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Polymer Chemistry (MSc) (2024 Entry)

Polymer Chemistry students in the lab

Explore our Polymer Chemistry taught Master's degree.

Warwick's Department of Chemistry has designed this MSc for students to explore the real-world application of polymers in state-of-the-art research laboratories. Polymer Chemistry will immerse you in a research-led environment, where you can learn about the synthesis and characterisation of polymers. Warwick is highly ranked within UK league tables, and is 64th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2023).

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of ChemistryLink opens in a new window.

Course overview

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.

This Royal Society of ChemistryLink opens in a new window accredited degree course delivers a thorough knowledge and understanding of the world of polymer chemistry, taught by our academics and industrial experts. You will be immersed in a research-led environment where you can learn about the synthesis and characterisation of polymers as well as their physical properties.

This course is ideal if you are looking to undertake a PhD or an industrial career in the fields of polymer synthesis and soft materials.

You can find out more about the Department of ChemistryLink opens in a new window by joining our webinarLink opens in a new window.

Professor Dr Remzi BecerLink opens in a new window is the head of the MSc in Polymer Chemistry. Please contact chem-pgt at warwick dot ac dot uk with any specific Department of Chemistry questions, where our staff are available to discuss any queries.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band A
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5, minimum component scores not below 6.0.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Polymer Synthesis

This module aims to provide a detailed overview of the fundamental considerations and hypotheses of polymer chemistry ensuring that all students have a suitable background knowledge of the major synthetic methods and mechanisms as well as appropriate physical chemistry knowledge to excel in the more advanced aspects of the course. The material will focus on highlighting the importance of advanced polymer structures as well as comprehensive teaching of the applicable polymer synthesis techniques.

Advanced Polymer Synthesis

This module is cotaught with the undergraduate MChem course CH404: Synthetic Chemistry III (Macromol) and consists of 10 lectures between October and December. Two lecturers will deliver the content and you will have an extended workshop with each lecturer (for the MSc students) to discuss recent literature in the area. The assessed work component will be to write an essay detailing literature advances by an assigned author relating to the content of the lectures.

Physical Properties of Polymers and Nanocomposites

The ability to characterise polymers/composites and link this to their observable properties is crucial, and this module will cover many advanced aspects of this; in particular, diffraction and scattering techniques and how polymer physical properties affect their processibility. Students will be given the chance to obtain real data in the laboratories and link this to the lecture material.

Polymer Laboratories

This module aims to provide advanced level laboratory experience to students in the polymer chemistry field. Students will be practically performing polymerization as a part of other modules of the Polymer Chemistry MSc program. Here, more advanced aspects are encountered and particular emphasis is placed on creative experimental design.

Colloid Science I and II

Colloid science is a fundamental and essential aspect of polymer chemistry. The area experiences great interest from the chemical industries across a great variety of application areas, such as laundry care and personal care products, drug delivery formulations, food and drinks, coatings and adhesives, agricultural formulations and many others.

Polymers in the Real World

The module runs through terms 1 and 2 with seminars delivered by internal researchers and external professionals (e.g. industrial polymer scientists). Before each lecture you will write a 500 word 'mini-essay' on the topic to be covered in the seminar. This should include 3 questions to be asked and discussed with the speaker and 3 primary references (research articles) from the literature. Finally, you will prepare a poster on a research topic covered during the seminar series and present this at a symposium. You will also be expected to attend the department of Chemistry external seminar series.

Chromatography and Separation Science

During this interdisciplinary module students will learn about the theory and practice of different types of chromatography and their application in real-world scenarios. They will develop the skills necessary to decide how to decide which methods are the most appropriate for a given separation problem - whether for analysis or purification of, for example, synthetic polymers, biomolecules, or biopharmaceuticals. The module includes workshops on data interpretation and lab sessions providing students with hands on experience with several different chromatographic methods.

Group Research Project

The cohort will be split into groups that will work together to share knowledge and understanding of an area of contemporary polymer chemistry with the aim of writing a proposal to address a challenge within this area. The proposal will be written and also presented orally at a specially arranged session. The proposals will then be peer-reviewed by the other groups against strict criteria.

Transferable Skills

This module is based around students completing and recording tasks contributing to the development of transferable skills. Students complete a portfolio and reflect on what they have learned. The various aspects of the course cover: working in teams and working with your supervisor, communicating across disciplines using various media e.g. written reports, posters, presentations, web and video, as well as elements of leadership and career development.

20-week Research Project

The module is designed to develop student research skills, through an extended project in an area of their chosen discipline. Students will become aware of the elements of research, including appraising the literature, designing novel experiments (practical and/or computational), assessing results and drawing conclusions that they will be able to set against the current field. This module will allow students to be original in their application of knowledge to the solution of new, research-led problems.

Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Techniques in Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance
  • X-ray and Neutron Techniques


Candidates for the MSc are required to take eight taught modules (7 core and 1 optional, totalling 80 CATS) and to carry out two research projects, Group Research Project (10 CATS) and Research Project (70 CATS). They also take the Transferable Skills Module (20 CATS).

Class sizes

Class sizes range from 5 to 40 students, dependent on module: some of which are shared across programmes.

Typical contact hours

You should expect to attend around 10-25 hours of lectures and workshops per week and spend approximately six hours on supervised practical (mainly laboratory) work. For each one-hour lecture, you should expect to put in additional time for private study.


Examined component (%): Taught modules are generally 75%.

Assessed by coursework component (%): Taught modules are generally 25%; research projects are assessed by a variety of assessment methods.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Our graduates have gone on to work for organisations in: academia and teaching; pharma industry; chemical and material industry; science consultancy; banking and finance.

Our department has a dedicated, professionally-qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Careers in Science
  • Career Options with Chemistry
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • MSc lunchtime careers presentations
  • PhD Transferable Skills careers decision-making session
  • Finding experience to boost your CV for Chemistry students
  • SME Careers Events - e.g. British Coatings Federation Careers Evening
  • Career Options with Chemistry Presentation and Networking Evening
  • 1:1 careers sessions offered

Chemistry at Warwick

Do you share our enthusiasm for chemistry and its applications, from medicine to renewable energy?

We are one of the UK’s top chemistry providers, highly-ranked for both teaching and research. Our courses will offer you an excellent all-round experience that allows you to explore and follow your curiosity.

The skills you will develop will equip you to pursue a future career in a number of industries with a number of employers.

Find out more about our research students’ careers and destinations on our website.

Find out more about us on our websiteLink opens in a new window

Our Postgraduate Taught courses

We offer non-accredited and Royal Society of Chemistry accredited course routes, depending on your career aspirations.

Our Postgraduate Research courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support. 

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed. 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Chemistry Funding Opportunities

Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available on our department website.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

After you’ve applied

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Our hosted events run throughout the year, with a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. These events are a great way to learn more about our courses and departments, chat to current students and staff, and find out more information about accommodation, careers, and how to apply.

Postgraduate Fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Live chats

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.