The Manchester Metropolitan University is starting a new Masters-level course in Science Communication in September 2016. Crastina got in touch with the programme leader, Dr Sam Illingworth.
Hi Sam, could you tell us what will the study programme include, and what are the course aims?
The MSc in Science Communication is a one-year programme that will provide students with the practical skills that are necessary to communicate science effectively across a wide variety of media, from speaking in public at large events to presenting podcasts. These practical skills will be supplemented with the theoretical knowledge of what it is that makes for effective and engaging science communication. There are a number of core units that will provide students with a better understanding of how to communicate science, and why they should be doing this. There are also option units in Medical Writing, Science Journalism and SciArt, which will be delivered in an interdisciplinary fashion, and will involve learning alongside experts from industry as well as world-leading academics.
Who are your prospective students?
Any student with a good first degree (second-class honours, or equivalent, and above) with a passion for communicating science is welcome. This programme is not limited to students with a first degree in science, as we believe that the communication of science is a truly interdisciplinary field, and that this should be reflected in the way that the programme is taught.
How would you summarize your concept of successful science communication that you will teach to your students?
This programme is very much about learning by doing, and the students will experience, designing, delivering, and evaluating a large number of science communication activities for a variety of different audiences. Instead of a dissertation there is a live research project, in which students will have the opportunity to work with an external partner to develop science communication solutions to some real-world problems. By the end of the MSc, students will thus have a portfolio of skills and expertise, as well as a significant number of useful contacts, which should make finding employment in the fascinating, yet competitive, world of science communication more straightforward.
A short overview of the MSc can be found in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8gwTuoy9X4
You can learn more about the programme here: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/2016/13620/
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