Practical 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/PgDip Science Communication course page.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Applied Sciences
- One year
- 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 8 February 2019
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.
Bristol is a hub for the science communication community. It's 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 We The Curious, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please note: We won't be able to accept your application for this course if you require a Tier 4 visa.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333