Formulation Science

Formulation Science

MSc Formulation Science

This course trains graduates with a chemistry background specifically for a career in product development across a wide variety of industrial sectors including food and beverages, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care, paints and inks.

The course is taught within the world-leading Centre for Water Soluble Polymers where staff have been helping national and multi-national companies solve their formulation problems for over 25 years.



Formulation is a vital activity central to manufacturing in a wide range of industries. Our MSc Formulation Science course encompasses polymer and colloid science, building understanding of the physical and chemical interactions between multiple components in today's complex formulations, and leading to a competitive advantage in undertaking Product Development and Quality Control.

Key Facts

You will develop skills to design formulations for a wealth of industrial scenarios - from food, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, paper production, inks and coatings, oil drilling and mining to name just a few.

In your Research Project you will interface with specialists from manufacturing industries and undertake a programme of experiments designed to develop the skills you want to learn.

On this course you will learn the trade secrets behind successful formulation - dealing with issues such as product stability (stabilising emulsions and dispersions), controlling flocculation, rheology (flow properties, mouthfeel, gelation), and overcoming compatibility issues with multi component systems. You'll be introduced to modelling, new trends in processing and high throughput formulation. 

Course Content

The course comprises 6 x 20 credit modules of taught content and a 60 credit Research Project. The taught element is delivered by a varied programme including lectures, seminars, and practical classes and may be studied on a full time or part time basis to suit you.

There is a strong emphasis on development of hands-on practical skills using a wide variety of advanced instrumentation


Taught Modules

  • Advanced Materials Science
  • Chemistry & Technology of Water Soluble Polymers
  • Formulation Science
  • Product Formulation Case Study
  • Research Methods
  • Structure and Function of Industrial Biopolymers

The lectures and workshops are designed to train you in understanding interactions between polymer, solvent, and surfactant molecules with particles and surfaces. You will:

  • Review the range of formulation types found in various industrial sectors, and their components.
  • Master analytical techniques used to optimise product formulation, including measurement of molar mass distribution using gel permeation chromatography with multi angle laser light scattering (GPC-MALLS) and particle sizing techniques such as digital imaging and laser diffraction (to measure aggregates, flocs and emulsion droplets)
  • Discover Green Chemistry and eco-formulation- exploring a whole range of  biopolymers extracted from natural resources….including antimicrobial polymers from shellfish waste, gelling agents from seaweed, and oligosaccharides from locally grown grasses.
  • Learn about man-made polymers and importantly, chemically modified biopolymers.
  • Measure the viscosity and rheology of  liquid formulations and see how this can be interpreted to yield structural information on thickened systems and gels, and  particulate systems including fillers, additives and dispersants.

A module in Research Methods provides training in all aspects of undertaking research, from project management, through data analysis and statistics to communicating your results and writing your dissertation to ensure you are well quipped to undertake your project.

Research Project

The course culminates in an industry-focussed Research Project. For full-time students this may be partly or wholly undertaken within a local manufacturing company. For part-time students the project provider may be your current employer. The Research Project gives you the opportunity to undertake a piece of novel research, and will often be based around solving a formulation problem for the project provider. It allows you to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained in the taught elements of the course.

Because of the individual nature of the research projects, no two projects are the same. Below are some of the titles of previous research projects undertaken by previous masters students in our department:

  • Aspects of Adhesive Bonding of Low Energy Polymers
  • The Effects of Surfactants on the Rheological Properties of Hydrophobically Modified Cellulose
  • Extensional Rheometry and Dynamic Light Scattering of Telechelic Associating Polymer Solutions
  • Simple chemical syntheses of polymer/silver nanocomposites
  • Phase Separation of Gum Arabic and Hyaluronan in  Aqueous Solution
  • Shear and extensional Rheology of Electron Beam (EB) Curable Paint

Career Opportunities

The EU is the leading chemical production area in the world and the chemical industry is the UK's largest manufacturing export sector. MSc Formulation Science combines delivery of key theoretical knowledge with hands on application in designing and producing formulations.  It equips the formulator with the knowledge to design a successful formulation and develop it from bench scale in the laboratory through pilot scale to manufacturing scale.

A Masters degree in Formulation Science from Glyndwr University gives you the skills employers are looking for. You'll be ready to step confidently into a world of manufacturing with a wealth of information and skills to offer. The course provides excellent career opportunities across a wide range of industrial sectors.

Graduates can expect to obtain a research and development position in areas related to biomedical devices, pharmaceutical formulation, food and beverages, petroleum recovery, agrochemicals, functional polymers/speciality chemicals, inks, paints and coatings or cosmetics and personal care products. 

The course also provides a direct route to doctoral study, for those wishing to undertake further research training or pursue an academic career.

Employability & Assessment


Glyndŵr University is committed to ensuring all of our graduates are well-equipped for the world of work. Click here to read more about the success of our employability support.


Assessment of the taught modules is intended to allow the learner to demonstrate skills that cover the entire breadth of the programme aims – knowledge and understanding, key practical skills, intellectual skills in planning experiments/interpreting data and communication of information in writing and verbally.

The research project is examined by a final dissertation. 

Entry Requirements & Applying

Entry requirements

Normal entry requirements will be an honours degree with at least a 2:2 classification (or an equivalent qualification) in an appropriate chemistry discipline or relevant professional experience.

If you are an international student please visit the countries page and select your country to see the relevant academic and English language entry requirements.

Find out more

If you have any questions or would like further information about this course, entry requirements or application process, please contact our Admissions and Enquiries Team.

Applying for the course

If you are applying as a home or European Union student, you should make your application through the direct application form. This is an editable PDF file and can be completed electronically or by hand on a printed version. A paper version is available upon request from the Admissions and Enquiries Team.

If you are applying as an International Student, you should make your application through our online application system, Centurus. You will also be able to track your application status and receive your offer letter and CAS letter here.

Course Duration & Fees

MSc Formulation Science is a one year course if studied on a full-time basis; alternatively it can be studied on a day-release / part-time basis over three years.



Full information can be found on our fees & finance pages.

Meet the Team

Meet the lecturers:

  • Dr Ian Ratcliffe (Lecturer in Science / Programme Leader / Module Leader)
  • Prof. Peter Williams (Professor of Polymer & Colloid Chemistry, Academic   Head of Chemistry / Module Leader
  • Dr. Jixin Yang (Senior Lecturer in Chemistry/Analytical Chemistry/ /Module Leader)
  • Prof. Saphwan Al-Assaf (Professor of Hydrocolloids and Analytical Chemistry)
  • Amiya Chaudhry (Senior Lecturer in Science)
  • Prof. Stuart Irvine (Research Professor In Opto-electronics Materials for Solar Energy)

Support Staff:

The lecture programme will also include guest lectures from subject specialists from an industrial background.

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