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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5760M Ceramics, Polymers and Composites

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr GM Kale

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

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.

Engineering Ceramics
Structural ceramics: general considerations; oxide ceramics; nitrides, carbides, borides and silicides; carbon ceramics: graphitic and diamond; glasses and glass ceramics.

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

Polymer Chemistry
Polymerisation; characterisation of polymers; polymer solutions and mixtures; polymer processing.

Elastic behaviour; strength; toughening; micromechanics of strength and toughening; interfaces; laminates; creep; fatigue.

Composite Materials
Discontinuous and continuous reinforcement; laminates; properties and processing of polymer, metal and ceramic matrix composites.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Problem Based Learning14.004.00
Class tests, exams and assessment22.004.00
Independent online learning hours55.00
Private study hours77.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent on-line blended learning which consolidates and extends the formal material and allows students to assess their progress via integrated formative quizzes (25 hours);
Note-taking and revision of online material in preparation for summative tests (27 hours);
Completion of worksheets and problem-based learning exercise (50 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

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

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentTest 130.00
ProjectProblem based learning project40.00
In-course AssessmentTest 230.00
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.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/11/2023


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