3 x 50-minute lectures weekly
5 x 6-hour laboratories per semester
CHEM2701 - Chemical Reactivity
Enrolment not permitted
CHEM8712 has been successfully completed
Topic description

This topic will introduce students to polymer science. The topic will discuss polymer synthesis including step-growth polymerisation, chain growth polymerisation and controlled free radical polymerisation. It will also discuss the development of molecular weight by each polymerisation method and how molecular weight is measured. Mechanical property relationships, including visco-elastic properties and thermo-mechanical properties of polymers will be discussed. As a Capstone element, students will be taught project management and teamwork through tutorial-type sessions. This will be practised through team exercises where students will report on and be evaluated by their participation in teams and the processes they follow. The Capstone project will be related to the topic material and involve literature research, practical application, problem solving, critical review and written and oral reporting of outcomes.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide students with an appreciation of polymer science and to teach students how polymers are formed, how the molecular weight develops and how the mechanical properties influence the real world behaviour of these materials. This topic will contribute to graduate student attributes through instruction related to team based projects as well as participation in a team based project, where evaluation will be through team behaviour and participation.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and communicate the basic elements of Polymer science
  2. Demonstrate an understanding about how different polymers are formed
  3. Predict and understand how the mechanical properties develop and how they can be used
  4. Carry out basic polymer synthesis safely and independently in a laboratory and examine and characterise the materials produced
  5. Understand roles within a team through participation in team activities
  6. Evaluate and communicate results from laboratory and problem solving in written and oral forms, as required

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.