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Masters Degrees in Polymer Chemistry

We have 11 Masters Degrees in Polymer Chemistry

Masters degrees in Polymer Chemistry provide advanced training in the analyses of macromolecular compounds and their synthesis (reactions / bonds).

Courses range from taught MSc degrees, to research oriented MRes and MPhil programmes. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Chemistry, Materials Science, or Chemical Engineering.

Why study a Masters in Polymer Chemistry?

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Chemistry research at Swansea University is vibrant and covers a wide range of research areas and interests, and will be growing at a fast pace over the next 2-3 years. Read more

Chemistry research at Swansea University is vibrant and covers a wide range of research areas and interests, and will be growing at a fast pace over the next 2-3 years. It is focused on 4 themes: Energy, Health, New and Advanced Molecules and Materials, and Water and the Environment. These research initiatives transcend the traditional discipline boundaries, integrate the core areas of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistries and intersect with other scientific disciplines, engineering and medicine.

Key Features of MSc by Research in Chemistry

The new Department of Chemistry has excellent, purpose-built modern laboratories and has access to a diverse type of laboratories research infrastructures to develop its research. For example, high-quality, high-impact chemistry research is already taking place in World Class Centres based in Swansea such as The Centre for NanoHealthThe Institute of Mass SpectrometryThe Institute of Life SciencesThe Energy Safety Research InstituteMultidisciplinary Nanotechnology CentreThe Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research and The Materials Research Centre. The integration of the new Chemistry Department with Engineering, the Medical School and other departments in the College of Science provides an environment of research excellence and allows our chemistry students and research staff to invent, innovate and develop products in a way that is best suited to research in the 21st century and the need to generate disruptive, step-change advances with impact on current global challenges.

Department of Chemistry Research Group:

Energy: One of the key areas where advances in chemistry will be needed is in providing solutions to the global energy challenge. Chemistry research in Swansea University is participating in fundamental and applied research initiatives focused on: 

  • Conversion and storage of electrochemical and solar energy 
  • Capture, storage, and chemical conversion of carbon dioxide 
  • Development of new molecules, materials and nanotechnologies related to energy production, conversion, transport, and storage and their incorporation into devices.
  • Electron transfer reactions
  • Development and implementation of advanced characterisation techniques for acquiring in-depth understanding of photovoltaics, batteries and processes, which enable improvement in performance.
  • Routes for rapid processing and manufacturing at scale.
  • Optimized utilization of fossil energy 
  • Hydrogen as an energy vector

Health: Chemistry research provides new routes to more effective, cheaper and less toxic therapies and to non-invasive disease detection and diagnosis tools – a requirement to transform the entire landscape of drug discovery, development and healthcare, which is unaffordable and needs to benefit more patients. The chemistry research laboratories for this theme are adjacent to Swansea Medical School – which ranked 1st in the UK for research environment, and 2nd for overall research quality in the REF 2014.

Current chemistry research includes: 

  • Nanoparticle-based drug delivery
  • Antibody-drug conjugates
  • Nanoparticle-enabled chemoimmunotherapy and immunoengineering
  • Chemical systems for cell and tissue imaging
  • Stimuli-responsive and adaptive systems for drug activation and release
  • Construction of biofunctional artificial motor systems
  • Bioelectronic medicines and sensors
  • Mass spectrometric analysis of clinical samples, lipids, proteins and natural products
  • Pharmaceutical analysis and analytical technologies for medical/chemical analysis
  • Magnetic nanoparticles for magnetic resonance and multimodal imaging
  • Silicon processing, microfabrication and microelectronic fabrication
  • Self-assembly of colloids at interfaces and the use of colloids and nanoparticles dispersed in complex biological fluids
  • Microneedles for transdermal blood sampling and drug delivery
  • Biosensors – surface functionalization, fluorescence detection, electrochemistry, chemical sensing and lab-on-a-chip
  • Microfluidics and MEMS 
  • Studying structure, dynamics and function of enzymes as a route to understanding and controlling nature's chemistry
  • Natural products biosynthesis (particularly involving compounds with antibiotic, antifungal, or other medically relevant activity).

New and Advanced Molecules and Materials: There is major interest in synthesing, designing and controllling molecular and macromolecular assemblies at multiple length scales. In Swansea this research involves use of: 

  • Soft condensed matter including surfactants, colloids and polymers
  • Synthesis and characterization of transition metal-based and organic dye molecules for application in dye sensitized solar cells
  • Materials for efficient multiphoton absorption and upconversion 
  • Natural products
  • Molecular recognition and self-assembly to generate novel materials
  • Continuous flow synthesis
  • Molecular scale and nanoscale characterisation of ordered and amorphous assemblies
  • Development of nanocomposites comprising metallic nanoparticles and hydrogels
  • Autonomous and remotely guided micro- and nanoscale objects
  • Studying and tuning the characteristics of nanomaterials and biomaterials 

Water and the Environment: Chemistry at Swansea university has a strong profile in the development of analytical tools for measuring environmental impact, environmental impact assessment of polymer-based materials through their lifetime (including the effects of recycling and biopolymers), technologies for the efficient removal of environmentally harmful materials (and thus reduced emissions per output of discharge), membrane technologies and new methodologies for desalination, and for dewatering and killing pathogens for sanitation applications and the use of new molecules and materials for photocatalytic water splitting and development of self-propelled micro and nanomotor systems for environmental remediation. In collaboration with the Biocontrol and Natural Products (BANP) group in the Department of Biosciences, there is also growing research interest around the characterisation and application of natural products, in particular those derived from fungi and microalgae, to provide therapeutics and nutraceuticals and to act as agents for biocontrol and bioremediation.

Facilities in the Department of Chemistry

Our new state-of-the-art teaching laboratories are being built as part of a multi-million pound investment to create a chemistry hub for the high quality Chemical Sciences research being carried out across the Colleges of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

Careers for Chemistry Graduates

A chemistry qualification opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the lab. There are endless interesting and rewarding science-based jobs available – these can be in research, outdoors or in other industries you might not have thought of. Please visit the Royal Society of Chemistry website for details. 

Find out more about the huge range of jobs in chemistry by exploring the job profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website (eg Cancer Researcher, Flavourist & Innovation Director, Chief Chemist, Sustainability Manager, Fragrance Chemist, Household Goods Senior Scientist, Analytical Scientist, and many more).



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About the course. Polymers and polymer composites are increasingly important in our everyday life and can be found everywhere around us. Read more

About the course

Polymers and polymer composites are increasingly important in our everyday life and can be found everywhere around us.

At the same time, more and more high-performance speciality polymers and polymer nanocomposites have been developed for advanced engineering, plastic electronics and biomedical applications.

Bringing together expertise from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, and further supported by the Polymer Centre, the UK’s largest single-university academic network in the field of polymers, this course will provide you with a thorough understanding of advanced topics on polymer and composite science and engineering.

A welcoming department

A friendly, forward-thinking community, our students and staff are on hand to welcome you to the department and ensure you settle into student life.

Your project supervisor will support you throughout your course. Plus you’ll have access to our extensive network of alumni, offering industry insight and valuable career advice to support your own career pathway.

Your career

Prospective employers recognise the value of our courses, and know that our students can apply their knowledge to industry. Our graduates work for organisations including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the National Nuclear Laboratory and Saint-Gobain. Roles include materials development engineer, reactor engineer and research manager. They also work in academia in the UK and abroad.

90 per cent of our graduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduating, with an average starting salary of £27,000, the highest being £50,000.

Equipment and facilities

We have invested in extensive, world-class equipment and facilities to provide a stimulating learning environment. Our laboratories are equipped to a high standard, with specialist facilities for each area of research.

Materials processing

Tools and production facilities for materials processing, fabrication and testing, including wet chemical processing for ceramics and polymers, rapid solidification and water atomisation for nanoscale metallic materials, and extensive facilities for deposition of functional and structural coatings.

Radioactive nuclear waste and disposal

Our £3million advanced nuclear materials research facility provides a high-quality environment for research on radioactive waste and disposal. Our unique thermomechanical compression and arbitrary strain path equipment is used for simulation of hot deformation.

Characterisation

You’ll have access to newly refurbished array of microscopy and analysis equipment, x-ray facilities, and surface analysis techniques covering state-of-the-art XPS and SIMS. There are also laboratories for cell and tissue culture, and facilities for measuring electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties.

The Kroto Research Institute and the Nanoscience and Technology Centre enhance our capabilities in materials fabrication and characterisation, and we have a computer cluster for modelling from the atomistic through nano and mesoscopic to the macroscopic.

Stimulating learning environment

An interdisciplinary research-led department; our network of world leading academics at the cutting edge of their research inform our courses providing a stimulating, dynamic environment in which to study.

Teaching and assessment

Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes delivered by academic and industry experts.

You’ll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.

Core modules

There may be some changes to these modules before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department.

  • Polymer Characterisation and Analysis
  • Polymer Materials Science and Engineering
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Polymer Physics
  • Polymer Fibre Composites
  • Polymer Processing
  • Composite Manufacture and practical Polymer Laboratory
  • Research project in an area of your choice.


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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. Read more

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.

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Do you have a keen interest in global issues like sustainability, renewable energy, and personalised healthcare? Supported by leading experts from academia and industry, this invaluable course explores the real-world application of polymers in state-of-the-art research laboratories. Read more
Do you have a keen interest in global issues like sustainability, renewable energy, and personalised healthcare? Supported by leading experts from academia and industry, this invaluable course explores the real-world application of polymers in state-of-the-art research laboratories.

You’ll be trained in the fundamentals of synthesis, characterisation and colloids plus the bulk properties of polymers. You’ll use the latest equipment for spectrometry and chromatography to conduct independent analysis within the world-leading Magnetic Resonance Centre, and you’ll gain a number of transferable skills throughout your degree too.

By the end of the course you’ll be excellently positioned to work in a number of related industries or take up further research in a PhD.

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The masters course in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, offered in partnership with the School of Chemistry, is multi-disciplinary. Read more

The masters course in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, offered in partnership with the School of Chemistry, is multi-disciplinary: it provides Chemists, Materials Scientists and Engineers with a rich understanding of both traditional commodity plastics and speciality polymers with increasing applications in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields, and in electronics and nanotechnology. The full range of issues, from fundamental polymer science, through polymer processing, to manufacturing are all covered.

Coursework and assessment

The taught part of the programme is based on discrete compulsory and optional taught course units.

Course unit details

Example of taught units on this course are:

  • Introduction to Materials Science
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Principles of Polymers and Polymer Composites
  • Control and Design of Polymerisation Reactions
  • Polymer Physics and Physical Properties
  • Advanced Composites
  • Soft Matter

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

The majority of graduates of this programme go on to fill key posts as materials scientists, engineers, managers and consultants in academia, industry and research and development. Some advance to PhD programmes within the School.



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Are you interested in industrial applications and the physical properties of polymer materials? Our course offers expertise from several departments and is taught in our state-of-the-art Materials and Analytical Sciences Building. Read more
Are you interested in industrial applications and the physical properties of polymer materials? Our course offers expertise from several departments and is taught in our state-of-the-art Materials and Analytical Sciences Building.

You’ll be trained in the fundamentals of polymer synthesis and characterization, with a particular focus on colloids and nanocomposites which find huge application in many global industries. This course is supported by industrial and academic experts, and you’ll be able to use our worldleading infrastructure in material characterisation and properties to gain hands-on training too.

Our unique business-focused modules take your training a step further too, exploring entrepreneurship and understanding the business models associated with large and small companies. By the end of your course, you’ll be excellently positioned to progress within industrial or academic research.

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Do you want to take up a career in research and development? We’re recruiting ambitious students with degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics or Statistics. Read more
Do you want to take up a career in research and development? We’re recruiting ambitious students with degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics or Statistics.

We offer you a coherent training programme in Analytical Science, a central and interdisciplinary science which supports research and development in a huge number of key industries. Analytical Science underpins many aspects of biological and clinical sciences, environmental sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, materials science and synthetic chemistry. This course offers expertise from international experts within academia and collaborating companies like Syngenta and AstraZeneca.

You’ll gain hands-on experience in a variety of relevant techniques, enabling you to work in any modern laboratory since the skills you acquire will be readily transferable between disciplines. You’ll also have an incredible opportunity to undertake cutting-edge research with a world-leading group or company. By the end of the course you’ll be positioned to take up employment in research and development roles within a number of sectors, or to take up further study with a PhD.

Study programme

7 taught modules assessed by:
-In - module assessment
-Exam based assessment
Research Project assessed by:
-10,000 word dissertation
-Oral examination

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This programme provides professional training in polymer science and technology for graduates of science, engineering and technology subjects. Read more

This programme provides professional training in polymer science and technology for graduates of science, engineering and technology subjects.

Lectures are supplemented by an extensive variety of laboratory exercises, spanning chemical and physical characterisation, and compounding and processing technology experiments on pilot-scale laboratory equipment.

Core study areas include polymer science, polymer process engineering, plastics and composites applications, polymer properties, polymer characterisation, polymerisation and polymer blends, plastics processing technology and a project.

Optional study areas include plastics processing technology, rubber compounding and processing, adhesive bonding, and sustainable use of materials.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/materials/polymer-science-tech/

Programme modules

Full-time Modules:

Core Modules

- Polymer Science (SL)

- Polymer Process Engineering (SL)

- Plastics and Composites Applications (SL)

- Polymer Properties (SL)

- Polymer Characterisation (OW)

- Polymerisation and Polymer Blends (SL)

- MSc Project

Optional Modules

- Biomaterials (SL)

- Rubber Compounding and Processing (OW)

- Adhesive Bonding (OW)

Part-time Modules:

Core Modules

- Polymer Science (DL)

- Plastics and Composites Applications (DL)

- Polymer Properties (DL)

- Polymer Characterisation (OW)

- Polymerisation and Polymer Blends (DL)

- Plastics Processing Technology (OW)

- MSc Project

Optional Modules

- Rubber Compounding and Processing (OW or DL)

- Adhesive Bonding (OW)

- Sustainable use of Materials (OW or DL)

Alternative modules:*

- Design with Engineering Materials (DL)

- Polymer Process Engineering (SL)

- Materials Modelling (SL)

Key: SL = Semester-long, OW = One week, DL = Distance-learning

Alternative modules* are only available under certain circumstances by agreement with the Programme Director.

Selection

Interviews may be held on consideration of a prospective student’s application form. Overseas students are often accepted on their grades and strong recommendation from suitable referees.

Course structure, assessment and accreditation

The MSc comprises a combination of semester-long and one week modules for full-time students, whilst part-time students study a mix of one week and distance-learning modules.

MSc students undertake a major project many of which are sponsored by our industrial partners. Part-time student projects are often specified in conjunction with their sponsoring company and undertaken at their place of work.

All modules are 15 credits. The MSc project is 60 credits.

MSc: 180 credits – six core and two optional modules, plus the MSc project.

PG Diploma: 120 credits – six core and two optional modules.

PG Certificate: 60 credits – four core modules.

- Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of written examination, set coursework exercises and laboratory reports. The project is assessed by a dissertation, literature review and oral presentation.

- Accreditation

Both MSc programmes are accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), allowing progression towards professional chartered status (CEng) after a period of relevant graduate-level employment.

Careers and further study

Typical careers span many industrial sectors, including plastics, rubber, chemical and additives industries and packaging.

Possible roles include technical and project management, R&D, technical support to manufacturing as well as sales and marketing. Many of our best masters students who are interested in research stay with us to study for a PhD.

Bursaries and scholarships

Bursaries are available for both UK / EU and international students, and scholarships are available for good overseas applicants.

Why Choose Materials at Loughborough?

The Department has contributed to the advancement and application of knowledge for well over 40 years. With 21 academics and a large support team, we have about 85 full and part-time MSc students, 70 PhD students and 20 research associates.

Our philosophy is based on the engineering application and use of materials which, when processed, are altered in structure and properties.

Our approach includes materials selection and design considerations as well as business and environmental implications.

- Facilities

We are also home to the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre – its state of-the-art equipment makes it one of the best suites of its kind in Europe used by academia and our industrial partners.

The Centre supports our research and teaching activities developing understanding of the interactions of structure and properties with processing and product performance.

- Research

Our research activity is organised into 4 main research groups; energy materials, advanced ceramics, surface engineering and advanced polymers. These cover a broad span of research areas working on today’s global challenges, including sustainability, nanomaterials, composites and processing. However, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach to our research and frequently interact with other departments and Research Schools.

- Career prospects

Over **% of our graduates were in employment and / or further study six months after graduating. Our unrivalled links with industry are

hugely beneficial to our students. We also tailor our courses according to industrial feedback and needs, ensuring our graduates are well prepared

Find out how to apply here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/materials/polymer-science-tech/



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This course will extend your existing knowledge of chemical engineering to provide you with advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and related process industries. Read more

This course will extend your existing knowledge of chemical engineering to provide you with advanced chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and related process industries.

You’ll develop advanced knowledge in key areas such as reaction engineering, product development, process modelling and simulation, and pharmaceutical formulation or energy technology.

The course has been designed to provide a greater depth of knowledge in aspects of advanced chemical engineering and a range of up-to-date process technologies. These will enable you to design, operate and manage processes and associated manufacturing plants, and to provide leadership in innovation, research and development and technology transfer.



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This course will build upon your existing scientific/engineering knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering. Read more

This course will build upon your existing scientific/engineering knowledge and skills to convert to a specialisation in chemical engineering. This MSc course will provide you with chemical engineering and process technology skills for exciting and challenging careers in the chemical and related process industries.

The course has been designed to provide a depth of knowledge in core and aspects of advanced chemical engineering and a range of up-to-date process technologies. These will enable you to design, operate and manage processes, and associated manufacturing plants, and to provide leadership in innovation, research and development, and technology transfer.

You’ll undertake a large research project and study a series of compulsory taught modules covering: chemical engineering principles; chemical process technology; chemical reaction processes, separation processes; plant design; batch process engineering; and chemical products design and development.



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