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.
You will explore the form and function of both natural and synthetic polymers at the molecular level, within various polymer systems (for example water soluble polymers). Training will be provided in different analytical techniques, including fluorescence spectroscopy (measuring light in a reaction) and laser diffraction.
Other practical training includes data collection and presentation, digital imaging, 3D modelling, and statistics. Research experience is usually refined through an individual project, often with links to industry. For example, you might research biopolymers such as human proteins or DNA, within a cancer lab.
Your experience could also lead to further research or careers within the production of food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care, paints and inks. As well as opportunities to be at the forefront of polymer manufacturing, roles could include consultancy for small businesses and policy-making within government agencies.
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.
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 NanoHealth, The Institute of Mass Spectrometry, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Energy Safety Research Institute, Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre, The 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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There may be some changes to these modules before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department.
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.
The taught part of the programme is based on discrete compulsory and optional taught course units.
Example of taught units on this course are:
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
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.
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.
- 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
- Biomaterials (SL)
- Rubber Compounding and Processing (OW)
- Adhesive Bonding (OW)
- 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
- Rubber Compounding and Processing (OW or DL)
- Adhesive Bonding (OW)
- Sustainable use of Materials (OW or DL)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are available for both UK / EU and international students, and scholarships are available for good overseas applicants.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.