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.
Science and technology has a key role to play in modern global and regional issues. To deal with them, decision makers and the general public need to be able to make evidence based choices. The MSc in Public Engagement and Science Communication will equip you with the skills (both communication and critical thinking) to effectively and efficiently explain complex issues in a way that is appropriate and relevant to the audience. In doing so, you'll have the skills to collaborate more effectively and lead in your future career.
This MSc is a cross faculty programme that taps into the most creative elements of science, drama and English to create a course that challenges science graduates to become engaging communicators. Along with the fundamentals of science communication, you'll have the opportunity to work with creative writers, theatre performers, and journalists to help you explore the medium you're most comfortable with and interested in. You'll also have the opportunity to gain real world experience through a work placement.
Alongside the taught modules, you'll conduct a piece of research into science communication, with the support of an academic supervisor and our social scientists. You'll learn through doing, and assignments will be based on real science communication activities. If you choose to write, you'll be encouraged to publish; if you take the drama modules, you will also take to the stage. This programme gives you the freedom to explore your creative ideas, whilst being guided and supervised by experienced science communicators.
Experiential learning and authentic assessments are central to the programme. You will practice and develop through applying your knowledge and talents in real world settings.
From the outset of the programme, you will be expected to develop ideas for your own public engagement activities. First trimester modules underpin this by setting the historical and philosophical scene, the present scene and the evaluation of future activities. You'll study:
The second trimester allows you to build on your plans and deliver them during placements or through your own initiative. Alongside these experiential modules, specific creative skill sets are developed via drama or creative non-fiction modules. Modules include:
The final dissertation allows you to investigate aspects of your own or others public engagement activities through a piece of novel, independent and relevant research.
* All modules are subject to availability.
This programme has been designed to enhance your profile, and make you more desirable by the traditional employers of science graduates.
Potential careers for skilled science communicators include journalism, teaching and broadcasting. However, communicators are employed by professional bodies, research councils, outreach teams in higher education and industry, visitors centres, politicians and festivals. Science communication also offers significant freelance work through festivals, school shows, journalism and broadcast media, making self-employment a serious and successful option for graduates.
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:
Designed for students interested in new ways of exploring and understanding the social world through the use of visual, sensory and other experimental approaches, this programme allows you to study sociological issues alongside innovative methods.
The MA will enable you to examine, represent and intervene in the social world. You will develop the ability to undertake empirical research and present it publicly in a variety of media and materials. You will engage with sociology as an inventive research practice, deploying creative research methods to address classic and changing sociological problems.
The MA in Visual Sociology provides an introduction to the range of debates in visual research, encouraging you to build on these by using visual, sensory and inventive methodological practices to carry out critical social research in your areas of interest, whether this is science and technology, contemporary capitalism, gender and sexual cultures, race, human rights, globalisation, or other aspects of social life.
The programme combines lectures and seminars with practical sessions and workshop-based projects in which you develop a hands-on approach to sociological research, providing a skills base in methods which could be used in public sector contexts, art/media research, design or commercial application.
As well as presenting your ideas through writing, during the MA you will have the opportunity to produce different outputs, including film/video, photography, sound and multi-media pieces. You will also organise and curate some of this work in an exhibition. Critical feedback sessions function as a testing ground for individual projects, and themed projects allow you to further develop a portfolio of research outputs geared to a variety of audiences.
Throughout the programme is a concern with the research process, and you will have the opportunity to design and reflect on your own research projects. The dissertation allows you to undertake a substantive research project on your individual interests, supporting by one-to-one supervision with a member of staff. You will have access to the Visual Media Lab, which offers post-production and editing stations, as well as equipment for photography and video. Students can also borrow equipment from the Media Equipment Centre.
The MA is based in the Department of Sociology, home of the The Methods Lab and at the forefront of research using live methods. It is taught by staff with a wide range of experience in both sociology and interdisciplinary research, including visual and experimental approaches. The course is suitable for applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including art, design, anthropology, media and communications, cultural studies, geography, and sociology.
In the first part of the course you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, a module that takes you through the empirical research cycle in the context of the transformation of sociology in the age of visual, digital and other empirical methods. The module Theories and Debates in Visual Research' enables you to address debates within visual sociology, and also encompasses more recent issues surrounding the notions of media, interdisciplinarity and translation which become significant if sociology works with visual and other sensory materials. Assessment of these modules is by essay.
Alongside these modules you will take a core practical component, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice A’, that offers the opportunity to gain skills in photography, sound and video and to develop materials that engage a sociological imagination. A central focus is on how to translate a research question into a variety of materials or media and to be able to critically discuss the selection and use of these.
In the second term you continue with a practical module in inventive sociology, ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’, in which you will work individually or in groups to respond to a theme to create a visual, sensory or experimental object or media to be exhibited to a particular public. Assessment of the practical work includes a diary of research process alongside documentation of work.
These core modules are taught in Sociology. In the second term you will also take an option that may be chosen from Sociology or may be taken from departments across Goldsmiths including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics and International Relations, Media and Communications, Educational Studies, Music, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
In the summer term you will complete a dissertation involving a major practical project consisting of any media and addressing a specific sociological problem. You will meet for individual supervision with a member of the Sociology staff. The dissertation is a substantive piece of research in which you develop a visual, inventive or experimental approach to a topic of your choice.
If you follow the MA part-time over two years, you will take ‘Empirical Social Research’, ‘Visual and Inventive Practice’ and ‘Social Research for Public Engagement’ in year 1, and ‘Theories and Debates in Visual Research’, the dissertation and an option in year 2.
You will chose an option module to the value of 30 credits from Sociology or from departments across the College including the Departments of Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, Politics, Media and Communications, Music, Educational Studies, and the Centre for Cultural Studies.
Modules in Sociology address themes such as:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
This programme attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, including art and design, business, and the third sector, as well as those with social science degrees. This means the careers that they are interested in pursuing are wide and varied.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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 challenging two-year programme focuses on key issues of Public Administration and Organisation Theory. The programme offers an in-depth investigation of societal problems and critical challenges faced by organisations - government agencies, not for profits, citizen groups, form - involved in public value creation. You will investigate these challenges, analyse how public organisations deal with each challenge, and begin to form theories about what is required to make policies work.
A changing climate, porous borders, the knowledge economy, the internet of things, robotica. The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, throwing up tantalizing opportunities as well as wicked problems for the way in which we govern our societies. Public administrators respond to these challenges in a variety of ways: they initiate reforms to make public management less bureaucratic and more accountable, they activate and enable citizens, they help businesses become more competitive while enhancing social responsibility, and they support civil society initiatives to provide voluntary community services. You will analyse how such initiatives help governments cope with the challenges of modernity.
These modern challenges are no longer the sole responsibility of government institutions. Private, not for profit and hybrid organizations as well as civil society groups are increasingly involved in creating value in the public domain and performing what previously were considered public tasks. Public governance thus not only takes place in national political institutions but also at local, regional and internationals levels of government, in multi-actor, multi-sectoral networks, and at the headquarters of large companies. Your study of the public domain and the critical issues in that domain will therefore focus on public organisations in the broadest sense of the word.
Through this intensive Master’s programme, you will gain the theoretical knowledge and methodological skills to analyse organizational and governance processes, such as strategic management, policy design and delivery, citizen engagement, public accontability, institutional learning. Our programme will also help you understand and analyse the classic questions of Public Administration and Organization Theory as they are playing out in contemporary contexts. It will provide you with the tools to identify, analyse, and design effective intervention strategies. Your studies will prepare you for a career in research, consultancy, government and the public sector at large. Your key selling point will be your analytical and methodological skills, your firm grounding in different bodies of theory and research, your writing and presentation skills, and your hands-on experience with designing and conducting projects.