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Polymer Chemistry (MSc) (2022 Entry)

About this taught graduate course

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 Chemistry 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 Chemistry by joining our Webinars.

Dr Remzi Becer is the head of the MSc in Polymer Chemistry. Please contact chem-pgt at warwick dot ac dot uk with any Chemistry specific department questions, where course directors Dr Nikola Chmel and Dr Remzi Becer are available to discuss any queries.


General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

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


English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements. 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 page.


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 (just Polymer 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 the 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. Since, the students have (at least indirect) access to research-quality analytical equipment, evaluation and interpretation of original data is highlighted. The students will be able to implement some aspects of good practice in measurement science in a research context. The chemical systems and molecules that will be characterised will be generally of an unknown nature. Safety aspects of laboratory work will also take a step closer to the research context since some of the associated hazards will vary considerably between one student’s work and the next.

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 term 1 and 2 with seminars delivered by internal researchers (PhD, PDRA, ECFs) 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 module 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 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

20-week Research Project

The module is designed to develop student research skills, through an extended project in an area of 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:

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Magnetic Resonance

Teaching

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.


Assessment

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.


Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.


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 seek a future career in a number of industries and employers.

Find out more about us on our website


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.

Taught course fees  Research 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, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. 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

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs 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

Funding routes available

Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.

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.

Taught course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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Admissions statement

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