Syllabus for Polymer Chemistry


A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1KB203
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Chemistry G1F, Technology G1F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2008-03-13
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2019
  • Entry requirements:
  • Responsible department: Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe the general structure of polymers
  • account for the concept of molecular weight.
  • classify synthetic and biological polymers i respective subgroups
  • explain the properties of polymers in solution
  • explain the properties of polymers in solid state
  • compare the mechanical properties of polymers based on their structures
  • identify and explain differences between addition and stepwise polymerisation
  • account for reaction mechanisms during radical, ionic and condensation polymerisation
  • use methods for the characterisation polymer materials
  • give examples of industrial application of polymers
  • carry out a polymer synthesis based on a given protocol
  • explain what preparations are needed to carry out a polymer synthesis
  • choose analytical methods to characterise the polymerisation reaction and also the product
  • assess risks during chemical synthesis of polymer material
  • summarise and account for in writing the laboratory work that has been performed


The course gives a general introduction to polymers. Focus is placed on the classification and systematics of synthetic polymers and biopolymers. Polymer chemistry: Polymerisation, kinetics, structure and decomposition. Polymers in solution: thermodynamics, phase equilibria, diffusion, viscosity, polyelectrolytes and gels. Solid state polymers: crystalline and amorphous polymers, thermodynamics, phase transitions and mechanical properties. Methods for characterising and analysing solid polymers and polymers in solution.
Laboratory: Laboratory practicals consist of polymer synthesis and characterisation.


Lectures and laboratory practicals.


Written examination at the end of the course (3 credits). In addition, students are required to plan, carry out and present an assigned laboratory project. The laboratory component counts for 2 credits and must be passed for completion of the course. The final grade represents a weighted sum of the results of the written examination and the laboratory component.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Spring 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Polymer Chemistry - Properties and Applications

    Hanser Publishers, 2006

    Andrew J Peacock and Allison Calhoun E-book in Knovel collection. Available through the UU library.

    Find in the library