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IL907 - Habitability in the Universe

  • Module code: IL907
  • Module name: Habitability in the Universe
  • Department: Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning
  • Credit: 10, 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module will draw together concepts of habitability from across the university, starting in our own Solar System and exploring how we find and understand habitable planets in the wider galaxy using modern telescopes. We will look at life at the extremes, considering extremophiles on Earth, and what they might tell us about habitable conditions elsewhere, before approaching the sustainability and long term habitability of our own planet. From this initial exploration of the realities of habitability, we will turn to our own reactions to it. Popular culture is replete with the idea of the other, within our normal environment and outside of it. A sense of precariousness underpins literature and film, from Jules Verne to Ridley Scott’s The Martian. In cinema, the development of special effects is closely linked to the presentation of alien life and other worlds. Finally, even the ideas of politics are affected: how should we organise a growing settlement on another planet, where small mistakes can rapidly lead to failure and death?"

Timetabled teaching activities

The module takes place over 10 weekly two-hour lectures and seminars

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
10 CATS (Module code: IL907-10)
A (Assessed work only) 1500 word Essay/Report/Literature Review 60%
  Student Presentation (15 mins) 40%
20 CATS (Module code: IL907-20)
A (Assessed work only) 2500 word Essay/Report/Literature Review 60%
  Student Presentation (15 mins) 40%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core