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Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals MSc

(Full time) 2018/19

Masters in Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals

This programme aims to meet the needs of the fine chemicals, cosmetics, biomaterial, polymers, surface coatings, graphic arts and colorant industries by producing graduates with advanced knowledge and research skills in colour science and in the theory, application and analysis of polymers, fine chemicals and colorants.

You’ll be introduced to a breadth of practical research and high-level academic skills in planning, experimentation and processes, in synthesis and characterisation aspects. Optional modules will also give you the chance to gain specialist knowledge in an area that suits your own interests and potential career plans.

You’ll also develop a range of generic skills such as problem solving, information technology and communication. Our graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities both in industry and academia.

This programme is highly valued by many of our industrial partners. Tom Bowtell, CEO of the British Coatings Federation (BCF), said of the programme:

"One of our key aims is to ensure that the British coatings industry remains competitive in world markets. To do this, it must continue to employ staff of the highest calibre, with the right technical skills required to continually innovate. The one year MSc Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals degree course offered by the University of Leeds provides exactly the right blend of skills that the industry needs.

"The course is unique in equipping students with advanced specialist knowledge in colour and polymer science, alongside practical planning, problem-solving and research and development skills, in a department world renowned for its research in coatings technology. It is an invaluable resource, providing the high levels of training valued by our members.”

Throughout the programme you’ll study compulsory and optional modules covering concepts, information and techniques relevant to polymers, colorants and fine chemicals. You’ll also be introduced to topics from the research frontier such as synthesis, formulation and application of advanced polymers, colorants, cosmetics, inks and coatings, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

The focal point of the course is the extended research project. Your supervisor will help you to select the project that is right for you, in an area that interests and motivates you. The project will provide you with key research experience to take your career forward. With the core modules behind you, you will be ideally positioned to choose an exciting problem to investigate. Some research projects are linked with industry and will help to enhance your employability.

Course structure

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Extended Laboratory Project for Chemistry-based MSc courses 90 credits
  • Advanced Colour Science 15 credits
  • Synthesis and Application of Polymers 15 credits
  • Colour Application Technology 30 credits
  • Instrumental Analysis and Characterisation of Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Organic Synthesis for Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical Synthesis 15 credits
  • Case Studies in Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical Synthesis 15 credits

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information on typical modules, read Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, case studies, workshops and contact with relevant industries. The final stage of study is an individual extended research project which is typically carried out within a research group and may also include external industrial involvement.


Assessment is based on course work, research project performance and written exams which take place at the end of the semester in which the module is taught.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or a related subject.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the School of Chemistry admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

How to apply

Application deadlines

31/07/18 - International

31/08/18 - Home/EU


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you’ll need

Original or certified copies of your transcripts

Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

Copy of passport (if applicable)

Letter of sponsorship (if applicable)

Two academic references

Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if applicable)

It may help your application if you include a personal statement and CV.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £9,250 (total)

International: £21,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Chemistry offers a range of scholarships.

Find out more about our Scholarships.

There is a range of employment opportunities in areas such as fine chemicals manufacture (eg colorants, cosmetics, food additives, healthcare products etc.), polymers and polymeric additives (eg high performance plastics, biopolymers, medical implants, drugs), colour applications (eg textile dyeing and printing, inks and coatings), with companies such as Unilever, P&G, GSK, Clariant, Archroma, Huntsman, L’Oreal, Abbott Laboratory, AkzoNobel, Sun Chemical, and BASF.

There are also opportunities to continue on to PhD study with many projects supported by industrial partners.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Key facts

Start date:
September 2018

12 months full time

UK/EU fees:
£9,250 (total)
International fees:
£21,500 (total)

Entry requirements:
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or a related subject.

Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components


Contact us:
School of Chemistry Admissions Team
+44 (0)113 343 6440