Science and Literature (Q3279)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module explores how literary texts have engaged with science from the 19th Century to the present, from Edgar Allan Poe’s detective fiction to H.G. Wells’ 'The Time Machine' and Margaret Atwood’s 'Oryx and Crake'.

We will consider how literary modes and genres such as realism and utopia developed in dialogue with scientific knowledge and practices. We will discuss how science can be a form of literature, examining the roles of narrative, language and metaphor in scientific texts by authors such as Darwin.

In addition, we will analyse how literature and science have been imagined as different or overlapping forms of knowledge.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: