Many of the most pressing issues facing New Zealand and the world today—climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and how to respond to new technologies—can't be solved using traditional scientific approaches.
In the age of social media, clickbait headlines and 'fake news', new means of communicating science and engaging different groups and communities are required.
The 180-point Master of Science in Society is a cross-disciplinary programme that combines taught courses, research projects and your choice of final project to give you a practical understanding of the role of science in society.
You'll learn how to engage New Zealanders in conversations about the science that impacts their lives so they can make informed decisions. Find out how you can influence policy change and research priorities.
Develop your understanding of contemporary scientific issues, and draw from a range of diverse fields such as philosophy, history and the creative arts to gain a broader and more nuanced perspective on science.
Gain an insight into the range of perspectives different communities have on scientific and environmental issues, and explore the important role of mātauranga Māori and other indigenous knowledge in science decision-making.
The Master of Science in Society is suited to students who are interested in science but don't want to pursue a traditional postgraduate science research programme. If you're interested in more effective public engagement around key scientific issues like conservation and pest eradication, or you're keen to pursue a career in science policy or advocacy, this degree is a good choice for you.
Learn from award-winning academics and professionals who are leaders in the field of science communication, public engagement with science, natural and social science, the humanities and the arts. You'll also be exposed to a wide range of expertise from across the university and from visiting experts.
The Master of Science in Society has two parts. The first part takes place in Trimester One, is based on-campus and is compulsory for all students.
In Part 1, you'll focus on developing your critical thinking and communication skills in four taught courses. Look at the theory and practice of science communication, and gain a grounding in contemporary scientific issues and theories. Explore perspectives on science from different cultures and from across the humanities and social sciences.
You'll choose from three of four core 400-level courses, and complete an additional approved course worth 15 points.
The field component of SCIS 589, the Science Communication Project, also takes place during Trimester One.
You'll go on to put your learning into practice in Part 2 by completing your science communication project and a research essay. You'll also choose to do a work placement or a research project, or choose other relevant courses from another discipline of your choice, such as Māori Studies, Public Policy or Conservation Biology.
While working on your final projects you'll be supervised by subject experts from within and outside of the university, and will continue to meet regularly with your fellow students in tutorials or seminar sessions.
You can complete Part 2 of your Master's remotely if your placement or research project takes place outside Wellington. You'll need to have sufficient internet access to take part in online seminars, lectures and workshops.
The Master of Science in Society will take you three trimesters (one year) of full-time study, or up to three years if you are studying part time.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year.
If you're a part-time student, you can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.
The Master of Science (MSc) is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. The first year involves mainly coursework and preliminary research preparation. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to existing fields of research, or to begin to develop new areas.
The MSc can be studied in any of the subjects listed below, and may be taken by a combination of coursework and thesis, or by thesis only. Students who have a Bachelor's degree will complete the MSc by papers and thesis (at least two years of full-time study). Students who have an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma can complete the degree by thesis only (minimum of one year of study).
View the list of subjects offered for the Master of Science (MSc) and the Master of Applied Science (MAppSc).
The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed above. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed above.
The programme of study shall be as prescribed for the subject concerned.
A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or equivalent may achieve the degree after a minimum of one year of further study, normally by completing a thesis or equivalent as prescribed in the MSc Schedule.
A candidate may be exempted from some of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in a thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
A candidate taking the degree by papers and thesis must pass both the papers and the thesis components.
For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.