academic sat in a classroom around a table with students

Postgraduate Certificate

Practical Science Communication

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2017/18
Course code:
P90A4
Applications:
University
Level:
Postgraduate
Department:
Applied Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
One year
Delivery:
Part-time
Programme leader:
Andy Ridgway
Key fact:
An expert-led course offering opportunities to build experience and confidence in applying skills and knowledge to science communication roles. It’s directly informed by contemporary expertise to combine theory and practice, and give you excellent access to our strong industry links.

Page last updated 3 February 2017

Introduction

The Science Communication Unit at UWE Bristol is renowned for its innovative and diverse range of national and international activities designed to engage the public with science. The Postgraduate Certificate in Practical Science Communication, linked to the world-class MSc Science Communication course, and also designed by the Science Communication Unit, is aimed at students seeking an additional qualification. It is an opportunity to benefit from the Unit's expertise, resources and contacts.

Perfect surroundings

Bristol is a hub for the science communication community. It is home to BBC Bristol, which produces a range of natural history programmes, including Life Story, and the popular science magazine, BBC Focus. Bristol is also home to the award-winning At-Bristol science centre, which the Unit has collaborated with over several years.

As well as drawing on the academic and practical experience of staff within the Science Communication Unit, the course gives you an opportunity to meet a range of visiting lecturers and benefit from their practical experience. This also provides an excellent networking opportunity for students interested in developing contacts among science communication practitioners.

Strong links with industry

The course focuses on practical skills development, and has excellent links with the sectors and industries it informs, with visiting specialists helping you to understand what they seek in future employees.

Depending on the options you take, you will develop skills in science writing, cutting-edge science communication techniques, and the abilities you'll need to develop and run science communication projects. This includes devising and managing projects, evaluations and funding.

If you're interested in adding more theoretical or research-based studies to these practical skills, you should consider the MSc Science Communication, offered as a full or part-time course. The MSc is also suitable for international students who require visas to study in the UK. Please contact Andy Ridgway at Andy.Ridgway@uwe.ac.uk to discuss your options further.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

You will choose two from these three modules (30 credits each):

  • Science on Air and on Screen - Build your radio, TV and digital skills by critically exploring the role of broadcast media in the communication of science. You'll also make an 'as live' radio magazine programme about science, and a short film.
  • Science in Public Spaces - Develop your own science communication initiative in this hands-on module from developing a creative concept, to seeking funding, and managing and evaluating a project. You'll explore a range of innovative approaches from sci-art, to museums, festivals to theatre.
  • Writing Science - Develop journalistic and other writing styles, including writing for news media, public relations and educational purposes, with a view to developing a portfolio, as well as working on a magazine project.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course comprises short, intensive teaching blocks of three days (Thursday to Saturday) and you'll most likely need to attend three teaching sessions for each 30-credit module. Group sessions are supplemented by directed and independent study, email discussions, and tutorials.

The course's core staff are all based at the Science Communication Unit, and are involved in the latest thinking and research in science communication, so you'll be able to draw on current practice and research projects as part of your learning. You can find out more about the staff:

In addition, the team attracts a very talented range of specialist speakers, from the UK and internationally, who provide their perspectives as guest lecturers on modules. In recent years, we have welcomed speakers from Bristol Natural History Consortium, the Pervasive Media Studio, and Nature.

Field trips are available for some modules we've visited M Shed and The Wellcome Trust in recent years.

For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

One year, part time.

Assessment

We assess modules in a variety of ways, to reflect the practical skills you'll develop. For example, through portfolios, reports and oral presentations - all of which you can use to attract prospective employers.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Study facilities

You'll have access to UWE Bristol's Science Communication Unit, a centre of excellence in this specialist field.

Find out more about the Science Communication Unit.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Practical science communication skills are in high demand in a wide range of sectors and industries, such as journalism, public relations, science centres and museums, science education, professional consultancy and Research Council/learned institutions.

Throughout the course, you are encouraged to develop the professional skills that will help you secure employment or research positions in science communication, or to combine it with your existing career.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Fees

Part Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU - Award Fee2500

Supplementary fee information

More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.

Entry

Students starting this course in September 2017 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at admissions@uwe.ac.uk so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Entry requirements

You should have an honours degree in a relevant subject at 2:2 or above, awarded by a UK institution of higher education, or a degree of comparable standard from an institution outside the UK.

How to apply

If you would like further information about the course please contact the course leader Dr Andy Ridgway on either Andy.Ridgway@uwe.ac.uk or +44 (0)117 32 82146.

For further information

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