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Module description

This course provides an introduction to the tools and principles of biomimicry, a new discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human design challenges and to inspire innovative solutions. You will learn how nature can inspire design concepts that you will be able to apply to develop novel products, processes and organisations. In this module you will learn how to apply and adapt ecological concepts to business and innovation strategies, discovering that biomimicry is a methodology used by some of the most innovative organizations worldwide.

Full module specification

Module title:Biomimicry
Module code:BEP3130
Module level:3
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

This module aims to engage you on how to learn from nature. You will be inspired to create novel sustainable design, organizations and enterprises trough accessing the wealth of ecological information available and applying it effectively to product and business design. This module introduces biomimicry, a new discipline that emulates nature's best ideas and blueprints in order to solve human and societal challenges.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Synthesise multiple perspectives of biomimetic design in response to business and organisational challenges
  • 2. Explain how an ecological worldview and biomimicry can help to shape sustainable and innovative business strategies

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Critically assess innovative solutions inspired by nature
  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the links between ecological dynamics and socio-economic challenges

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Demonstrate the use of ecological-inspired problem-solving techniques
  • 6. Use digital tools & resources to create original content and argument in academic and social activities

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity16 (2 hours per week)Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity4 (1 hour each)Class room experiments with discussion
Guided Independent Study130 hoursReading, research and assessment preparation - both revision for examination and assessment production

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation30 mins1-6Tutor feedback via ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Time Constrained Assessment (TCA)702 hours1-6Tutor feedback via ELE
Report302000 words1-6Tutor feedback via ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Time Constrained Assessment (2 hours) (70%)Time Constrained Assessment (2 hours) (70%)1-6July/August
Report (30%) (2000 words)Report (30%) (2000 words)1-6July/August

Syllabus plan

Topics discussed on the module include (not exclusively):


  • Introduction to biomimicry
  • Biomimicry and complexity
  • Biomimicry in organisation
  • Biomimetic design
  • Biomimetic innovation
  • Unifying patterns, strategies and functions
  • Biomimicry and grand challenges

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Benyus, J. M. (1997). Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature. New York: Morrow.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Kennedy, E., Fecheyr-Lippens, D., Hsiung, B. K., Niewiarowski, P. H., & Kolodziej, M. (2015). Biomimicry: A path to sustainable innovation. Design Issues31(3), 66-73.
  • Hayes, S., Desha, C., & Baumeister, D. (2020). Learning from nature–Biomimicry innovation to support infrastructure sustainability and resilience. Technological Forecasting and Social Change161, 120287.
  • Volstad, N. L., & Boks, C. (2012). On the use of Biomimicry as a Useful Tool for the Industrial Designer. Sustainable Development20(3), 189-199.

Origin date


Last revision date