Abstract A protective coating has been developed to enhance the oxidation stability of C fibre reinforced SiC (C/C-SiC). The coating was prepared by pyrolysis of a polysilazane layer, which was obtained by dipcoating. Silicon powder was added to the polysilazane solution to prevent shrinkage during pyrolysis. The ceramic coating was characterized regarding layer thickness, adhesion, and oxidation protection for C-fibres. Under the prevailing conditions the thickness of the ceramic layer was determined to be up to 5 μm after one coating-pyrolysis cycle and could be increased by further coating. Additionally, the thickness could be varied by changing the viscosity of the polymer solution as well as the withdrawal speed. The highest values measured for the adhesion of the ceramic coating on the substrate were 14 MPa. The lifetime of the composite material at high temperatures in air could be increased by up to 120% with the coating, compared with the uncoated samples.