Science Communication Unit student working with video

Prepare for a science communication career in broadcast media with a focus on audio-visual production.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2021
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits
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Register for our open day

Our next open day will be held at 15:00 on Wednesday 2 December 2020. Contact liam.watson@imperial.ac.uk to register for the event.

Overview

This course is for students who want to work in the broadcast media making films, television or radio programmes.

If you would prefer a course with a wider choice of study, we also offer an MSc in Science Communication.

Through a mix of academic and practical modules, we will encourage you to develop your creative and intellectual abilities as a reflexive practitioner. By the end of the course, you will be able to produce thought-provoking documentary film and audio to a professional standard.

Our academic modules draw on work in the humanities and social sciences to help you think afresh about the relationship between science and society, the potentials and constraints of film and radio, and the challenges these pose for the science documentary maker.

The course also develops skills in technical practice through a programme of intensive practical workshops, culminating in the production of a final documentary over the summer. The practical modules benefit from our in-house TV and radio facilities.

The course includes a work placement, normally at a broadcaster or television production company.

The majority of the teaching is by Science Communication Unit staff. This is supplemented with the expertise of professionals drawn from our wide network of industry contacts.

In addition to easy access to leading science and engineering research teams at Imperial itself, our central London location means that you will also be able to make the most of a wide range of volunteering opportunities, cultural events and workshops, which can help further build your network of contacts.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Structure

Modules

  • Documentary
  • Introduction to Film Form
  • Narrative
  • Science and its Social Context
  • Sounds Signs and Meaning in Radio

Practical modules

  • Documentary Film Production
  • Radio Production

Work placement

The work placement allows you to develop the skills and knowledge gained on the course in the real world of broadcast science communication.

Placements are set up through the College, although you may also undertake your own initiatives in consultation with the College.

Independent Production Project

You will research, script, shoot and edit your own programme based on your ideas for a short television documentary or a radio show.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Supervised workshops
  • Seminars
  • On-line reading materials
  • Supervised small groups/individual projects based on industry processes
  • Supervised placements in broadcast production companie

Assessment methods

  • Essays
  • Practical coursework projects, including group projects
  • Final project

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in a scientific or science-related subject.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

Interview

After you apply you may be invited for an interview with members of our staff.

We hope to interview UK based applicants in person, however, these interviews may be moved online if necessary. Overseas applicants will be interviewed online.

How to apply

How to apply

Application deadline

The application deadline for this course is Friday 26 February 2021.

Please note that we consider all applications at the deadline, so you will found out if you've been shortlisted in early March 2021.

Aptitude assignment

When you apply online, you must complete an aptitude assignment for your chosen course.

This should be attached along with your personal statement, under the 'personal statement' section of the online application form.

Download aptitude assignment [PDF]

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

£10,100 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

£23,000 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

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