In brane world scenarios the Friedmann equation is modified, resulting in an increased expansion at early times. This has important effects on cosmological phase transitions which we investigate, elucidating significant differences to the standard case. First order phase transitions require a higher nucleation rate to complete; baryogenesis and particle abundances could be suppressed. Topological defect evolution is also affected, though the current defect densities are largely unchanged. In particular, the increased expansion does not solve the usual monopole and domain wall problems.