Science Communication at Bristol, University of the West of England - UCAS

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

Based in our world-class Science Communication Unit and led by expert staff currently working in this constantly evolving field, this flexible programme is directly informed by current practice to combine theory and practice, and gives you excellent access to our strong industry links. The Science Communication Unit at UWE Bristol is renowned for its innovative and diverse range of national and international activities designed to engage the public with science. Our MSc Science Communication course is an excellent opportunity to benefit from the Unit's expertise, resources and contacts. Superb surroundings Bristol is a hub for the science communication community. It's home to BBC Bristol, which produces a range of natural history programmes, including Life Story, and the popular science magazine, BBC Focus. Bristol is also home to the award-winning We The Curious, which the Unit has collaborated with over several years. As well as drawing on the academic and practical experience of staff within the Science Communication Unit, our MSc programme gives you an opportunity to meet a range of visiting lecturers and benefit from their practical experience. This also provides an excellent networking opportunity for students interested in developing contacts among science communication practitioners. The course combines a solid theoretical background with practical skill development, and has excellent links with the sectors and industries it informs. Visiting specialists also help you understand what they are looking for in future employees. Introductory modules provide a broad theoretical foundation in issues such as the rationale for public engagement with science, understanding the audience, the role of the media in society, communication theory and models of informal learning. You'll then have the opportunity to specialise by choosing from modules that cover practical skills related to taking science directly to the public, as well as new approaches to science communication such as digital media. This allows you to hone your practical skills and develop a portfolio that shows your expertise as a science communicator. In the Final year, you may choose to further develop your portfolio, for example by mounting a practical science communication project, or take on a more theoretical or research-based project, perhaps with an external science communication organisation. Inspirational and vocational The weaving together of theory and practice ensures the award is intellectually stimulating while providing the skills employers seek. Please contact Andy Ridgway at [email protected] to discuss your options.


The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change. You will study: Science and Society - Provides a theoretical perspective on the public understanding of science movement, transitions to public engagement, and formal and informal learning. Science, the Public and Media - Explores debates about the role of the media in society and opportunities for science communication, such as in science centres and museums. Plus, two optional modules from: Science on Air and on Screen - Build your radio, TV and digital skills by critically exploring the role of broadcast media in the communication of science. You'll also make an 'as live' radio magazine programme about science and a short film. Science in Public Spaces - Develop your own science communication initiative in this hands-on module from developing a creative concept, to seeking funding, and managing and evaluating a project. You'll explore a range of innovative approaches from sci-art, to museums, festivals to theatre. Writing Science - Improve your journalistic and other writing styles, including writing for news media, public relations and educational purposes, with a view to developing a portfolio, as well as working on a magazine project. You then undertake your Science Communication project. This is your opportunity to explore a specific aspect of science communication in depth, independently, but with tutor support. You can apply to carry out your project with an external organisation. Learning and Teaching Unlike most Master's courses in this area, the MSc Science Communication addresses the needs of working students. There are short, intensive teaching blocks of three to five days, and you can expect to attend three teaching sessions for each 30 credit module. If you study this programme part-time, you'll take two 30 credit modules each for two academic years. It's possible to complete the part-time course in two years by finishing your project during the summer of the second year, or you may prefer to take a third year. Full-time students take four taught modules and complete the project in 14 months. Group sessions are supplemented by directed and independent study, email discussions, tutorials and mentoring. See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms. Study time 12 - 18 months full-time or 30 - 42 months part-time. You'll attend three teaching blocks for each 30 credit course module. Teaching blocks are typically three days long, Thursday - Saturday.

Assessment method

The modules are assessed in a variety of ways, to reflect the theoretical concepts, knowledge and practical skills you'll develop. For example, through portfolios, reports and oral presentations all of which you can use to attract prospective employers. The ability to evaluate your own work and others' is critical to success in the workplace, and several assessments are designed to help you acquire these skills.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (at least 2:2) awarded by a UK institute of higher education, or equivalent. As science communication is a field that requires cross disciplinary knowledge, skills, and/ or experience, we accept students with a range of backgrounds across the sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences. For example, previous students have come from disciplines including natural and applied sciences, psychology, journalism, medicine, media studies, arts, mathematics, education, and engineering. We encourage you to contact the Programme Leader (via the entry for this course on the UWE Bristol website: if you would like clarification on whether you meet the entry requirements. If you do not meet the above entry requirements but have at least 12 months relevant professional experience and/or equivalent qualifications, we will consider your application on an individual basis.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

Fee information is to be confirmed. All fees are subject to final approval. Please visit our website for further information.
Science Communication at Bristol, University of the West of England - UCAS