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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5705M Phase Transformations and Microstructural Control

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Professor AM Mullis

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


The objectives of this module are to:
- understand the physical and chemical principles underlying phase transformations in materials;
- understand how phase transformations may be exploited to produce materials with specific microstructures to yield desired properties;
- understand how control over phase transformations may be exerted by an appropriate choice of processing route.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module, students should:
- understand the thermodynamic, kinetic and morphological principles underpinning phase transformations from the vapour, liquid and solid states;
- understand how phase transformations may be controlled to produce a specific microstructure in metals, ceramics, polymers and composites;
- be able to apply these principles in understanding the design and capabilities of materials processing techniques.


- The importance phase transformations;
- Elements of a phase transformation;
- Thermodynamic order of a phase transformation;
- Diffusion;
- Thermodynamics: equilibrium; phase diagrams and driving forces; effect of surfaces and interfaces on equilibrium;
- Kinetics of first and second order phase transformations: diffusive and displacive transformations; nucleation; growth; transformation rate;
- Microstructural development during transformations from the vapour, liquid and solid states;
- Controlling microstructural development in materials processing through phase transformations.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Problem Based Learning72.0014.00
Independent online learning hours28.00
Private study hours76.00
Total Contact hours46.00
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 (28 hours);
Revision of lecture material in preparation for tests (20 hours);
Case study (40 hours);
Reading of background materials (16 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Performance in formative tutorial and practical classes and in formative quizzes integrated into on-line learning resources. Performance in tests.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Case StudyCase Study30.00
Online AssessmentTest10.00
Online AssessmentTest10.00
Online AssessmentTest10.00
Online AssessmentTest10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:30


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