2019 start

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.
Chemistry postgraduate Liam Smith with a colleague in lab

Course description

This course is designed with industry in mind. We have also partnered with Materials Science and Engineering 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.

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.

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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

Choose from a range of optional modules. These might include:

  • 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


We use a mixture of lectures, practicals, workshops and 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.


For all taught modules, written exams contribute 75 per cent towards your final grade. The other 25 per cent comes from continuous assessment, which might include essays on specialised topics or assessed workshops. You also produce a 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project.


1 year full-time

Chemustry postgraduates with equipment

I chose this course because of its popularity among the scientific community worldwide. We can participate in the academics’ research during the research project part of our dissertation. I would like to work in research and development in the polymers industry.

Eduardo Hernandez Portugal
MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Entry requirements

You need a good honours degree or relevant experience in chemistry, chemical physics, chemical engineering, materials or a related subject.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Recently I’ve published papers on topics ranging from micro-meteorites in our solar system to hydrogels we can use to store human stem cells. That is why I love polymer chemistry – the diversity of applications is remarkably broad if you have an open mind for both problems and opportunities

Professor Steve Armes FRS
Teaches on Fundamental Polymer Chemistry module.


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

Apply now


+44 114 222 9521

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.