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Course content

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.

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses

  • Science and Society
  • Principles and Practice in Science Communication and Public Engagement
  • The Role of Social Media in Science Communication
  • Science Education
  • Dialogue for Science Communication and Public Engagement
  • Science Policy and Practice


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.

Career opportunities

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.

Visit the Science Communication and Public Engagement - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!





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