The IRC has carried out a major research programme over the last ten or so years aimed at developing the processing and optimisation of TiAl-based alloys. This work has covered melting, the production of shaped castings, powder processing and a range of thermomechanical processing routes in parallel with alloy development. In this paper the work aimed at understanding the factors that influence the properties of thermo-mechanically processed and cast samples of TiAl-based alloys will be reviewed. It is shown that the use of boron to control the grain size of castings leads to limited ductility in the stronger and more highly alloyed TiAl alloys because ribbon-like borides up to 200µm in length can be formed. It is also shown that although a fully lamellar microstructure offers a good balance of properties their plastic anisotropy leads to pre-yield fracture and to reduced fatigue life. It is clear that grain size control is essential if an acceptable balance of properties is to be obtained but that if casting is to be used grain refinement via boron addition is not totally satisfactory. A simple heat treatment can be used to refine the microstructure of cast boron-free alloys, which leads to ductility comparable with that in wrought samples and the associated convoluted microstructure should also eliminate pre-yield cracking.