BSc Materials Science and Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Composite & Advanced Materials

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS31301
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit covers composite materials and structural ceramics and their mechanical behaviour.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide the student with an understanding of the principles underlying the behaviour of composite materials and advanced structural ceramics.
  • Introduce the basic micromechanics of long and short fibre composites.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group tutorials (problem sessions), recommended textbooks, web resources, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard), peer-assisted study sessions (PASS), practical laboratory classes.



Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe the nature and behaviour of composite materials.
  • Apply basic micromechanics to describe the mechanical properties of structural ceramics, particulate- and fibre- reinforced composites.
  • Apply basic modelling approaches to describe elastic and post yield behaviour of a range of composite materials.


Intellectual skills

  • Show improved logical reasoning, problem solving and ability in applied mathematics.
  • Apply simple models to predict the mechanical properties of composite materials.

Practical skills

  • Develop the ability to communicate scientific subjects

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Solve problems utilising methods learned in lecture.
  • Assess results critically by relating learned knowledge with current scientific papers.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Feedback given verbal and written

Recommended reading

“Introduction to Composite Materials”, D. Hull, T.W. Clyne. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996.
“Ceramic Matrix Composites”, K.K. Chawla, Chapman & Hall, 1993

  • “Introduction to Polymers”, Chapter 24, R.J. Young, P.A. Lovell, CRC Press, 2011
  • “Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Composites”, F.C. Campbell, Elsevier, 2004.
  • “Composite Materials: Functional Materials for Modern Technologies”, D. Chung, Springer, 2003.
  • “An Introduction to the Mechanical Properties of Ceramics”, David J. Green, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Composite Materials: Engineering and Science, F. L. Matthews and R. D. Rawlings, 1994.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Venkata Potluri Unit coordinator

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