Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc

Science Communication

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • A course run by internationally-recognised science communication experts and practitioners.
  • An innovative mix of taught and hands-on classes, seminars and workshops that enable students to develop their own skills as science communicators.
  • Support and expertise in helping students to build up a portfolio of science communication activities
  • Specialisms offered in a range of science communication areas including medical writing, journalism and SciArt.
  • Opportunities to work with external organisations to develop genuine and effective science communication strategies.
  • A personalised and supportive network designed to enhance your employment prospects.

About the course

Typical units of study may include:

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

Click below for this year’s unit information

Core Units
Live Project

This unit will provide the you with the opportunity to utilise, integrate and apply skills and knowledge from all previous units to work on a live project relevant to your interest and professional development needs. To achieve this, you will work with an external client, to develop and deliver an innovative science communication solution. This could also take the form of piece of academic research in the field of science communication. You will also be supported in this activity by a tutor in the development of a project development plan.

Practical Science Communication

In this unit you will design, create, and evaluate an innovative outreach or public engagement activity for dissemination to the general public

Science and Society

In this unit you will learn how to communicate science effectively to a variety of audiences in an engaging manner, using a variety of media.

Science Communication as an Academic Discipline

This unit will allow you to develop the skills and methodologies necessary to conduct academic research in the field of science communication

Likely Optional Units
Medical Writing

This unit is designed to improve analytical, critical and interpretive skills when working with medical data. You will also gain a working knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry.

SciArt

In this unit you will learn about the interdisciplinary field of SciArt through the creation of exemplars that demonstrate the possibility of what can be achieved by the interplay of both disciplines.

Science Journalism

Successful journalism requires the ability to tell a story that is accurate, fair, interesting and verifiable. This unit provides the core skills to achieve this, with particular emphasis on the print medium.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment on this programme will be innovative, stimulating, focussed and above all relevant to your studies. It will take into account your knowledge and employability prospects, with presentations, portfolios and live projects all contributing to ensuring that you have a useful and varied body of work to present to potential employers upon graduation.

Teaching Staff

Additional Information About this Course

All students will have the option of a free DBS check.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www.sci-eng.mmu.ac.uk/research_enterprise_and_innovation/staff_list/

Typical entry requirements

Applicants will normally have at least a second-class UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) in any subject but with evidence of an interest in science. Relevant work or entrepreneurial experience will also be considered. All applications will be considered on their own merit.

If you have non-UK qualifications, visit mmu.ac.uk/international

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Career options after the course

The academic team uses information gained from alumni, graduate destinations and also from industry regarding graduate prospects for science communication students. This information is used to inform curriculum design, e.g. in the development of the curriculum for employability. The programme provides the foundations for future study or advancement on to a variety of professional pathways, including working in outreach or public engagement. In particular, this MSc in Science Communication can lead to career opportunities in medical communications, science journalism, science communication research, science advocacy, and scientific publishing.

Four possible career paths are laid out below:

  1. Following the SciArt unit (6J7Z0006) a student might decide that they want to become a SciArt practitioner or curator. This unit has been designed with SciArt practitioners, and gives the students the opportunity to both analyse SciArt as a discipline, and to develop and curate their own pieces. The student could then choose their live project (6J7Z0004) so that it gave them relevant experience, either by working with a SciArt practitioner to develop an installation piece of display with one of the industrial partners, or by working with an external client to help curate an upcoming SciArt exhibition. As a result of the live project the student would have gained relevant vocational experience, and would also have developed a network of industrial contacts, both of which would set them apart as SciArt practitioners and curators upon graduation.

  2. Following the Medical Writing unit (6J7Z0005), a student might decide that they want to pursue a career in medical communications. This unit has been designed in close collaboration with our industrial partners, and will provide the student with the specific skills that are desired by the medical communication industry. The student could then choose their live project (6J7Z0004) to work with one of our medical communications industrial partners, thereby providing them with direct vocational experience and further networking opportunities. Upon graduation, the student would then be extremely well positioned to gain employment in the medical communications industry.

  3. Following the Science Journalism unit (6J7Z0007) a student might decide that they want to pursue a career in science journalism. This unit will have provided the student with the analytical and writing skills that are necessary to compose effective and engaging scientific news journalism articles. The student could then choose their live project (6J7Z0004) to work with one an external client that would enable them to further hone their scientific journalism skills and contacts. Such a project might involve working with a local media organisation or the University press office. These skills and contacts that were developed by the student would help to ensure that they were well placed for successful employment following graduation.

  4. A student might decide that they want to pursue a career as a public engagement officer for a science company or institute. The student could then choose their live project (6J7Z0004) so that it gave them the opportunity to work with one of our industrial partners, either working alongside their own public engagement officers, or else developing the role themselves as part of the project. Upon graduation the student would then have relevant vocational experience that would help to set them apart from the competition in terms of employment. The live project would have enabled them to develop a series of contacts that are essential in the competitive industry of science communication. In addition to this the core units will provide a good grounding for a range of opportunities in science communication and public engagement.

By working closely with industry representatives, we will be able to ensure that we are kept up-to-date on the employability skills and requirements that will maximise graduates’ chances of successful employability. We will use this information, as well as local intelligence to continually update the programme, using it to inform the curriculum content as well as the teaching, learning and assessment strategy. The involvement of the industrial representatives will mean that the programme continues to be relevant, and that upon graduation the students are extremely well prepared for employment in the sector.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.