The fields of science communication and public engagement are currently enjoying unprecedented growth. This is being driven by a greater need to demonstrate the impact of publicly funded research, the need for science to be valued, increased government scrutiny and a desire for a stronger evidence base for policy decisions. Many career opportunities are emerging at the interface between science and various stakeholder groups and ever more creative methodologies for science engagement are being explored.
Our part-time online distance learning programme provides an opportunity to gain a formal qualification in science communication without having to leave your job or move to a different location. You may elect to begin with the Post-Graduate Certificate in the first instance and then decide to study for a Diploma and/or a Master’s degree. You will engage with other students from around the world, from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds and you will enjoy a rich learning experience while studying on the programme.
You will experience a variety of science communication and public engagement methodologies and issues. In the process, you will develop critical thinking and self-evaluation skills through reflective practice. Your learning in individual courses is transferable, ensuring interconnection across the programme, thus providing opportunities for deeper learning and for the application of key principles in different contexts.
The programme attracts students from across the globe, from a range of academic and professional backgrounds and provides a formal qualification for those working in science communication and public engagement or a conversion route for those interested in moving into this field.
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
The programme can be studied to PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters level – if you are interested, in a formal qualification in science communication then sign up for our Post Graduate Certificate. You can then opt to continue to the Diploma and the Masters degree.
Year 1 (Certificate) - courses currently on offer include:
Year 2 (Diploma) - courses currently on offer include:
Year 3 (Masters)
To address the need for effective science communication and public engagement with science, there has been a significant rise in opportunities available for professionals with the specialist knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to pursue roles at the interface between scientific research and public.
These roles can be found in, for example, Higher Education Institutions, Research Centres, Museums, Science Centres, Learned Societies and consultancies for democratic decision-making. Examples of specific roles are engagement managers, information and education officers, policy and knowledge brokers, in addition to the traditional science communicator role.
The field of science communication and public engagement with science is currently enjoying unprecedented growth.
This is driven by a greater need to demonstrate the impact of publicly funded research, the need for research to be valued, increased government scrutiny and a desire for a stronger evidence base for policy.
Many career opportunities are emerging at the interface between scientific research and various public groups.
You will experience a variety of science communication and public engagement issues and methodologies. In the process, you will develop critical thinking skills and self-evaluation skills through reflective practice.
The learning gained from one course is transferable to other courses, thus ensuring interconnection across the programme.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Academies.
This MSc is a twelve-month programme, divided into three semesters. The final semester consists of a choice of research-or practice-based project. Students also complete placements in an organisational setting.
Teaching methods contain a blend of lectures, individual and small-group activities, and practice-based sessions. Teaching styles will be designed to ‘model’ the practices in science communication and public engagement.
Students will also complete two placements in public engagement workplaces.
The University of Edinburgh has excellent links with many organisations and placement opportunities include: National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh International Science Festival and placements in policy and education.
There has been a significant rise in opportunities available for scientists with the specialist knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to pursue roles at the interface between scientific research and the public.
These roles can be found in, for example, higher education institutions, museums, science centres, learned societies and consultancies for democratic decision-making.
Examples of specific roles include Engagement Managers, Information and Education Officers, Policy and Knowledge Brokers.
Over the last 25 years, science communication has expanded from a field of public intellectuals, celebrity scientists, broadcast media professionals and event producers to a global industry of ground-breaking artists, games developers, disruptive creators, radical curators, social entrepreneurs and citizen scientists. Developed in partnership with industry, this part-time, distance learning course will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to take advantage of excellent job prospects in this growing field.
Studying this MSc will provide you with the opportunity to accelerate your career and become part of a worldwide community which is pushing the boundaries of science communication through new and emerging technologies. You will gain practical and transferable skills informed by theory, a creative portfolio and access to world-class professional networks to progress your career in science communication. You will become mindful of the ethical challenges that new communication systems might pose to achieving sustainable development goals for health and wellbeing, gender equality and communities.
Through a selection of specifically designed modules, you will learn about the importance of involving the public in the co-creation of citizen science projects, explore the increasing trend of locating science within festivals, examine how art and science come together to innovate, and explore digital storytelling strategies for communicating science. Additionally, you will investigate how science writing and journalism has changed in a digital era, and focus on contemporary matters of global concern in science communication. All modules aim for you to develop and enhance your public portfolio through a range of creative projects.
Science communication is an expanding field and, as such, there are many exciting career prospects working in science journalism, public engagement, events production, science publishing and within the media, to name a few. Our academics have strong networks in the field and, as the course is delivered in collaboration with industry experts and professional science communicators, you can be sure that the skills and knowledge you gain are those you need to forge a successful career in the field and stay ahead of the curve. This course aims to bridge the #scicomm digital skills gap in an era where digital fluency, critical thinking, and creative innovation make professionals stand out from the crowd.
This science communication masters focuses on the areas of communication, media management, public engagement, emerging technologies, global challenges, digital literacy and creative practice.
We offer awards to help you study through our:
There are also other sources of funding available to you.
For more information please see our funding section.
This science communication MSc is designed to equip the modern science communicator with the practical skills and theoretical grounding to carry out science communication, public engagement and policy roles in a wide range of institutions, from Universities to science festivals, museums and galleries to research funders, science and health charities, NGOs and science businesses spanning education, entertainment, PR/ advocacy and sustainable development.
Science communication professionals contribute to a wide range of industries including:
Graduates could undertake roles (within these sectors and others) such as:
This programme has been designed to provide an integrated, coherent and multidisciplinary approach to public health activity. It will have an emphasis on advancing critical awareness and problem solving skills in order to develop innovative, reflective and pro-active approaches to meeting challenging and complex health needs. Examples include critical health issues such as obesity and mental health, and those linked with public protection such as climate change and infectious diseases.
It will be delivered by a range of teaching methods such as core lectures, group work, online activities, use of case studies and directed learning approaches. Shared learning with other professionals will be a focus of this course and students will be encouraged to develop a critical, evaluative approach to the knowledge which underpins present-day public health practice.
This postgraduate award prepares students for a career in Public Health at both strategic and operational levels. The full MSc consists of five compulsory modules, and two designated modules. Compulsory modules are those which every student must undertake. Designated modules are those that have been identified as offering a range of public health topics which students can choose dependent on their experience and specialism.
All modules (except the Dissertation) incorporate 200 hours of learning, which includes taught sessions as well as self-directed independent study and assignment preparation. Furthermore, (included in the 200 hours) are six study days, in which students are expected to either attend lectures or work online on electronic activities via the online learning environment, NILE.
The teaching team have created a flexible and challenging Public Health programme, which involves face-to-face teaching, workshops and tutorials, as well as three of the core modules having an extensive self-directed online component. Opportunities exist to undertake a volunteering post within a Public Health environment and to gain experience of working within a Non-Governmental Organisation whilst ‘giving back’ to the vulnerable in society.
Embedded within the course are sessions from the University Centre for Employability and Engagement (UCEE), who offer support and advice to students in both cohort groups and on a one-to-one basis for; CV writing, interview techniques and help with locating a volunteer placement. These skills are invaluable when it comes to applying for employment or PhD study.
-Leading Public Health Practice
-Leadership: The People Challenge
-Principles and Perspectives of Health Promotion
-Research Methods – Philosophy and Study Design
-Comparative Health Care Systems
-Substance Use and Misuse
-Therapeutic Communication Interventions
-Voluntary Sector Placement
-Innovations and Creativity
-Managing Advanced Professional Practice
The programme is offered through a full time or part time route. The part time programme is through flexible modular delivery which enables part time students to access modules at a pace that suits individual needs. The full time programme is more structured in order to enable students to complete within a one year time frame.
There are a range of teaching and learning methods used within this programme including core lectures; action learning and group work; online activity; tutorials and workshops. It is anticipated that students will have some background within public health environments and will therefore bring some knowledge and skills to this learning experience. Students will be encouraged to debate, discuss and reflect on contemporary public health issues in order to enhance learning.
This programme comprises of a range of assessment strategies which enables students to demonstrate knowledge, synthesis and analysis in a variety of forms. Assessment strategies include exams, vivas, reports, proposals, essays, audio taped interventions and presentations. The aim of the assignment programme is not only to test knowledge and skills but also to develop these skills (for instance, the ability to present to a group of people). Students can expect between one and three items of assessment per module and these are spread evenly throughout the three trimesters which make up the academic year.
Students have the opportunity to undertake a designated Voluntary Placement module and engage in a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering in a placement relevant to Public Health. This course will also:
-Develop and enhance current knowledge and skills regarding public health practice.
-Extend and apply both knowledge and practical skills to current circumstances.
-Identify learning needs and develop independent learning skills to meet these needs.
-Encourage inter-professional learning.
Public Health is a growing field of study, therefore there is an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. A Master’s degree will help career advancement within a variety of organisations and professions such as health and social care, local authority, and voluntary organisations.
Our Public Health students develop excellent communication and analytical skills and have entered a diverse range of jobs as well as further study.
Kirsty Mason has been a Programme Leader of Masters Level Courses in the Faculty of Health and Society for numerous years and has 14 years’ experience of working as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health. Prior to working in academia, Kirsty worked as a Specialist Public Health Practitioner within Primary Care and has extensive experience of working with individuals, families and communities to improve their health and wellbeing. Kirsty is interested in teaching Public Health and Health Promotion as well as supervising Public Health Masters Dissertations. Her MSc in Public Health and Primary Health Care was gained from the University of Warwick and Kirsty has a keen interest in undertaking research using a phenomenological approach, her recent research activity includes researching non-medical prescribing in public health and how Children’s Centres enhance health outcomes for families.
This new CIPR qualification will allow you to gain an advanced understanding of professional practice, including PR strategy and planning, content management, media and engagement, measurement and evaluation, and PR leadership. All underpinned by reference to ethics and the code of conduct.
You’ll also put your learning into practice, evaluating a wide range of PR concepts and techniques and applying them practically to your own work and sector. The course is for experienced PR professionals who are ready to progress towards a senior management position, or individuals who have previously studied the CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations.
On campus teaching comprises a variety of approaches including lectures, workshops, case study and group work. The course is split into three units and you will submit one assignment for each.
Teaching is normally delivered in one or two day blocks six times a year.
Students on the course are eligible for student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and, on graduation, can upgrade their membership to full or associate status depending on professional experience.
Further information is available on the CIPR website at http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/ qualifications/public-affairs-diploma.
The CIPR Professional PR Diploma syllabus is based on professional practice underpinned by core PR principles, models and concepts.
The syllabus incorporates three separate units.
The CIPR Professional Public Relations Diploma is recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in PR by employers in the private and public sectors. It helps participants to develop or diversify their careers by fostering a strategic approach to managing PR, as well as extending knowledge of areas such as internal communications, corporate culture and research. QMU graduates have gone on to progress their careers in a number of ways – graduates occupy a wide range of senior positions.