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Science Communication at Imperial College

The course in Science Communication is offered by Imperial College London. This course prepares students for a wide spectrum of professional science communication career in broadcast, print and new media, design work, exhibition and public relations.

It is both practical and academic and may be taken full-time over twelve months or part-time over twenty-four months. The course promotes skills of independent investigation and intellectual analysis through a combination of a ten-thousand word dissertation and taught courses.

The course develops skills in technical practice in many communication areas through a programme of practical options. With the help of practical and academic courses, the college encourages students to develop their imaginative and creative abilities and to generate ideas and undertake work that shall communicate medicine, science and technology in fresh and effective ways.

Generally, candidates require a good Honours degree in a science or science-related subject from a UK or any equivalent overseas university or college of higher education. Students should be able to demonstrate their potential as a science communicator as assessed by completion of an aptitude assignment. Candidates with other qualifications can be considered if they can demonstrate allied experience or aptitude. Additional qualification is a great help for students contemplating a career in science communication. However, it is not required.

Practical modules benefit from the TV and radio facilities and the department is close to the National History Museum and the Science Museum that provide outstanding material for museum studies work. Due to the central London location, the college has unrivalled access to various science and media organizations and many workshops and cultural events. This makes it easy for students to build a network of contacts.

Students may also attend seminars and talks on a wide spectrum of technical and scientific topics in various academic departments at Imperial and can benefit from direct access to a large number of leading engineering and science teams as well as individuals on campus. The college invites industry professionals who guide students and them to reinforce their knowledge and skills.

Core Modules

  • Science and its social contexts
  • Core practical
  • Group project
  • Media representation of science

Optional Modules

Modules offered may differ from year to year, but typical modules consist of:

  • Ethics in science
  • Documentary film
  • Narrative
  • International science policy
  • Science and the web
  • Science and display
  • Science and the child
  • Sounds, signs and meaning in radio

Optional Practical Modules

  • Exhibitions
  • Website design
  • Radio
  • Print
  • Television

Dissertation

Students shall undertake a significant piece of academic research that engages critically with the relevant scholarly literature. This research may involve some aspects of investigative work. The research is written up as a ten-thousand word dissertation.

Work Placement

Students need to participate in a four to six-week attachment or internship with a science communication organization that enables students to gain experience of the real of science communication. Subsequently, it puts into practice and enhances knowledge and skills gained on the course. Students shall benefit from the guidance and supervision of professional science communication. They will be able to widen their range of contacts both in the world of science and in the media industry.


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