry and
 units from Chemical Engineering
 3 years of study       Graduate with BSc

                                                                                  BScHons in Chemistry
                                                                                  1 year of study
 Enter 3rd year of the BScEng (Chem Eng) degree
 2 further years of study    Graduate with BScEng

                                                               Enter the world
                                                               of work

 Higher degree (MSc, PhD) work in Chemistry or                               Higher degree (MSc, PhD) work in
 Chemical Engineering                                                        Chemistry
 2 - 5 years of study                                                        2 - 5 years of study

Outline of the programme BSc Chemistry with Chemical Engineering option
First Year of Study
  Chemistry 1A (Unit set / major)
  Chemistry 1B (Unit set)
  Critical Thinking & Philosophy Reasoning
  Human Resource Psychology II
  Physics I (Unit set)
  Mathematics I (Unit set)

In the second and third year of study students are required to continue with Chemistry as a unit set (major) while also doing
other courses such as Mathematics II, Introduction to Process & Materials, Process Engineering, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I change my mind half way through this programme?
All modules that you take, including the chemical engineering modules, will be credited towards the BSc. After three years
you will graduate with a BSc. Remember that this is a formative, and not a professional award (degree). Some students then
take a postgraduate diploma (such as a teaching diploma) or another degree (such as a law degree to become a patent
attorney). To become a professional chemist you will need an honours award (BScHons). Many students enter the world of
work after the BScHons; others stay on for higher degree work (MSc and PhD).
Admission requirements
This programme is limited to 30 students. See the admissions requirements table below. Offers will be made to the applicants
with the highest matric points ratings.

Bachelor of Science BSc (3 years)   Mathematics        Pass HG min 60%                      26 points and above
                                    Physical Science   Pass HG min 60%
                                    English            Pass HG (first or second language)

Who employs chemists and chemical engineers?
Many companies. The largest employers of chemists and chemical engineers are the large chemical companies such as Sasol,
the petrochemical companies, and the mining companies. Other significant employers are the statutory organisations such
as the CSIR, Mintek and Eskom. But there are literally hundreds of smaller companies that require chemists and chemical

The following is a sample of areas of commerce and industry that would employ you:
 • Agricultural Research
 • Food and Drink Technology
 • Medical Research
 • Science Publishing
 • Biotechnology
 • Forensic Science
 • Patents
 • University Teaching and Research
 • Brewing Industry
 • Forestry Research
 • Pesticides Industry
 • Water Treatment and Analysis
 • Chemical Manufacturing
 • Health and Safety
 • Petrochemical Industry
 • Wine Industry
 • Environmental Consultancy
 • Marine Sciences
 • Pharmaceutical Industry
 • Fertiliser Industry
 • Materials Science
 • Plastics and Polymer Industry
 • Electronics.

The study of a subject like chemistry prepares you for entry into many careers in the chemical industry, from the invention
of new products and materials, to the control of the processes that lead to their production, to the work that assures their
quality. With a solid background in chemical engineering that you will get from the BSc programme you will be even better
placed to enter the chemical industry, even if you decide not to complete the BScEng prgramme but elect instead to obtain a
BScHons award.
But perhaps more importantly, the study of chemistry at university level gives you a broad education. You live in a fast
changing world. The subject knowledge you gain in your first degree may be directly applicable to your first job, but science
and technology change at a rapid pace. The job that you are likely to be doing in twenty years time probably hasn’t been
invented yet. Your ability to be a creative and critical thinker, to be flexible, to be self-disciplined, to have a strong work
ethic and to be an imaginative problem solver are the skills that you will acquire and which will prepare you for a lifetime of
learning and a fulfilling career.

Can I get a bursary and / or scholarship for this programme?
The BSc programme is offered in the Faculty of Science. At the moment, provided you obtain more than 35 matric rating
points, the first year of tuition will be free of charge. You are encouraged to apply to employers of chemists and chemical
engineers for bursary support. You should also use the internet to search for companies offering bursaries in this area.

Need to find out more?
Contact the Student Enrolment Centre
Tel: 011 717 1030

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