Postgraduate Diploma Applied Science Communication
Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative course, please visit the MSc Science Communication course page.
Page last updated 17 June 2020
This innovative, fully-online course will enable you to develop your Science Communication expertise while maintaining existing commitments, wherever you are based.
UWE Bristol's PGDip in Applied Science Communication will provide you with an applied introduction to this rapidly evolving field by an internationally renowned team.
This unique course is entirely online, allowing you to fit your studies around your existing commitments, wherever you are in the world. Whether you're a recent graduate or already working in the field, you'll develop your skills in science communication and learn about cutting-edge research techniques under the guidance of science communication experts at UWE Bristol.
Why UWE Bristol?
Our passionate teaching staff are active in the field of science communication, so your teaching will be inspired by the latest industry thinking.
You'll work with our internationally-renowned Science Communication Unit. As leaders in science communication research and practice, its dedicated team will provide you with valuable expertise, resources and contacts.
We'll use a diverse range of content to help develop your communication skills, with a particular focus on digital and face to face communication settings. You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary science communication formats, including science writing, festivals, museums, and community engagement.
We'll support you to design and carry out a research project that is relevant to your own personal interest or professional experiences.
Where can it take me?
Access to our community pages and dedicated LinkedIn group means you'll be able to find out about work and project opportunities, and connect with previous graduates.
There are increasing opportunities for careers in sectors including museums and science centres, charities, public relations and the media. Alternatively you may choose to develop a career as a freelance science communicator or to pursue a career in research, for example by studying for a PhD.
Graduates of our existing MSc and PGCert courses work in organisations such as the BBC Natural History Unit, the Met Office, Cancer Research UK, the Science Museum, the Wellcome Trust and CERN, as well as a wide range of other international organisations.
You will study:
- Applied Science Communication: Connecting People and Creating Events: This module will support students to develop underpinning knowledge and skills in science communication and public engagement with research. Students will cover eight topics, including an introduction to science communication, audiences, project planning and management, presentation skills, promoting events, facilitation skills and evaluation.
- Applied Science Communication: Online and Media Writing: This module takes you right through the process of writing science stories, from finding and developing ideas, to creating an engaging narrative and structuring your story. We also look at important considerations when writing, such as adapting stories to different audiences and communicating risk and statistics. There is an emphasis on online writing and among other things, we'll consider how to get your writing noticed online.
- Applied Research Skills (Online): This module will introduce students to the underpinning knowledge and skills required to design an effective research or evaluation project. The skills developed in this module will be relevant to those seeking to evaluate science communication projects or to undertake research in science communication. However, the skills and knowledge will also be relevant to others seeking to develop their knowledge of social science research techniques, which could be applied across a wide range of areas, including for example social or international development, museums and cultural studies and education.
You will study:
- Applied Science Communication Project (Online): The module includes online training that provides the basis from which students will develop individual projects. It is anticipated that students will develop a project in one of the following areas:
Empirical research: An issue appropriate for a small scale science communication empirical research project will be identified by the candidate and agreed with the supervisor. The research should involve field or desk methods, including for example, meta-analysis, design of a survey or media content analysis as appropriate.
Professional Practice: The project should focus on creating a scientific or science communication intervention or part of an intervention designed to meet a specific professional practice requirement; this may include creative treatment or development of an installation or design of evaluation and consultancy projects.
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
This course is taught entirely online. You'll learn through a range of content including narrated presentations, self-directed learning activities, problem-based learning, discussion forums, wikis, asynchronous feedback opportunities and live interactive seminars. You'll also be expected to build specialist knowledge through independent learning.
Private study weeks will be built into the course, so that you have an opportunity to carry out independent study and review previous taught contents and materials.
Dedicated online spaces (including discussion forums) will ensure you feel fully engaged with the rest of the cohort, despite working at a distance.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
15 credit modules are taught over a period of ten weeks, which includes two weeks of private study. 30 credit modules are taught over a period of 20 weeks, which includes four weeks of private study.
For all taught modules you are expected to spend approximately ten hours per week studying, plus time on your assessments.
The 60-credit project module includes online training that provides the basis for your individual project. You'll be supported throughout by suitable members of the team.
Contact time will vary according to your project focus. This will be agreed on a one-to-one basis with your academic supervisor.
Assessment is varied and applicable to the real world. You'll have opportunities to develop digital, written and face-to-face presentation skills. You'll also write grant applications and press releases, pitch ideas to the teaching team, and compile portfolios of work which you can submit to potential employers.
Throughout the course there will be structured opportunities for feedback, both from teaching staff and fellow students.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Although you're unlikely to visit the UWE Bristol campus, you'll still benefit from the support enjoyed by all our students. Take advantage of our vast range of electronic resources, access specialist IT support, and get study tips and advice through online video guidance.
Careers / Further study
There are increasing opportunities for careers in sectors including museums and science centres, charities, public relations and the media. Alternatively you may choose to develop a career as a freelance science communicator, or to pursue a career in research, for example by studying for a PhD.
You might work as a science centre explainer, support researchers to communicate their work at a university, or lead science outreach activities with the local community.
Graduates of our existing MSc and PGCert courses work in organisations such as the BBC Natural History Unit, the Met Office, Cancer Research UK, the Science Museum, the Wellcome Trust and CERN, as well as for a wide-range of other international organisations.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events. Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Students must have a minimum of a lower second class honours degree in a relevant subject, or an equivalent for overseas students. Applicants with the equivalent professional experience are also welcome. Students must meet the minimum English Language requirements of the University for postgraduate study.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333