Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM219

Module Overview

A teaching and learning module covering the processes that comprise a typical refinery and petrochemicals complex. The raw material input is crude oil which is then refined and processed into finished hydrocarbon and chemical intermediate products. Knowledge and understanding will be gained in refinery and petrochemical process operations and experience acquired in troubleshooting a serious problem on an operating unit.   

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

CHADEESINGH Ralph (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H850

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Refinery and petrochemicals complex overview;

  • Separations processes e.g. atmospheric and vacuum distillation;

  • Treatment processes e.g. hydrotreating (including sulphur recovery), naphtha reforming;

  • Conversion processes e.g. catalytic cracking, coking for the upgrade of heavy hydrocarbons;

  • Gasoline production e.g. alkylation, isomerisation, blending;

  • Lubes production;

  • Petrochemicals e.g. light olefins for polymerisation, aromatics;

  • Utilities production, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions;

  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 20
Examination 2 hr Invigilated Exam 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate:

Learning outcomes 3, 4, a, b, c, d in Coursework 

Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, a, b in the examination, and

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Coursework  (20 %)·        

The examination, 2 hours, (80 %)

Formative assessment and feedback

Coursework  involve troubleshooting a process unit operating problem over separate two week periods. For each, in class, there is an introductory briefing followed by an intermediate discussion of progress with extensive oral feedback and discussion after submission. Individual grades are notified to the students by e-mail a short time later.  

Module aims

  • General refinery and petrochemical operations, their products and economic importance;
  • Individual process units covering separation, treatment and conversion of crude oil into refined hydrocarbon products;
  • Selected process units for the production of petrochemicals;
  • Important utilities such as steam and power generation together with factors affecting energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions;
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the industry to 2050.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Explain and apply the principles for the management of hydrocarbon molecules to form refined and petrochemical products from crude oil K
2 Explain, analyse, and assess the technologies of processes that comprise a modern refinery and petrochemicals complex KC
3 Explain and apply the principles for analysing and improving the profitability of refining and petrochemicals processing CT
4 Apply troubleshooting skills in resolving operating problems CPT
5 Identify the challenges facing the refining and petrochemicals industry, and will gain virtual work experience on a virtual oil refinery and petrochemicals site. KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide the students with basic knowledge, understanding and skills that will benefit students interested in pursuing a career in the mainstream or supporting industries of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. 

The learning and teaching methods include:

Combined face-to-face lecture sessions with a virtual visit to an oil refinery, the use of educational videos, group working and discussions in class with supportive coursework involving summative and formative coursework.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM219

Other information

The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas 

Digital Capabilities: Through the module student will learn to navigate and utilise Virtual learning Environment (Surrey Learn) and online databases to access literature data for data processing and interpretation. 

Employability:  Students will gain specific knowledge and skills relating to refinery and petrochemical process operations and troubleshooting serious problems on an operating unit that has industrial relevance and also develop analytical and problem-solving skills which are vital for making a different in an industrial or commercial environment.

Global and cultural capabilities:  Students will develop awareness about the global practices associated with crude oil and natural gas exploration and production.  The student cohort will involve students from different countries and backgrounds that will engage diverse perspective in the class room discussions.

Sustainability: Students will gain an understanding about theory and practices associated with the global exploration and production of crude oil and natural gases, covering operation, environmental concerns and sustainability, as well as outlook for energy.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Renewable Energy Systems Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Process Systems Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Petroleum Refining Systems Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemical Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.