DSCY10020 Science revolutions

Academic Year 2020/2021

Science has frequently progressed by revolution. Often the scientist has not been able to reconcile their contribution to theory with their own beliefs, but is forced to accept new ideas as a result of evidence or discovery. This module considers historical aspects of modern science with an emphasis on our changing view of the universe, from the astronomy of the ancient Greeks to Galileo’s battle with the Church, from Newton’s universal law of gravity to Einstein’s relativity and the ‘big bang’ model of the cosmos. The theories of quantum mechanics and evolution, the treatment of women in research and the role of perspective in the writing of history will also feature in the module.

How will I learn?
• The module uses a range of approaches to teaching and learning including traditional faculty-led seminars, group work, student presentations, experiential learning and case studies

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how new theories are generated, how revolutions in science occur and how history treats scientists, depending on the other circustnces of their lives.
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the impact of developments in the fields of cosmology, quantum mechanics and evolutionary biology.
• Demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly with others about the significance of these revolutionary changes in scientific theory.

Indicative Module Content:

Cosmology & Astrophysics
Atomic Physics and the Quantum Revolution

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
A series of 2-hour lectures and open discussion fora.
Collaborative work for assessment including group report writing and poster preparation 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Group work Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Continuous assessment Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Cormac O'Raifeartaigh Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Jonathan Yearsley Lecturer / Co-Lecturer