Hack Space

Develop your technology and prototyping ideas

Module details

  • Offered to 2nd Years
  • Mondays 16.00-18.00
  • 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

In this module - open to all disciplines - students are introduced to the Advanced Hackspace’s resources. You will advance your prototyping skills and knowledge through a series of practical group projects.

This module offers you the opportunity to:

  • Work in teams to explore a series of worked examples and challenges;
  • Develop advanced experience of a range of prototyping tools including computer aided design (Fusion 360), 3D printing, laser cutting, physical computing, and deskilled prototyping technologies;
  • Build advanced level prototypes;
  • Conduct background research;
  • Critically evaluate your own ideas;
  • Present your ideas to an interdisciplinary audience.

This module is suitable for beginners, as well as those with previous experience.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Keep project notes and develop project plans as the course proceeds
  • Present a prototype device to an interdisciplinary audience
  • Work successfully in multidisciplinary teams
  • Have practical experience in a range of prototyping technologies and deskilled scientific tools
  • Critically evaluate both the failures and the successes of your project work. This will include assessing the pros and cons of competitors’ systems
  • Demonstrate confidence in working independently and developing your own ideas.


Indicative Core Content

Hack Space

The module is oriented around a practical and interdisciplinary project where you will form teams and learn a range of skills required to construct a technology which is either a potential product or of relevance to a research challenge in science, technology and medicine.

You will be given opportunities to learn about prototyping and deskilled technologies with which you are unfamiliar including computer aided design, 3D-printing, laser cutting, physical computing and PCB design.

Following an ideation process you will propose a prototyping idea that interests you. The ideation exercise will be “push-pull pre-seeded” by highlighting recent research breakthroughs from Imperial (push) and also by connecting with short-lists of industry challenges (pull).

Once a prototype idea is selected your group will construct of a first order prototype and demonstrate its functionality giving you vital experience of how new technologies are portrayed to potential end users. You will be introduced to project management tools and online collaborative tools in order to aid progress.


  • Practical: Presentation - video demonstration (10%)
  • Coursework: Project plan (10%)
  • Coursework: Successes and failures document (20%)
  • Practical: Demo presentation (20%)
  • Coursework: Project write up (40%)

Key information

  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]
"Amazing course. Get to practise and learn a wide variety of useful and practical skills."
"Very good course for learning basic practical skills to then use to make and prototype ideas, also serves as a great induction to the Advanced Hackspace and how to make the most of it."
"I've really enjoyed the course so far...all the staff are lovely and there's such a calm atmosphere, its a real highlight in my week!"
"A really fun and interesting module that I really enjoy learning."