Connections between science, creativity and the imagination

Module details

  • Offered to 1st years
  • Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
  • 8 weeks (spring term only)
  • 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. 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. The output for this class will be a piece of creative writing, artistic or design work emerging from one of the weeks of the module.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Distinguish in discussion with peers and facilitator between different forms of creative thinking.
  • Examine a range of different possible techniques and starting points for imaginative work.
  • Integrate concepts using self-directed primary and secondary research.
  • Have confidence to present your creative ideas in front of others, evidenced by class creative activities.
  • Apply key concepts, research, feedback and perseverance to produce an imaginative piece of creative work.

Indicative core content

Pen and paper The course will be divided up into a variety of general imaginative techniques, styles, genres or strategies. Each week will concentrate on a different technique that can encompass several different genres.

  • Collaboration. The potential for creation and innovation that comes from interaction and collaboration with others
  • Freedom and constraint. How artistic freedom and artistic constraint can aid the imagination
  • Reworking, recycling, updating. Examining ways of creating new work out of reworking older and even ancient texts
  • Prospection. How an examination of historical patterns can produce visions of the future
  • Introspection. Looking at what can happen when the imaginative gaze is turned inward


  • Final creative exercise (80%). Each week has a corresponding creative exercise attached to it. You will choose one of these for your final submission. This will be accompanied by a 600 word critical analysis that shows insight and reflexivity about the creative process
  • Class participation (20%): constructive participation in class discussion and exercises, group work, peer feedback, use of Blackboard and completion of required class preparation

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. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]
"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."