Module code: ELI2038

Module Overview

This module explores the meanings and developments of science fiction throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as focusing on the relationship between this innovative form and the political and ethical issues addressed in the texts. Discussion and analysis will focus not only on what worlds or peoples are imagined in science fiction and why, but also on how such core features of science fiction have been developed, challenged and reconfigured by various political and historical movements and events (such as the cold war, feminism, black civil rights movements, imperial endeavours, global warming, among others). The module will give particular attention to technological developments and their relationship to the human, addressing the ways in which the human is rethought and reimagined through its interaction with technological innovation. Themes that will be addressed may include artificial intelligence, body modifications, alien species and/or worlds, dystopian and utopian imaginaries, future technologies, and struggles for freedom. Science fiction will therefore be engaged with through the lens of contemporary theories (such as postcolonialism, feminism, ecocriticism and posthumanism), as well as with attention to changing interpretations of the meaning of the genre in its diverse socio-political contexts. 

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

GENE-ROWE Francis (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 44

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 78

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 39

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content:


Week 1: The Beginning: Science Fiction’s Origins

Week 2: The Golden Age

Week 3: Dystopian Imaginaries

Week 4: Technological Promises and Fears

Week 5: Feminist Science Fiction

Week 6: Biopolitical Landscapes

Week 7: Visualising the Future

Week 8: Postcolonial Fantasy

Week 9: Postapocalyptic Despair and Hope

Week 10: Steampunk

Week 11: Essay Preparation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (2500 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.


Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in working as part of a group and practical/professional skills in expressing ideas and critical analysis in oral communication. It also assesses subject knowledge in the different forms of critical theory used in English literature and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in using theory in the close reading of literary texts.


The essay assesses subject knowledge in the different forms of critical theory used in contemporary literary analysis and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking. It also assesses practical/professional skills in expressing ideas and critical analysis in written communication and transferable skills in working independently. 


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Essay (2500 words)


Formative assessment and feedback

  • Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback in seminar


Students receive both written feedback and verbal feedback in tutorials that informs the final summative assessment, i.e. the essay.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: broaden and deepen students’ knowledge of the genre of science fiction;
  • increase knowledge and awareness of how science fiction reflects on and critiques broader socio-political concerns;
  • develop an understanding of theories relating to science fiction, particularly in relation to technologies and the human;
  • further students’ skills in terms of written communication and oral presentation;
  • strengthen students’ ability to undertake analytical and critical thinking and independent research;
  • further develop skills relating to team-working, coherent argumentation and project management.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will: have knowledge of and ability to analyse how science fiction engages with issues relating to technologies and the human K
002 Understand how to locate such analyses in their broader political, historical and socio-cultural contexts K
003 Gain a critical perspective on the role of this literary genre in reflecting on and critiquing contemporary socio-political issues C
004 Be able to structure and communicate complex arguments orally and in written form T
005 Be able to research, interpret, and evaluate sources, debates, and ideas independently and as part of a group PT
006 Have advanced skills in independent learning and time and project management P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. The weekly seminars involve student-led discussions that develop cognitive and analytical skills in analysing fiction in its historical, socio-political and cultural contexts. The seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints.

This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 5, is designed to develop subject knowledge through one-hour lectures and one-hour seminars and to develop transferable, practical, and professional skills, with an emphasis on sophisticated student-led involvement, critical analysis, discussion, and rhetorical ability.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2038

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email:

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.