Innovation Systems (N1077)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Science, technology and innovation (STI) play fundamental roles in our societies. STI are pervasive in our lifestyles and our social organisation and crucial for economic growth. However, until a few years ago science and technology had been regarded as external factors that social actors used at convenience without inquiring how they were created. 

In this module we will explore how science and technology are shaped by social forces and how science and technology shape social phenomena. The processes by which socio-economic and technological phenomena shape each other are complex and dependent on historical circumstances. In order to try to see through this complexity we will adopt systemic approaches taking on economic and sociological perspectives.

Innovation system and network approaches look into how various socio-economic actors (university, small spin-off firms, large corporations, governmental agencies, activist organisations and the wider public) interact with each other. For example, these interactions may lead to knowledge transfer, may result in the construction of new regulatory regimes or may lead to political conflicts. 

This module aims to 'open up' the black box of how science, technology and innovation (STI) to understand their emergence and show that STI can be created, directed and managed for diverse purposes, encouraging critical views on past and current STI uses.


67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar


20%: Coursework (Group presentation)
80%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: