The ideas behind a century of science fiction works and what they might tell us about our own future
- Offered to 1st years
- Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
- 8 weeks (autumn term only)
- Planned delivery: On-campus (South Kensington)
- Non-credit only
Science fiction has become a discipline for serious academic study. Its ability to address complex questions about the relationship between science and humanity is particularly pertinent as culture becomes increasingly enthralled by technology.
Focusing on Science fiction’s development throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, this module will take you through a representative sample of science fiction (novels, short stories, drama and film), looking at the different themes, techniques and sub-genres, examining their wider contexts and deeper meanings.
On successful completion of this module, you will be better able to:
- Identify key themes, genres and concepts to relevant science fiction literature
- Apply topics from social, technological, and political history to science fiction works
- Evaluate different speculative techniques from fiction
- Develop and create imaginative, speculative piece of writing using ideas from the module
Indicative core content
- Alien Encounters - ethical and political issues in alien narratives. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
- Artificial Humanity – a look into the philosophical issues relating to Artificial Intelligence in reality and in works like Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner
- Ecology – a look into the contemporary understanding of the eco-system as presented in thinkers like James Lovelock and in works like James Cameron’s Avatar
Learning and teaching approach
- Coursework: Essay - 1500–2000 words (100%)
- 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.
"The course has been fantastic. I enjoy exploring the sub-genres of science fiction."