Thermal barrier coatings systems are composed of a zirconium dioxide-(6 to 8 wt.%) yttrium oxide ceramic top coat about 300-500 micrometer in thickness, deposited either by air plasma spraying or electron beam assisted physical vapour deposition, over an MCrAlY (M = Ni, Co or NiCo) bond coat, about 100 micrometer thick, deposited by vacuum plasma spraying. In this paper, the stiffness of as-sprayed zirconia is measured using three different techniques, namely cantilever beam bending, ultrasonic resonance and nanoindentation. The paper explores the effect of post-deposition heat treatment on the value obtained. The results show that the cantilever bend technique, employed with a high precision scanning laser method of displacement measurement, was found to be the most reliable procedure. Paper includes a German-language abstract.