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Course content

Course overview

  • Develop the skills you need for a career in media, science policy, museums, outreach, PR and many other sectors, as well as research.
  • Learn from professionals working in journalism, public relations, filmmaking, policy and science outreach at intensive one-day schools on science communication policy and practice.
  • Choose specialisms to explore your own interests through a research project and a professionally mentored project.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500 
  • International students (per annum): £18,500
  • MSc (part-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750 
  • International students (per annum): £9,250

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

Scholarships/sponsorships

Several sources of funding are available. For current possibilities, please see the funding page on the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine website. Please note that funding application deadlines are usually significantly earlier than the course application deadline.

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of £1,000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2019.

Entry requirements

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS : 6.5 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with no less than 22 in all components)

See further information about requirements for your country .

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course , if your current IELTS scores are:

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form.

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English.
  • One academic reference on letter headed paper, signed and dated. We do not request references on your behalf. 
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • Personal statement or statement of purpose.
  • CV.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, small-group seminars, discussions and practical exercises. Activities will be included in the taught elements for both individual students and groups.

You will engage with primary and secondary academic literatures, professional literatures, and mass media products about science, technology and medicine.

You will also learn at special sites of science communication, such as museums, media institutions, and public events.

We encourage participation and volunteering to help you further your own interests alongside the taught curriculum. All students will meet regularly with a mentor from the Centre's PhD community, with a designated personal tutor from among the staff and, from Semester 2, a research project supervisor.

Applicants may informally request examples of study materials to help you test your ability to engage effectively with the course from the Course Director.

Coursework and assessment

All units are assessed by academic and practical tasks set in parallel. You should expect both written and spoken assessments that use a format appropriate to the relevant professional group or medium.

You may choose your own topic or medium for many of the assessments. Assessed work also includes a piece of original science communication research.

The final assessment is a project created under the supervision of a science communication professional (the mentored project).

Course unit details

The full-time version of the course runs for 12 months from September. There is also a part-time alternative, covering half the same classes each semester over two years. Part-time study involves a limited number of days' attendance per week and can be combined with part-time employment.

All students take three course units consisting of weekly lectures and discussion seminars:

  • Introduction to Science Communication (30 credits)
  • Communicating ideas in science, technology and medicine (15 credits) 
  • Introduction to Contemporary Science and Medicine (15 credits)

All students also attend a series of specialised courses focusing on science communication practice and science policy, with sessions led by invited contributors including journalists, documentary filmmakers, museum professionals, policy analysts, outreach officers and other relevant experts. You will choose two of the following four units to specialise in for assessed work (although you can sit in on all these units):

  • Science, media and journalism (15 credits)
  • Science museums, science centres and public events (15 credits) 
  • Science, government and policy (15 credits)
  • Health communication (15 credits)

The science communication research project (30 credits) gives more scope for independent investigation and includes new research on a particular science communication topic.

The mentored project (60 credits), completed over the summer at the end of the course, involves working with support from a science communication professional on developing and analysing an activity close to professional practice.

Career opportunities

This course can open up careers in a wide range of sectors, including journalism, science policy, documentary filmmaking, medical, environmental and other related campaigning and advocacy. You may also enter careers in public relations in the public and private sectors or work in museums and science centres, at science festivals, or in other public engagement fields.

Our MSc also provides an appropriate grounding for PhD-level research in science communication studies.

Previous graduates have gone on to a wide range of relevant posts, including:

  • Research Communications Officer, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain
  • Senior Policy Analyst, Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • Assistant Curator of Technology and Engineering, Science Museum, London
  • Technical Author, Calrec Audio
  • Assistant Producer, Pioneer Productions (TV)
  • Science and Policy Press Officer, Cancer Research UK (London)
  • Communications Assistant, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • Podcast Producer, Venturi Group
  • Science Writer and Policy Researcher, Society of Chemical Industry
  • Assistant Producer, Sandpaper Films
  • Medical Writer, Ashfield Healthcare Communications
  • EU Project Officer, University of Malta

Visit the MSc Science Communication page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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