MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Learning from our world-leading experts prepares you for a key role in the future of this rapidly developing field.

A masters from Sheffield is highly valued in the global chemical and pharmaceutical sector.

Nobel prizewinner Sir Harry Kroto graduated with a PhD from our department. He discovered a new form of carbon.

About the course

The course is designed with industry in mind.

We have also partnered with Engineering Materials and Physics to encompass the breadth of modern polymer science and technology. You'll become the kind of high-calibre polymer science graduate needed to develop new products and processes in a variety of industries.

Through a combination of theory and practice, we'll teach you about polymer synthesis, physics, characterisation and the latest developments in polymer research.

When you design and conduct your own extended research project, you can look in more detail at the areas you’re most interested in and learn how to communicate your science to the chemical community.

Core modules

  • Fundamental Polymer Chemistry
  • The Physics of Polymers
  • Biopolymers and Biomaterials
  • Polymer Characterisation and Analysis
  • Research and Presentation Skills and Polymer Laboratory Skills
  • Extended Research Project

Optional modules

  • Smart Polymers and Polymeric Materials
  • Polymers with Controlled Structures
  • Design and Manufacture of Composites
  • Polymer Fibre Composite Materials
  • Macromolecules at Interfaces and Structured Organic Films
  • Electronics and Photonics


  • Lectures
  • Practicals
  • Workshops
  • Individual research projects

The optional modules in the second semester enable you to specialise in two specific areas of polymer science. You can also tailor your research project to your particular interests.


  • Written exams contribute 75 per cent towards your final grade
  • 25 per cent continuous assessment, which might include essays on specialised topics or assessed workshops
  • 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project

Your research project

This can be based in an academic group at the University, or in industry. If it's industry-based, the topic is usually suggested by the company you're working with. You may be expected to liaise closely with the company to organise your project.

Apply now

Nigel Tu, MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies

I like the variation in the subject material – you get to look at the field of plastics and polymers from all sorts of different angles and viewpoints, not just within chemistry but within the fields of biology, physics and engineering.

Nigel Tu, MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Key facts

Course duration

1 year full time

Entry requirements

You need an honours degree or relevant experience in chemistry, chemical physics, chemical engineering, materials or a related subject. If you have a different type of qualification, please contact us to discuss.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your future

Our graduates are highly valued in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector. They work all over the world for companies including AkzoNobel, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Corus, Dow Chemicals, GSK, Smith & Nephew and Syngenta. Many move on to PhD study, then careers in research or teaching.

Chemistry is vital to the way we live. It helps power industry and drive economic growth. Polymer science contributes to advances in everything from biology to engineering and medicine. As a researcher in industry or academia you could be involved in work that improves lives and changes the way we see the world.

Learn from world-class research

Top-quality research directly informs our teaching. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rates 98 per cent of our work world-class or internationally excellent.

You'll learn about the very latest developments from experts in theory and spectroscopy, synthesis, analytical science, chemical biology and materials.

Labs, equipment and training

We'll train you to use our modern analytical instrumentation. We have NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, x-ray crystallography, polymer characterisation methods and advanced microscopy.

We also have a team of technicians to assist with spectroscopic services. There are labs for molecular biology, protein chemistry, polymer/colloid synthesis and materials characterisation.

Chemistry tutor

Professor Steve Armes

Research interests:
Polymer and colloid chemistry.

Teaches on:
Fundamental Polymer Chemistry module.

'Smart', stimulus-responsive bio- compatible polymers for medical and bio-science applications, including targeted drug release and biochemically responsive hydrogels.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

Dr Colin Crook
T: +44 (0)114 22 29521