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Course content

This course is offered jointly by Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, and Techniquest, a science discovery centre based in Cardiff. 

The course aims to offer knowledge and expertise relating to the organisation and funding of scientific research, the reporting of scientific innovation and controversy, and the role of citizens, experts and the media in decision making.

You will receive practical, hands-on training in presenting science via news media or directly to audiences ranging from school children to the general public.

Distinctive features

This is innovative, interdisciplinary degree based on collaboration between internationally respected academics and a leading science discovery centre.

The programme has strong links to a wide range of media and science organisations including National Museum Wales, Wales Gene Park, local and national media, science communication centres, and policy makers in regional, national and European institutions.

It offers excellent opportunities to develop expertise in an area of increasing importance for policy, industry and scientific communities.

The course offers students the opportunity to take a mixture of research-led and vocationally orientated modules in order to engage with current debates about topics such as: the organisation and funding of scientific research; the reporting of scientific innovation and controversy; and the role of citizens, experts and the media in decision-making about science and technology

Structure

This is a one-year full-time programme.

The MSc in Science Media and Communication is organised around a sequence of five 20-credit specialist modules, one 20-credit option and one 60-credit supervised dissertation on a relevant topic of your choice.

A 20-credit module comprises 200 hours of study, including about 30 hours of contact time, and the MSc as a whole, 1800 hours of study.

Core modules:

Media, Science and Health
International News Production 1
Research Design For Masters Students
Introduction to Science, Technology and Society
Public Engagement with Science and Technology
Dissertation

Teaching

Modules employ a diverse range of teaching including lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials, and independent guided study. All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and information on assessment.

You will be expected to attend lectures, seminars and tutorials as set out in the timetable for MSc students. These sometimes sit outside the regular pattern of university attendance and may include day, evening and weekend study and on occasion may fall outside the standard semester dates. You will also be expected to undertake independent study in preparation for lectures, seminars and assessments. 

The Presenting Science module offered by Techniquest (subject to availability in any given year) has limited places and involves presenting work to live audience including school children and the general public. As a result, there is an audition at the start of each year, at which students will be selected for the module. Those students who are not selected for this module will need to take an alternative module to complete their taught programme.

Assessment

Taught modules are assessed in ways that reflect their particular learning outcomes. So, as appropriate to the module, and across the programme as a whole, the following in-course assessments are used:

Essay assignments
Portfolios
Fieldwork reports
Oral presentations
News reports, documentaries, posters
A dissertation or extended project.

Career Prospects

This course is particularly suitable for those interested in pursuing careers in science communication, and the interface of scientific knowledge and the public domain. These include: policy research; political communication, public relations, government agencies; statutory and voluntary organisations; ‘think tanks’, museums and schools; and the mass media.

Some previous graduates have gone on to study for higher degrees, whilst others are, or have been, employed in museums, schools, advertising agencies, medical research charities, government department, NGOs, television companies and science communication organisations.

Visit the Science, Media and Communication MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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