BEng/BEng (Hons) Polymer Engineering

Undergraduate, Full-Time

The course is unique in the UK, and is designed with input from industry to meet their needs from polymer manufacture, conversion and end-user applications

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  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BEng/BEng (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

The plastics industry is one of the most innovative and rapidly growing segments of the world economy and polymers play a major role in many advances in products and processes.

Whether it is in saving energy, increasing safety, enhancing design or conserving resources – plastics are the key!

You’ll also learn the engineering principles involved, giving you a broad base from which to develop your career.

polymer engineering

Polymer production is changing rapidly, with innovations such as conducting polymers, semiconductors and polymer light emitting diodes (PLEDs) for flexible displays.

We’ll give you the skills to keep up with changing trends and processes and create your own innovations. Gain skills in materials selection, design and computer-aided engineering; CAD, business management, information technology and health and safety awareness.

Our course provides students with the specialist knowledge and skills required by the polymer industry but also include a solid foundation in engineering and the underlying science. Graduates have entered a wide variety of career paths in various sectors including aerospace, automotive, building products, healthcare, packaging, research and development. This experience led engineering course provides graduates with both the industrial experience and the academic/professional skills required of engineers in the 21st century. Our course prepares engineering graduates for the industry and also allow them to continue further study and career development leading to Chartered Engineer status.

The course is accredited for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partial Chartered Engineer (CEng) status by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET).

Over 40 years, we’ve produced numerous graduates who’ve gone on to leading roles in the plastics industry.

Our links are impressive and we’ll involve you with the professional institute ( and its affiliated local society (

What you'll study

Year 1

  • Computation thinking and practice
  • Foundation mathematics / Foundation mathematics A
  • Mechanical principles
  • Electrical and electronic principles
  • Engineering communication
  • Mathematical methods 1

Year 2

  • Management for engineers 1
  • Engineering design and CAD
  • Mathematical methods 2
  • Materials and manufacture
  • Mechanics and thermofluids
  • Control measurement and instrumentation

Year 3

  • Plastics product design
  • Materials and manufacture 2
  • Management for engineers 2
  • Engineering applications (mechanical)
  • Polymer engineering
  • Energy systems design (Honours)
  • Individual project (Degree)

Year 4

  • Computer aided engineering
  • Sustainable design
  • Advanced processes and digital manufacture
  • Polymer process simulation
  • Honours project

Work placement

You are encouraged to take an optional industrial placement in addition to taught modules. Though this is non-credited, our placements team will support you to find placement opportunities.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

The plastics industry is in urgent need of graduates for positions in manufacturing, conversion or end-user operations around the world.

Previous graduates have been fast-tracked to rewarding senior positions. Networking is made easier by our extensive industry connections and your work experience during your course.

Career opportunities

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • materials applications
  • moldflow analysts
  • plastics design engineers
  • production engineers
  • project engineers
  • packaging technologist
  • process development engineers
  • Research and development 
  • Vendor and quality engineers
You may also continue on to study at Masters or PhD level.

Minimum Year 1

SQA Higher

BBBC including Maths and Science (Excluding Biology) or Technical Subject*.

National 5 B in English.

A Level

BCC including Maths and Science (Excluding Biology) or Technical Subject*.

GCSE Grade B in English.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre 2017: B1,B3,B3,B3 at HL including Maths and a Science (excluding Biology)/Technical Subject + OL English at B3

2017 onwards: H2,H3,H3,H3 at HL including Maths and a Science (excluding Biology)/Technical Subject + OL Maths and English at O3.

BTEC Extended Diploma

MMM (Merit, Merit, Merit) in a related subject. Must include Maths

GCSE Grade B in English. 

BTEC Diploma

MM (Merit, Merit) plus A-Level grade C. Must include Maths

GCSE Grade B in English. 

International Baccalaureate

27 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including HL Maths and Science (Excluding Biology) or Technical Subject*.

SL Maths and English at 5 points.

Minimum Year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including Maths and Science (Excluding Biology) or Technical Subject*.

National 5 B in English.


AAB including Maths and Science (Excluding Biology) or Technical Subject*.

GCSE Grade B in English.


Pass in a relevant subject with Grade B in the graded unit.

Must include Engineering Maths 1, 2 and 3 or equivalent Maths unit, Thermofluids and Statics and Strength of Materials.

Minimum Year 3


Pass in a relevant subject with Grade BB at SCQF Level 8 in the graded units.

Must include Engineering Maths 1, 2, 3 and 4 or equivalent Maths unit, Thermofluids and Statics and Strength of Materials.


Pass DUT with overall grade 12 to include English at 11 in final year of studies.

Minimum Year 4

Irish Ordinary Degree

50% at first sitting, with minimum 50% in all final year subjects.


*Science and Technical Subjects Accepted: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Engineering, Mathematics, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Technological Studies/Engineering Science, Design & Manufacture, Chemistry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students.Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol on our nursing courses (except Veterinary Nursing).

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,000
Overseas £13,740 £13,900

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships