Diploma in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (N56)

Why CBE?

  • Learn in IT-enabled facilities that prepare you for the digital future
  • Enjoy a diverse range of career opportunities, including those in the fast-growing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries
  • Research track for students interested in a research-based career
  • Internship opportunities with reputable companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche

About CBE

A broad-based course that integrates biological and chemical sciences with engineering concepts, the Diploma in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) will open doors for you to explore careers in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics and cosmetics. 

With CBE, you’ll learn how to apply principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology to develop valuable products in an efficient and sustainable way.

Covering core concepts in chemical engineering, CBE will equip you with concepts in science that are used in engineering through the Introduction to Engineering Principles module. You will explore the application of scientific concepts in the operation of common engineering systems and equipment. These include an in-depth study of biopharmaceutical technology, chemical engineering transfer technologies, analytical chemistry, as well as the role of the chemical engineer in solving environmental pollution.

With CBE’s emphasis on learning through hands-on experience, you will develop practical skills and build up experience through lab work, projects and internships. For example, you will work as a team to troubleshoot a virtual chemical plant and present your solution using computer simulation. 

In your final year, you will deepen your knowledge and acquire insights into the operations of integrated operating facilities through modules such as Sustainable Industry Processes, Separation Technology, as well as Process and Automation Laboratory.

In addition, you will put your learning into practice during a six-month internship. You can opt for either an Industry Internship with well-known companies such as Chevron Oronite, ExxonMobil, Shell, Lonza, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, or a Research Internship in a local research facility such as A*STAR or an overseas research institution such as Imperial College London.


Further Studies

You can pursue a wide range of degrees offered by National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design and Singapore University of Social Sciences. These include degree courses in chemical and biomolecular engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, material sciences, physics, chemistry and biological sciences.

You may enjoy module exemptions when you apply for related degree programmes at overseas universities,


  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Western Australia
  • University of New South Wales

United Kingdom

  • Imperial College
  • Newcastle University
  • The University of Manchester
Headshot of Darius Dylan Liew

Darius Dylan Liew
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2018

Darius is currently studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at NUS. 

Headshot of Tan Bing Qian

Tan Bing Qian
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2020

A recipient of the A*STAR Science Award (Poly) and NTU-University Scholars Programme Scholarship, Bing Qian is pursuing a Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering degree at NTU.

Headshot of Tan Wei Xi

Tan Wei Xi
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2021 

A Recipient of the NUS Merit Scholarship, Wei Xi is pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at NUS.

Career Prospects


    The CBE course provides you with the foundation and flexibility to enter various industries, ranging from chemical, petrochemical, biochemical, biotechnology, biomedical and pharmaceutical to food & beverage, electronics, and environment, health and safety. 
    Here are some roles that you can look forward to:

    • Assistant Engineer
    • Laboratory Technologist
    • Assistant Biotechnologist
    • Environment, Health and Safety Officer
    • Process Technician / Technologist
    • Project Management Engineer
    • Quality Assurance / Quality Control Engineer
    • Technical Sales & Support Representative
    Headshot of Rey Chow

    Rey Chow 
    Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2010 

    Rey is a Process Technologist (Utilities and General Facilities) in Shell. 

    Headshot of Ninette Lee

    Ninette Lee 
    Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2013 

    Ninette is a Senior Reliability Engineer in MSD (Merck & Co.) 

    Headshot of Khairul Syahmi

    Khairul Syahmi 
    Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering graduate, Class of 2015 

    Khairul is a Process & Equipment Engineer in Micron Technology. 

    Entry Requirements


    To be eligible for consideration, candidates must have the following GCE ‘O’ Level examination (or equivalent) results.

    Subject'O' Level Grade
    English Language1-7
    Mathematics (Elementary/Additional)1-6
    Any one of following subjects: 

    Computing/Computer Studies
    Design & Technology
    Electronics/Fundamentals of Electronics
    Science (Chemistry , Biology)
    Science (Physics, Biology)
    Science (Physics, Chemistry)

    You must also fulfil the aggregate computation requirements for the ELR2B2-C Aggregate Type listed here (   33KB).

    For students with other qualifications, please refer to the NP website for the entry requirements and admissions exercise period.

    What You Will Learn

    Career & Professional Preparation 1 (1 Credit Units)

    This module is part of the Education and Career Guidance framework to provide students with the tools and resources necessary for their career and/or further education. In this first module, students will undergo personal discovery and exploration of industry and career prospects. Students will learn how to plan and set achievable goals in preparation for their future. Students will also learn the importance of passion and professionalism, along with basic teamwork and interpersonal skills.

    Data Analytics and Engineering Drawing (3 Credit Units)

    The module provides an introduction to basic data analytics which includes data processing as well as data visualisation. Students will be trained in identifying the proper form of data representation in technical communication. In addition, the module also provides hands-on practice of AutoCAD in engineering drafting to allow students to appreciate the use of computer software in the engineering field.

    Engineering Mathematics 1 (6 Credit Units)

    The module provides students with an adequate foundation of Engineering Mathematics that will enable them to acquire specialist mathematical skills for their careers and/or further studies. Students will also use a mathematical software package to solve mathematical problems.

    Inorganic & Physical Chemistry (5 Credit Units)

    This module covers the principles of physical chemistry as well as the reactions and properties of inorganic compounds. Students will study the structure of matter, chemical bonding, chemical calculations, electrochemistry and redox reaction, chemical equilibria, ionic equilibria, chemical kinetics, thermochemistry, transition metal chemistry and chemistry of solutions, including acids and bases.

    Introduction to Engineering Principles (3 Credit Units)

    The module introduces students to basic chemical engineering concepts and applications, for example, units and dimensions, material balance calculations, reaction stoichiometry, reaction engineering, and fluid mechanics. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to undertake basic chemical engineering calculations.

    English Language Express* (Credit Units - NA)

    English Language Express aims to give you a better grounding in the English Language and to strengthen the written and oral communications skills that you will need in your academic and professional careers. You will be engaged in writing, reading, listening and speaking activities that will develop your ability to speak and write grammatically, coherently and clearly. You will also hone your reading and listening comprehension skills.

    Innovation Made Possible^ (3 Credit Units)

    Engineering Mathematics 2 (6 Credit Units)

    A continuation of the Engineering Mathematics I module, this module provides students with an adequate foundation of Engineering Mathematics that will enable them to acquire specialist mathematical skills for their careers and/or further studies. Emphasis is placed on their applications in solving engineering related problems. Students will also use a mathematical software package to solve mathematical problems.

    Organic & Biological Chemistry (5 Credit Units)

    This practical-oriented module is designed to give students an introduction to organic and biological chemistry. Students will be introduced to the chemistry of hydrocarbons, alcohols, amines, carboxylic acids and their derivatives. The structure, function and chemical reactions of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes and coenzymes are also covered.

    Thermodynamics (5 Credit Units)

    In this module, students will study the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Topics include the first and second laws of thermodynamics, properties of liquids and vapours, non-flow processes and steady flow processes with steam and perfect gases. The concepts of pressure, pressure head, and pressure measurement will also be discussed.

    Communication Essentials^ (3 Credit Units)

    Health & Wellness^ (1 Credit Unit)

    Analytical Chemistry (3 Credit Units)

    This module teaches students some common separation and characterisation instruments and instrumental techniques used in the laboratory and provides hands-on learning opportunities. These techniques include UV-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis), gas liquid chromatography (GLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS).

    Biopharmaceutical Production (5 Credit Units)

    This module provides a practical foundation of biological sciences in the context of industrial biotechnology. It further provides students with a working knowledge of important aspects in the upstream and downstream manufacturing processes of biologics products. These include microbial and animal cell culture, bioreactor technology, cell harvesting, purification and fill and finish processes.

    Career & Professional Preparation 2 (2 Credit Units)

    This module is part of the Education and Career Guidance framework to provide students with the tools and resources necessary for their further career and/or education. In this module, students will explore basic job search strategies, practice writing effective resumes and cover letters, and learn interview skills. Students will also learn professional and intercultural communication skills to prepare them for a dynamic and diverse workplace.

    Reaction & Flow Laboratory (3 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with the opportunity to operate common chemical engineering equipment used in reaction engineering and fluid flow. These include the use of batch and continuous reactors, pumps, compressor, and friction measurement. Students will also practice the process of experiment designs and project management through a lab-based learning approach.

    Reaction Engineering (4 Credit Units)

    This module focuses on reactor design principles. Topics include reactor kinetics, analysis of batch reactors, continuous stirred tank reactors and plug flow reactors. It also covers topics in material balance calculations as well as aspects of the design, construction and operation of chemical and biological reactors. Examples from the petrochemical, chemical, environmental and biotechnology industries are used to reinforce lecture materials.

    Transfer Processes: Fluid Flow (3 Credit Units)

    In this module, students are introduced to fluid dynamics. Topics include energies of liquids in motion, flow in pipes, general principles of pumps and system characteristics compressors, and flow measurement.

    Analysis of Chemical Engineering Processes (5 Credit Units)

    This module aims to provide fundamental principles of process flow diagram analysis, including both material and energy balances for single and multiple process units. Students will also acquire familiarity with data-sources, charts, handbooks and/or literature used in process flow diagram analysis.

    Environment, Health & Safety (4 Credit Units)

    This module covers the role of the chemical engineer in solving and preventing environmental problems especially in the areas of air and water pollution. Students will explore common methods and processes that help to reduce or control pollution in the chemical industry. In addition, this module provides students sufficient knowledge of occupational, health and safety knowledge and practices in the workplace, including the statutory requirements for good and safe work practices.

    Process Technology Operations (3 Credit Units)

    This module introduces practical aspects of controls, sensors, and instrumentation. It aims to equip students with a basic knowledge of how automated control systems are implemented in process control plants. Fundamental concepts of Process Quality Control as well as digital monitoring and simulation are also covered in the context of an integrated chemical system.

    Transfer Process & Environmental Laboratory (3 Credit Units)

    This module aims to complement students’ understanding of chemical engineering equipment in the field of heat and mass transfer, and environmental technology through the completion of relevant experiments. Students will also practice the process of experiment designs and project management through a lab-based learning approach in water analysis.

    Transfer Processes: Heat & Mass (3 Credit Units)

    This module explores the mechanisms of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation), and introduces the importance of heat exchangers in chemical engineering processes. The fundamentals of mass transfer are also covered, giving a deeper understanding of key chemical engineering processes such as evaporation and condensation, distillation, and other extraction and separation techniques.

    World Issues: A Singapore Perspective^ (2 Credit Units)

    Current Good Manufacturing Practices (2 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with an understanding of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations for biopharmaceutical, and pharmaceutical related products. Students will study and analyse scientific investigations and regulations.

    Computer Aided Process Optimisation (4 Credit Units)

    In this module, students will learn to optimise a preliminary design of chemical process plant with the aid of AutoCAD and a commercial computational software. Students will get to practice design principles, including the necessary safety considerations, material selection, and cost feasibility.

    Process & Automation Laboratory (3 Credit Units)

    This module provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge on transfer processes and unit operations in chemical and pharmaceutical engineering through hands-on experiences with both standalone units and an integrated chemical system. Students will also learn the concept of start-up, shutdown and troubleshooting with the use of a simulation software

    Separation Technology (4 Credit Units)

    This module provides the students with scope of unit operations in chemical engineering. Topics include evaporation, adsorption, distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, absorption, membrane separation processes and crystallisation.

    Sustainable Industry Processes (2 Credit Units)

    This module contains multiple remote learning packages that provide an overview of sector specific processes and practices. Students can opt to complete one or multiple packages that suit their area of interests. The remote learning packages cover the renewable and sustainable technologies in the process and petrochemical industry.

    Project ID: Connecting The Dots^ (4 Credit Units)

    Industry Track (20 Credit Units)

    Industrial Internship

    Students will do an internship and project which gives them opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in classrooms to real-world work situations. They will be attached to companies in various industries such as the petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, and pharma- or biopharmaceutical sectors.

    Research Track (20 Credit Units)

    Research Internship

    Students will be introduced to basic research skills, which include literature review, laboratory safety, project management, and statistical analysis of laboratory data, followed by opportunities to undertake a scientific research project. The projects will be carried out in-house or at external research institutions, which include overseas institutions.