Modern Nature (Q3323)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

What is the fate, and place, of nature in the modern world? How can art offer freedom, pleasure and critique as we live through precarious times?

This module takes its cue – and title – from the work of experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman. It addresses two forms of ‘nature’: the environment and human nature.

You’ll explore how poets, visual artists, novelists and others depict and reimagine these forms of nature, from the industrial revolution to today. Particularly, in moments of political, economic and environmental crisis.

Comparing texts from across this period, we examine how crises have shaped our modern ideas of nature – and how the resources of art and the imagination have responded.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 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: