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Course content

About the course

This 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.

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 and 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.

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.

Examples of 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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

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.

Visit the MSc Polymers for Advanced Technologies page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

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