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Powder-diffraction methods have demonstrated an ever increasing range of applications in materials science, chemistry, physics, life sciences and engineering. Modern synchrotron-radiation methods not only provide data of exceptional quality, but have allowed researchers to perform previously inaccessible experiments. Along with determining the atomic structure and the relative abundance of crystalline phases in bulk samples, information on disordered materials, microstructural features, defects and their evolution in response to external stimuli over a wide range of timescales is now possible. The school, to be held at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, will give a broad overview of all the modern possibilities using synchrotron radiation, starting with a general theoretical introduction to the various methods and applications.