Science Fiction, Science Fact - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assessment (45%) , Test - 11 on-line tests (55%)

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,131.00
HECS 1,131.00
International 1,381.00

From Jules Verne to Star Trek, science fiction has proven to be remarkably prescient in developing new technologies, and shaping attitudes towards that technology. You will also study why certain predictions did not come true. This unit uses ideas from science fiction to inform and educate you about key concepts in science and technology in an on-mathematical way. You will explore not only the limits imposed by physics, but also some of the ways that science fiction has inspired ways to be at those limits. Examples include teleportation, quantum computing, time travel and warp drives.

This unit will enable you to better understand the role of science and technology  in shaping the future ,gain an understanding of the scientific process, recognise the importance of multidisciplinary research teams for solving some of the society’s biggest technological challenges, and help them take their place in Designing the Future.

This unit will develop the following capabilities:

  1. An understanding of the role of scientific progress in modern and future society
  2. Improved critical analysis and problem solving skills
  3. Effective communication both orally and in writing.

On successfully completing this unit, you will have a better understanding of the scientific method and using scientific principles, be able to describe what limits are imposed by physics to concepts commonly found in science fiction.

  • Assessment (45%)
  • Test — 11 on-line tests (55%)

A knowledge of secondary school mathematics is assumed

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The History of Science Fiction
2Suspended Animation & Cryogenics
3Life, but not as we know it
4Faster than Light Travel
5Combat in space

Each unit offered through OUA provides students with unit information that includes assessment topics and due dates, policy information and contact numbers for university support and academic staff. Study materials will also clearly outline each week's topic, readings, student activities and the format of all assessment.

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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