This clear and concise textbook introduces the huge field of polymer science to students taking degree courses in chemistry, material science and related subjects covering polymers. By focusing on the few major polymers, for example polystyrene and PVC, which are in common use and which the students will recognise, the book illustrates simply the basic principles of polymer science. It looks at the factors which give rise to the special properties of polymers, and emphasizes how polymer molecules can be synthesised with different sizes and architectures to tailor the properties of the resulting material. The later chapters then introduce a wide range of polymers some with special applications now and others with exciting potential for the future. There are exercises at the end of each chapter.