Connections between science, creativity and the imagination

Module details

  • Offered to 1st years
  • Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
  • 8 weeks (spring term only)
  • Planned delivery: On-campus (South Kensington)
  • Non-credit only
How to enrol

This module will offer you a chance to think creatively and exercise and develop your imaginative faculties. It will provide a set of techniques, models and avenues for creative work. We examine some theories about where imaginative ideas come from, different literary and artistic forms, how to reuse and rework previous pieces of work, the contrasting values of constraint and liberation, possibilities for putting scientific work to creative use, and how technology has changed the way we create.

You will observe the work of several writers, artists and thinkers and to think carefully and critically about the way they achieve their results. You will be invited to put these ideas and techniques in to practice in your own work. The class will be a space for sharing ideas, interacting and collaborating.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be better able to:
  • Distinguish between different forms of creative thinking.
  • Examine a range of different possible techniques and starting points for imaginative work.
  • Propose and present ideas.
  • Devise and develop an imaginative piece of creative work.

Indicative core content

Pen and paper

  • Collaboration
  • Freedom and constraint
  • Reworking, recycling, updating
  • Prediction
  • Prospection
  • Map-making and Mind-map-making
  • Introspection

Learning and teaching approach

Each week you will look at the work of other students and discuss in class. You will also be invited to create a simple piece of creative work of your own in class time, one of which you then go on to develop into a final piece for assessment. The broadest possible range of interpretation will be encouraged in carrying out these creative tasks. We put an emphasis on collaboration, the first week’s topic being collaborative networks.
The module is also an opportunity for you to explore the concentration of cultural activity in the immediate vicinity of the campus, with one week of the module devoted to museum visits.
The module will be digitally augmented through a range of textual, graphic and internet sources presented in class time including YouTube videos and music. You will be encouraged to try out many different media for creative work including digital content. We will also make use of Imperial College’s tech forecasting technology in the ‘predictions’ week.
Both your creative piece and accompanying reflective analysis will be submitted through the module VLE. You will be supplied with written feedback through the VLE within two weeks of submission.


  • Coursework: Creative piece with 600-word reflective analysis of methods and process. (100%). 

Each week has a corresponding formative creative exercise attached to it. You will choose one of these for expansion into your final submission, which will comprise either a piece of imaginative writing or a graphic work. This will be accompanied by a 600 word reflective analysis of methods and processes.

Key information

  • ECTS value: 0
  • Requirements: You must be prepared to attend all classes and to spend about an hour a week preparing for each session
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 4 course. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌
"Brilliant teaching, used a range of methods to get students to think and come to our own conclusions."
"The module was wonderfully put together and covered a wide range of topics while still maintaining sufficient depth....the course has helped and motivated me to develop my creative thinking, while giving me the tools I would require if I were to set out on such an endeavour."