Professional/short course Applied Science Communication: Online and Media Writing

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Applied Sciences
Course Director
Andy Ridgway

Page last updated 5 November 2021


This 15 credit Masters level online module will introduce you to science writing techniques that are suitable for non-academic audiences. It will explore key writing structures and key principles behind non-academic writing with an emphasis on online writing.

A student-centred approach will be taken throughout the module, and while the module will cover key principles in science writing, it will allow you to focus on forms of writing and audiences you are particularly interested in writing for. The content and assessments will also be applicable to different international contexts.

At the end of the module, you will be able to critically evaluate what makes for good science writing and adapt their writing to different types of output and different audiences as well as having an understating of the opportunities the current science writing ecosystem presents.



Over the course of the module, you will consider how to identify a story in scientific research, key writing structures, how to adapt your writing for different audiences, considerations when writing about risk or statistics, getting your writing noticed online using social media and other means, writing an effective press release and considerations when writing about different fields of science.

Learning and Teaching

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Critically interpret scientific information and present it in a style suitable for a lay audience
  • Synthesise information from a variety of academic sources and use it to develop a coherent piece of written work
  • Demonstrate an ability to write for a specific lay audience
  • Illustrate the challenges of increasing the visibility of online content and employ social media platforms to promote written material
  • Establish key principles of effective communication of risk and statistics and employ them in written material.

Study time

The module will be taught across 10 weeks of online content (including two private study weeks), comprising

  • narrated presentations,
  • self-directed learning activities (including designated reading),
  • problem-based learning,
  • discussion forums,
  • wikis,
  • asynchronous feedback opportunities and/or live interactive seminars.

In addition, you will be expected to develop advanced knowledge in one or more aspects of course content through independent reading and reflexive practice.

The taught time will also include two private study weeks when you will have an opportunity to carry out independent study, and review previous weeks contents and materials. A variety of electronic resources will be provided via UWE Bristol's Blackboard to present supplementary support for you during your period of independent study.

Due to the online nature of the module, you will be given very clear guidance on contact times for the module team, as well as dedicated online spaces (including discussion forums) in order to ensure you feel fully engaged as a cohort, despite working at a distance.


The assessment comprises one 2,500-word science writing portfolio and, on successful completion, you will receive transferable credits (ECTS).

The assessment on this module comprises a practical written portfolio designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills at writing for a non-specialist audience. The portfolio should demonstrate your flexibility as a writer, so each article must be about a different science subject, be in a different genre (a news story, a blog, a feature story and/or a press release) and aimed at a different audience.

You will be encouraged to adopt your own writing style in your writing for a non-specialist audience as well as to undertake your own supporting research.


Study facilities

The Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the facilities it provides.

You'll have access to a range of on-campus and online facilities to support your learning, including the University Library which is open 24 hours a day.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

£750 per student (UK and overseas)


Please click on the Apply Now button to view dates.

Assessment date: TBC.

How to apply

How to apply

Please apply online using the Apply Now button located on this page.

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