2020 start

Polymers for Advanced Technologies

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

On this specialist course in polymer science and engineering, you'll learn how polymers are made and behave, how important polymer-based products are developed and how to use cutting-edge techniques to create new advanced materials.
Postgraduate chemistry students using equipment: Polymers

Course description

This specialist one-year course is our most applied masters – and it’s designed with industry in mind.

You'll study the fundamental science of how polymers are structured and synthesised, and how they behave. You'll also learn about the techniques that chemists use to identify, characterise and analyse polymers. Laboratory training covers a range of polymer synthesis methods and analytical techniques, including size-exclusion chromatography, viscosity analysis, and IR and NMR spectroscopy.

Other modules highlight how polymer chemistry overlaps with other areas of science, by focusing on concepts from physics that explain polymers’ unique physical properties, and engineering principles to look at the effects that polymer microstructures have on polymer performance.

Your research project, which takes up around one-third of your course, allows you to put into practice all of your training. You'll choose a relevant topic in polymer science, you'll be supervised by an academic who specialises in your area and you'll work in their lab as part of a team of scientists. In the lab, our researchers will teach you advanced lab techniques and train you to use state-of-the-art chemistry equipment.

Your career

Graduates from this course apply their polymer chemistry expertise in many different industries – from oils, paints and coatings, to food, cleaning agents and cosmetics, to medical, agricultural and aerospace technologies.

This course is also great preparation for a PhD and a career in chemistry research. It’s led by the experts behind the Polymer Centre – the UK's largest polymer research network within a single institution, made up of 48 research groups at the University of Sheffield, which has fostered many collaborations with businesses.

Teaching and learning changes for 2020-21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have made some changes to teaching and learning for this course in the 2020-21 academic year.

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We have state-of-the-art research laboratories and we're home to several multimillion pound research facilities. These facilities include the Lord Porter Laser Laboratory, which has three laser stations that can be used in studies ranging from energy transport in molecules and materials to artificial photosynthesis, and our Soft Matter Analytical Laboratory, where scientists can study samples that are 100 times smaller than a human hair.


Explore core modules


  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Individual research projects


  • Examinations
  • Coursework
  • Assessed workshops
  • Dissertation (15,000 words) and viva


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

BSc (Hons) 2:1 degree in chemistry, chemical physics, chemical engineering, materials or a related subject, or equivalent.

English language requirements

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

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.

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+44 114 222 9500

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