Bachelor's Degree in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy

Smartphones, emergency medical supplies, photovoltaic systems and water pipes. Plastics are a part of our everyday lives yet - at the same time - islands of plastic waste are floating in our oceans. This - among other reasons - is why the JKU has completely restructured its polymer engineering program! As a student in the Bachelor's degree program in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy, you will learn how to engineer and utilize plastics by applying a more targeted, eco-friendly, and resource-efficient approach. Leading plastics companies are waiting for you!

Just the right product design and product engineering can not only make or break a world champion, but also save lives in medicine. Polymers make it possible to convert wind and solar power into energy, and even conserve energy by means of lightweight construction and insulation. Plastics are also revolutionizing the way we communicate.

The Bachelor's degree program in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy provides you with in-depth expertise and applied methods to be able to work with plastics and not only help improve the world, but also simultaneously manage them responsibly.

How do we create eco-friendly material solutions and sustainable, environmentally-friendly but high-performance and organic plastics? How can we develop solutions that address the energy and climate crises? Conduct research on these future-oriented issues and take advantage of the opportunity to help shape a more sustainable world!

This degree program includes foundations in mathematics and natural sciences as well as engineering and technical disciplines. The Bachelor's degree program will qualify you as a specialist in polymer processing, materials science, product design, sustainable product development, recycling, and a circular economy.

Selected courses in the undergraduate degree program will be partly held in English to help you best prepare for the Master's degree program.


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Key Facts


Bachelor of Science (BSc)


6 semesters


180 credits


German (Level B2), individual courses in English





What makes Polymer Engineering studies at the JKU special?

  • Sustainability, a Circular Economy, Digitalization. Your studies focus on polymer technologies ranging from materials and process technology, digitalization, recycling technologies & material cycles, and life cycle assessment to social contexts and new scientific topics, such as polymers used in medicine, nutrition, water, energy, and the climate.
  • Contact to Business & Industry. Hands-on labs help make industrial processes more tangible to you. You will find that industry-related research projects will be a part of your term papers, and company contact to help write your undergraduate thesis or become a student employee will give your studies a real-world edge.
  • A Pilot Factory as a Lecture Hall. At the JKU, you have access to a wide range of equipment and software to characterize, process, and design plastic products as well as to recycle plastics. The LIT Factory also features industrial-scale machines.
  • Creative Freedom. In addition to a broad undergraduate educational program, you can also customize the curriculum to match your own interests. You can specialize in materials development and characterization, product design, processing and digital transformation, or recycling and upcycling.

Program Structure

The Bachelor's degree program in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy consists of the following areas:


Sustainable Plastics Technology and Circular Economy

Electives I

  • Sustainable technologies and polymer engineering
  • Digital transformation and plastics
  • Plastics processing machinery and plant engineering
  • Process and component simulation for digital twins 

Electives II

  • Law and economics
  • Basic skills in digital transformation
  • Circular economy and energy transition
  • Medical technology and life science
  • Mathematics and data science specialization

The Curriculum and Course Catalog

The curriculum and course catalog contain detailed information about the program content. They will be available shortly.

Studies Introduction & Orientation Phase (StEOP)

New students will be required to complete the StEOP requirements at the beginning of the Bachelor's degree program. The StEOP requirements consist of certain courses that are outlined in the curriculum. Before completing the StEOP courses, you can only get limited academic credit when you take additional courses.

Andreas, a JKU student, talks about what it's like to study polymer engineering!

Let Andreas tell you about what studying polymer engineering at the JKU is like.

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Areas of Specialization in the Polymer Engineering Program

The Bachelor's degree program in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy focuses on the entire value chain of plastics ranging from their foundations in science, chemical synthesis, design, and processing to recycling and a circular economy. The program also focuses on new scientific approaches (such as polymers to support medicine, nutrition, water, energy, and the climate.) as well as a life-cycle impact and digitalization. Topics include:


  • Materials and Process Technology: Hands-on lab tasks focusing on injection molding and extrusion
  • Design: Design and simulate plastic components
  • Testing Materials: Learn how to characterize materials in terms of mechanical, thermal and optical features
  • Recycling Technologies and Material Cycles: Sustainably recycle plastic waste
  • Natural Sciences: Advanced mathematics and programming as well as a focus on the chemical-molecular structure of plastics and synthesis
  • Mechanical Engineering & Mechatronics: Fundamentals in lightweight construction, electrical engineering, and mechanics
  • Life-cycle impact analyses, social relations
  • Bachelor's Thesis: Specialize in an area you are most interested in

What You Will Learn During the Program

  • You will produce plastics and manufacture products made out of plastics. You will also focus on closed-loop plastic solutions and plastics recycling to learn, for example, more about how plastic packaging is recycled. The JKU currently supports a program that manufactures cool frisbees made out of bottle caps.
  • In addition to expertise in polymer technologies, "future skills" are also a part of the curriculum. You will hone your skills to learn how to successfully act and interact for the good of the environment, humanity, society, the economy, and technology. You become a pioneer who can re-think plastics and create solutions to meet challenges in these areas.
  • You will hone your social skill set by not only learning how to work effectively as part of a team, but also how to successfully address leadership and management responsibilities.
  • The educational content covers all of the main fields in polymer technology, structured in a way that gives you an opportunity to solve real-world tasks. Example: Recent graduates create polymer-specific solutions to generate and store energy, and apply these to lightweight construction models together, giveing them an opportunity to actively take part in conducting research to build self-driving air cabs, etc.

Did you know that ...?

graduates in polymer engineering are highly sought after! The JKU created this degree program to respond to an urgent demand for skilled experts in business, industry and in the government.

Career Prospects

Your education meets the requirements and job profiles for future professional fields in the VUCA world (volatility-uncertainty-complexity-ambiguity). Depending on your selected specialization, you will be educated as a technical and scientific problem-solver in industry and science, or as a problem solver focusing on social challenges using (polymer) engineering approaches.


Graduates of the Bachelor's degree program in polymer engineering can work in the following industrial areas:

  • Develop new plastic compounds, multi-functional polymer composites, and hybrid polymer materials
  • Material-specific plastic processing, including advanced development and optimization for process technologies
  • Design and create plastic products, including specification, qualification, quality assurance, and certification
  • Recycling and as part of the circular economy

Your skills in polymer engineering skills are in high demand, particularly in the following areas of industry:

Sports and Recreation: Polymers are multifunctional and play a key role in the production of countless high-performance products in a wide range of sports categories! This includes equipment for skiing and snowboarding, sports balls, lightweight bicycles, sailboats, sportswear, and much more.

Medicine: Multifunctional plastics can be used to create orthoses, prostheses and implants. Plastics are also used to make blood bags, tubes, syringes, etc., more hygienic. Packaging made out of plastic keeps sutures, bandages, hearing aids, contact lenses, condoms, pregnancy tests, coronavirus tests - and much more! - sterile.

Electrics and Electronics: You are only able read this text because your screen contains a considerable amount of plastics. Cable coverings and casing ensure your device is powered safely.

Energy: When it comes to photovoltaic systems, plastics are responsible for the long-term durability of silicon cells. Large wind turbines found in wind farms can only be constructed using lightweight plastics. In the area of housing construction, insulation panels and window frames are just a few examples of ways to guarantee energy savings and safety.

Mobility: Resource-efficient mobility requires lightweight plastic and composite solutions. Railroads, buses, airplanes, and automobiles are becoming lighter and more comfortable, thanks to plastics.

Packaging: This is where you help educate the public about a responsible approach to plastic packaging. In regard to plastic packaging, you also create solutions to support a true circular economy.

JKU Alumni talking about ... .

... their career in the plastics technology industry, the job, and the responsibilities in the field of sustainable plastics technology and circular economy.

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„The Bachelor's degree program in Polymer Engineering offers an outstanding educational background and provides ideal conditions to conduct research at both at well-equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories as well as at high-quality, innovative testing facilities.“
Ursula Stritzinger, Polymer Engineering graduate
Foto Ursula Stritzinger

Register to Enroll


In order to be admitted to the Bachelor's degree program in Sustainable Polymer Engineering & Circular Economy, you must fulfill the following requirements.

  • Hold general higher education entrance qualifications (such as an Austrian "Matura" diploma, Abitur, professional Matura, university enrollment eligibility examination)
  • If your first language is not the language that the program is offered in, you will be required to submit proof of a B2 level of language proficiency in German.

Please note:

If you can prove a certain level of academic performance at school, you can contact the Office of Examinations and Recognition Services to have academic credit transferred and count toward your degree program:

Still have questions?

Then contact us!


Admissions Office


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Preparation Courses

  • Study for a Day: Spend a day at the JKU! You can accompany a student to class and ask questions about the program and student life. 
  • Preparation Courses, opens in new window: These courses for newly-enrolled students have been designed to review material taught at higher-level schools in a more condensed format and prepare for university lectures. Attendance is optional.
  • The JKU Young Polymer Scientists Program, opens in new window: Upper Austria's largest program for gifted students. During the school year, students at upper level AHS and BHS schools have a unique opportunity to attend various workshops organized by the departments of Chemistry and Polymer Engineering.

Contact Program Management:

Polymer Engineering
JKU Science Park 2
T +43 732 2468 6610
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Frequently Asked Questions

Studies in sustainable polymer technologies and a circular economy are unique in Linz. Firstly, on account of its future-oriented direction and secondly, on account of the large number of faculties and institutes that integrate different disciplines. Alongside the engineering content, students learn about the connections between technology and business, as well as how technology impacts everyday life.

In addition, we take a more critical look at just how plastics impact the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We teach you about so-called "future skills", which will become increasingly important in the next five years not only career-wise, but socially as well. "Future skills" also include digitalization, life-cycle impact, and a perspective on society in terms of technical impact. These "future skills" prepare you to meet the challenges and job profiles in a VUCA world of the 21st century. VUCA is an acronym that refers to "volatility", "uncertainty", "complexity" and "ambiguity" and refers increasingly to our modern world. 

A special feature of engineering studies in Linz is that the Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences is embedded in the general university, guaranteeing that your time as a student includes frequent interaction with other academic areas at the JKU as well as at the Med campus.

Upper Austria is Austria's leading state in regard to the plastics industry. We generate 50% of the turnover in the national plastics industry. Over ten leading international companies have their main and/or research headquarters located here. Austrian companies, international companies, and research institutions work together with faculty members at the JKU's institutes for Polymer Engineering to jointly conduct research, creating a vibrant, exciting, and innovative environment.

In the area of education and research, you will experience the cutting-edge technology applied at the JKU, beginning with lightweight construction and demonstrated as part of cross-disciplinary activities in the area of a circular economy of plastics.

In general, you should have a basic interest in engineering and technology. Prospective students do not need any specific educational background aside from general university entrance qualifications. The program begins with broad, base-knowledge courses designed to teach foundations in engineering sciences. Hands-on courses ensure students can apply what they have learned to real-world practices.

Still Have Questions?

Do you need help registering or do you have questions about the program? Contact the JKU's Office of Student Information and Academic Advising (SIBS)!


... and sign up to receive the JKU Newsletter for prospective students! Everything you need to know about studying at the JKU, upcoming events. and what's new.

Advanced Degrees at the JKU

After completing your undergraduate degree, you can continue your education by pursuing an advanced degree:


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  • Bachelor's and Diploma Degree Programs at the JKU Linz


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