The module aims to develop an in depth understanding of the important role played by functional and ceramic materials in a range of applications in the areas of energy and communications. It will develop the concepts introduced in the Level 1 'Properties and Applications of Materials', 'Fundamentals of Materials: Structure', and 'Introduction to Magnetic and Electronic Materials' modules.The approach will be to study in detail a number of key technologically important applications such as fuel cells, solar cells, data storage devices and optical communications. In each case fabrication and processing routes appropriate for each group of materials in the particular application area or device will be introduced and the important links between processing, microstructure and properties will be quantified. Materials to be studied will include ionic and electronic conducting ceramics, semiconductors, materials for optical and magnetic storage media and high quality optical fibres. The range of applications will require detailed exploration of thin film, thick film, bulk and fibre processing routes. The important underlying scientific concepts for each application area will be elucidated.