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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5760M Ceramics, Polymers and Composites

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr N Warren

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective


The objectives of this module are to:
- apply a knowledge of the processing-microstructure-property relationship to the design of ceramic, polymeric and composite materials;
- illustrate the state-of-the-art in these materials and show how research has, and continues, to inform the design of these materials;
- develop the student's understanding of this process and provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate this in a project assignment.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module, students should:
1. understand the development of structural ceramics, polymers and composites;
2. appreciate the significance of market pull and technology push in the development of novel materials of these classes;
3. understand the traditional limitations on the properties which may be obtained in polymers and ceramic materials and how materials scientists may seek to circumvent these in the design of novel material in these classes and the development of composite materials;
4. understand the exploitation of the process-microstructure-properties relationship in the design of ceramics, polymers and composite materials with an appropriate combination of properties;
5. be aware of current research developments in materials science in this sector and its potential impact on design and technology;
6. survey and critically evaluate relevant scientific literature.


This module builds on the fundamental principles of materials science which students have studied earlier in the programme and applies and extends this to understanding the design of conventional and advanced ceramics, polymers and composite materials.

Structural ceramics: general considerations; oxide ceramics; silicon carbide.

Advanced Ceramics
Carbon and graphite.

Polymers: structural overview, categories and comment polymers; structural transitions: factors affecting the glass transition temperature in amorphous polymers; crystalline polymers; liquid crystal polymers.

Advanced Polymers
Polymerisation; characterisation of polymers; polymer solutions and mixtures; polymer processing.

Composites: elastic behaviour; strength; toughening.

Advanced Composites
Composites: micromechanics of strength and toughening; interfaces; laminates; creep; fatigue.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Example Class11.001.00
Problem Based Learning110.0010.00
Class tests, exams and assessment32.006.00
Independent online learning hours25.00
Private study hours70.00
Total Contact hours55.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent on-line blended learning which consolidates and extends the lecture material and allows students to assess their progress via integrated quizzes (on ceramics and composites);
Revision of lecture material in preparation for tests (20 hours);
Completion of worksheets and problem-based learning exercise (50 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance in formative quizzes integrated into on-line learning resources. Performance in tests and worksheets.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentTest 111.00
ProjectProblem based learning project45.00
In-course AssessmentTest 311.00
Problem SheetProblem Sheet22.00
In-course AssessmentTest 211.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

An individual project will be available for students who are required to re-sit a group project, which assesses the same learning outcomes but which will require an appropriately reduced time to complete; if this is permitted by the latest Code of Practice on Assessment.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/01/2022


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