Our programmes allow for flexibility and choice; we provide a carefully targeted chemistry core alongside more specialised options to further develop student’s interests.

Chemistry at Mandela offers a three-year BSc course leading to the degree of honours. We also offer a specialized three-year Diploma in Analytical Chemistry (with in-service training being the third year) that leads to Advanced Diploma in Analytical Chemistry. In addition, Diploma in Polymer Technology and Chemical Processing Technology programmes (both 3 years with in-service training inclusive) are offered in the Department. A specialized Honours programme in Formulation Science is also offered within the Department.

National Diploma (Analytical Chemistry)

Students that complete a Diploma in Analytical Chemistry usually find jobs in the chemical industry as chemical analysts, research assistants, laboratory managers, quality control etc.

A qualification with a study duration of three years. The admission requirement is a Senior Certificate, preferably with a Matric exemption, or equivalent qualification. Since the Department can accommodate only a limited number of students, a D higher grade, or higher symbol in Physical Science, Mathematics, and English in your final school year, is a strong recommendation..


Level 1: Mathematics I; Chemistry I; Physics I; Computer Skills; Analytical Chemistry I
Level 2: Analytical Chemistry II, Inorganic Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry II and Physical Chemistry II.


Level 3: Analytical Chemistry III, Inorganic Chemistry III, Organic Chemistry III, Physical Chemistry III, Chemical Quality Assurance, and Statistics for Analytical Chemists.


Year in industry. During this year you will work in an industry to gain experience in the working place and to directly apply the knowledge that you gained during the first two years of study.

Students planning to enrol for the Advanced Diploma (Chemistry) may enroll for the following bridging subjects during this year:

Mathematics II


National Diploma (Polymer Technology)

What is Polymer Technology?

Polymer Technology can be described in brief as the manufacture, processing, analysis and application of long chain molecules. Materials that are typically classified as polymers include: plastics, paints, rubber, foams, adhesives, sealants, varnishes and many more. These materials, today, fully control the high technology era we life in to such an extent that it has become impossible to live life as we know now, without these products. Industries that are totally dependent on polymers include information technology, aerospace, music, clothing, medical, motor manufacturing, building, packaging, and many more.

As a study field, Polymer Technology is not well known among prospective students, but has vast employment potential. It therefore often happens that students enter the polymer field from areas such as Analytical Chemistry or Engineering and have to undergo retraining to function effectively in the polymer environment. Chemistry forms the basis and starting point of Polymer Technology but it also leans on other scientific study-areas such as engineering and manufacturing

What does a Polymer Technologist do?

A Polymer Technologist is an applied scientist in the true sense of the word and the study field offers a diverse scope of opportunities under its umbrella.

There are opportunities in production and production management of manufactured articles such as tyres moulded plastic articles, paints etc. Polymer Technologists are also found in the technical divisions of companies were design of manufactured products and the polymer mixtures to produce them are done.

Quality control in manufacturing of above-mentioned articles is another opportunity. Problem solving, research and consultative work using amongst other skills, analytical techniques for polymer analysis holds further opportunity.

Marketing of polymer raw materials and manufactured products is another direction that can offer a very rewarding career in the Polymer industry.

Apart from career opportunities in existing industries, there is vast potential for entrepreneurial activities, the setting up of an own business, manufacturing polymeric goods such as moulded plastic or rubber articles etc.

Qualities of a Polymer Technologist

The Polymer Technologist need to be self motivated, have an enquiring and logical mind. The ability to work with other people is important. Leadership potential can lead to rapid advance into senior managerial positions.

Employment opportunities

With this training as background, the motor-manufacturing and related supply- and service-industries of the Eastern Cape, such as the paint, tyre and plastic-component industries offer a wide scope of employment opportunities in the areas as  

What school subjects are required?

Compulsory: Mathematics & Physical Science

The Training programme

Admission requirements: Senior Certificate or equivalent qualification
Course: National Diploma: Polymer Technology
Duration of course: Two years full time study followed by a year in-service training in industry.


NOTE: Semester 1 of the first year is shared and common with Analytical Chemistry

First Year

Semester 1

  • Mathematics I
  • Physics I
  • Computer skills
  • Chemistry I
  • Analytical Chemistry I

Semester 2

  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Polymer Technology II
  • Paint Technology II
  • Polymer Raw Materials II

Second Year
Semester 1 and 2

  • Polymer Science II
  • Polymer Raw Materials III
  • Paint Technology III
  • Polymer Technology III
  • Analytical Techniques III
  • Polymer Science III
  • Process Chemistry

Third Year

Semester 1 and 2

  • In-service training

Over a period of four years candidates are taught the basic theories, principles and experimental methods and are introduced to the philosophy of chemistry. If after four years the students have mastered the basics of chemistry to international standards, they may be admitted to post-graduate programs.

Below you will find information on our various courses:

1 credit = 10 notional hours of learning

1st year chemistry

  • CH100  : Chemistry – main code 100
    The modules CHG101, CHI101 and CHO101 are linked under this main code.
    The sub-minimum mark for each module is 40%.
  • CHG101 : General Chemistry
    (15 credits; 45 lectures + 15 practicals)
    Electronic Structure and Bonding
    Ionic Solutions and Chemical Equilibria
    Chemical Energetics
    Elementary Kinetics
  • CHI101 : Inorganic Chemistry
    Prerequisite: CHG101 (35%)
    (9 credits; 27 lectures + 10 practicals)

    Introduction to Group I-VII Elements
  • CHO101 : Organic Chemistry
    Prerequisite: CHG101 (35%)
    (6 credits; 18 lectures + 5 practicals)

    Monofunctional Aliphatic Compounds

Summer School

 Students who fail to achieve a pass mark (50%) for CH100 or the sub-minimum (40%) for any of the component linked modules may register for a Summer School programme in which the three component modules are repeated during the following January.

  • CHG141 : Chemistry General (summer school)
    Requirement: CHG101 (DP)
    (15 credits; 45 lectures)

    Syllabus as for CHG101
  • CHI141 : Chemistry Inorganic (summer school)
    Requirement: CHG101 (DP) and CHI101 (DP)
    (9 credits; 27 lectures)

    Syllabus as for CHI101
  • CHO141 : Chemistry Organic (summer school)
    Requirement: CHG101 (DP) and CHO101 (DP)
    (6 credits; 18 lectures)

    Syllabus as for CHO101

2nd year chemistry

  • CH200 : Chemistry - main code 200
    The modules CHA201, CHI201, CHO201, CHP201 and CHP202 are linked under this main code. The sub-minimum mark for each module is 40%.
    Prerequisite: CH100
  • CHA201 : Analytical Chemistry
    Prerequisites: CH100, F101 or FBB101, F102 or FBB102, MATH102 or MATA101, MATH103 or MATA102
    (9 credits; 15 lectures + 22 practicals)

    Acid-base titrations
    Redox titrations
    Gravimetric analysis
    Spectrophotometric analysis
    Practicals (incorporating theory from CHI 201)
  • CHI201 : Inorganic Chemistry
    Prerequisite: CH100
    (7 credits; 15 lectures)
    Bonding in simple compounds
    Oxidation state diagrams
    Ligands : the nature of coordination compounds
    Group IB and IIB elements
    Main block elements
  • CHO201 : Organic Chemistry
    Prerequisite: CH100
    (12 credits; 30 lectures + 12 practicals)

    Aromatic compounds (mono- and poly-substituted; introduction to heteroaromatic compounds)
    Enols and enolates
    Amino acids, proteins and peptides
  • CHP201 : Physical Chemistry (A)
    Prerequisites: CH100, F101 or FBB101, F102 or FBB102, MATH102 or MATA101, MATH103 or MATA102
    (5 credits; 15 lectures)

    Properties of gases
    Chemical thermodynamics
  • CHP202 : Physical Chemistry (B)
    Prerequisites: CH100, F101 or FBB101, F102 or FBB102, MATH102 or MATA101, MATH103 or MATA102
    (7 credits; 15 lectures + 10 practicals)

    Theory of solutions
    Electrochemical cells and reactions
    Phase equilibria

3rd year chemistry

  • CH300 : Chemistry - main code 300
    The modules CHI301, CHI302, CHO301, CHO302, CHP301 and CHP302 are linked under this main code.
    The sub-minimum mark for each module is 40%. 
    Prerequisite: CH200
  • CHI301 : Chemistry Inorganic (A)
    Prerequisite: CH200
    (8 credits; 15 lectures)

    Chemistry of the transition metals
  • CHI302 : Chemistry Inorganic (B)
    Prerequisite: CHI301 (40%)
    (12 credits; 15 lectures + 18 practicals)

    Coordination chemistry of selected 3d transition metals
  • CHO301 : Chemistry Organic (A)
    Prerequisite: CH200
    (12 credits; 15 lectures + 18 practicals)

    Organic spectroscopy (introductory NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry)
    Cycloalkanes and conformational analysis
  • CHO302 : Chemistry Organic (B)
    Prerequisite: CH200
    (8 credits; 15 lectures)

    Principles of organic synthesis
    Alicyclic compounds
    Synthesis of heterocyclic compounds
  • CHP301 : Chemistry Physical (A)
    Prerequisite: CH200
    (10 credits; 15 lectures + 9 practicals)

    Solid state chemistry
    Quantum chemistry
  • CHP302 : Chemistry Physical (B) Prerequisite: CH200
    (10 credits; 15 lectures + 9 practicals)
    Chemical kinetics
    Catalysis and adsorption