A Line of people holding hands against a sunset on a beach

Explore how understanding yourself, others and different cultures can increase your impact as a Change Maker.

Module details

  • Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
  • Thursdays 16.00-18.00
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington) & Online
  • Two-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

How do you innovate and create impactful change for other people and communities? How much can you know and understand about the experience of others? How can learning about yourself and your own experiences help you be more sensitive to the needs and experiences of others?

This module encourages you to recognise your own sense of self and positionality in your engagement with others. You will develop self awareness and self knowledge and have the opportunity to explore your own views about other people and the world around you. You will reflect on your own identity, as well as your lived experiences of equality, resistance and difference. You will consider how this informs your views about other people, and explore how possible it might be to understand people with different experiences to you. You will think about how to work with, design for and innovate while holding these differences and unknowable factors in mind. These experiences will be contextualised by critical theory - such as feminist, queer, disability, postcolonial, ecological, Marxist and post-humanist theory, and we will consider how culture and society shape our interactions with others. In particular we will consider stereotyping, personal and global positionality and power. You will have the opportunity to create a critical biography that demonstrates your engagement with another person or community in the medium of your choice.

This module will be delivered with a mixture of on campus sessions and online drop in and review sessions. This will allow us to spend time together and enjoy working in person, but will also give us some flexibility to join sessions remotely as needed. We will therefore be developing specific skills to support both in person and online working. All sessions will be fully interactive and will include individual and team work and lots of interaction with the lecturer. We will make full use of our virtual classroom throughout, which will be our main point of contact and collaboration. See the Change Makers handbook for more information about our virtual classroom on Basecamp.

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

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

  • Explore different aspects of your own and others' lived experiences with compassion and curiosity
  • Understand and apply a range of theoretical lenses to your own and others' experiences and identities
  • Critically analyse others' experiences and identities, retaining awareness of what it might not be possible to know or understand
  • Develop your reflective and creative skills to create a biographical work
  • Develop your collaborative and independent working skills

As a class, we will explore some key theoretical ideas and reflective methodologies to help you curate your own personalised learning experience that will take you forward into your biographical project. The critical theories might include but are not limited to intersectionality, feminist theory, queer theory, disability theory, marxist theory, post colonial theory, and ecological theory. We will explore sociocultural constructs and considerations such as gender, sexuality, neuro-normativity, religion, ethnicity and attitudes to family. We will consider how experience and identity change over time and impact the way that we view ourselves and others, considering in particular our positionality in relation to our studies, work, careers and the wider world.

This module will provide a safe and inclusive space for you to explore (privately and in collaboration and discussion with others) your own and others' lived experience. In-class activities will help you consider different aspects of identity and experience. Although you will be provided with a range of critical theories and ideas to structure your thinking and analysis, you will be able to select the perspectives and ideas that are most interesting to you for further consideration. 

Workshop sessions will be used to introduce critical and cultural theory and ideas, and to help you reflect on your current identity as a student at Imperial, as well as to consider your previous experiences and imagine your own future(s). 

You will have lots of opportunity for in-depth discussion and for private reflection. All assessments are completed during class time with extensive individually tailored feedback and the support of the module leader.

We recognise the interrelated nature of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and do not consider individual SDGs in isolation.  We adopt a systems-based approach that recognises their cross-cutting nature.

In this module you will have the opportunity to focus how your own experience can help you develop an understanding of the perspectives of others and what this might mean for creating sustainable change in the world around us.

In particular, we may reflect on issues related to SDG 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action),  SDG 14 (Life Below Water), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

In your final project, you will be able to select which SDG you wish to focus on.

You will be encouraged to keep a journal during the module, completed in class time each week. A range of reflective techniques will be introduced to help you explore different types of journalling. This will not be graded but will help you complete the reflective submission, where you will be given six prompts to respond to – which may draw from your journal or you may answer separately. You can respond to the questions in writing, visual or multimedia submissions with the equivalent 100-200 words. 

You will also complete a biographical project about another individual or community. The project will be of your own design, but must demonstrate personal reflection, biographical insights and engagement with a critical theory of your choice. You may submit in any media, with an equivalent word length of 1200 words. This will be accompanied by a structured questionnaire submission to elicit the technical details of your project of no more than 800 words in length. Completing the required elements and technical aspects in the questionnaire leaves you free to be as creative as you like in your project submission. 

  • Practical: Reflective submission - short responses to six prompts maximum, equivalent to 100-200 words per question (20%)
  • Practical: Project Questionnaire - approximately 800 words (40%)
  • Practical: Biographical Multimedia Project - self designed project, equivalent to 1200 words (40%)

All assessments are completed in class time with extensive individually tailored feedback and support from the module leader. This doesn’t mean that you need to complete your work sitting in silence in the classroom – rather it means that you are given the class time to flexibly work on your assignments. Sometimes you might want to work in the classroom or online with your teacher or with other students – but sometimes you might prefer to work at home, in another space or even at another time of the week. The key thing is that you have the support of your teacher on hand for unlimited feedback and support during the time period when you are working on your assessment, and there will be optional activities provided in the classroom that will assist you in completing the assignment to the best of your ability. Within the class there will always be space for quiet working, as well as more social and collaborative spaces.

  • 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 6 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌‌