Project Details An International Exercise-Based Syllabus in Polymer Chemistry

Project No.:
Start Date:
02 October 2017
End Date:
Division Name:


To train young scientists to embrace and use the IUPAC recommendations and sources requires that they be familiarized from early on with the work of IUPAC. This is often not the case today, particularly in the field of polymer science. The scope of tertiary polymer science courses are often driven by local research interests with little consensus between nations and institutions, and are typically reliant on costly textbooks that include many formulae but few examples of their use. In order to address these concerns, the objectives of this project are to:

  • Provide guidance on the core chemistry content that should be covered in an undergraduate course on polymer science.
  • Provide curated exercises illustrating each of the content topics identified.
  • Provide an exemplar of the correct use of IUPAC recommendations in polymer science.
  • Distribute this ‘syllabus’ and curated exercises gratis to the world.


Textbooks in polymer science are numerous, but are expensive, err on the side of incorporating surplus content, usually have insufficient problems and worked examples, and fail to follow IUPAC recommendations. This project is intended to augment traditional textbooks and guide educators and learners in their use, in the following ways:
(1) By specifying clearly a core syllabus of polymer chemistry topics which we (representing the IUPAC Subcommittee of Polymer Education) consider to be essential in any undergraduate course in polymer science. This core syllabus will be linked throughout to existing IUPAC documents in polymer science.
(2) To illustrate each of the individual points in this core syllabus with at least one worked example, and provide a set of problems for each individual point modelled on these worked examples.
(3) Throughout the syllabus and accompanying exercises, to exhibit best practice in the use of IUPAC recommendations, and provide links to the documents where these recommendations are detailed.

This is an undertaking that is intended to reflect global needs while adhering to IUPAC best practice, and the breadth of expertise and awareness of IUPAC recommendations within the Division IV Subcommittee on Polymer Education makes this the ideal body to carry out this work. It is intended that this syllabus will act as a scaffold on which educators can attach topics of particular interest to their audience, and that it will be expanded over time (in subsequent projects) so that it will be a viable replacement for current textbooks.


Feb 2018 – project announcement published in Chem Int Jan 2018, pp. 31-32;

Page last updated: 3 Oct 2017