Involving and inspiring public audiences with science, engineering and medical research

Module details

Offered to 1st years
Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
8 weeks (autumn term only)
Non-credit only

How to enrol

This lively and interactive module will explore public engagement (PE) and why is it important.  You will discover how to deliver enjoyable and meaningful PE activities for you and a diverse range of audiences. You will have an opportunity to practice your communication and leadership skills, whilst also developing valuable evaluation skills to help you evidence if your activities are successful.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

children watch model volcanoes

By the end of this module, you will:

1. Explore the nature of public engagement in the context of a university

2. Discuss the factors which lead to planning and delivering good practice in public engagement more broadly.

3. Reflect on the evolving relationships between STEM research, universities, and society, including societal attitudes towards, and participation in, STEM research. 

4. Appreciate the role that public engagement plays in citizenship and its value in understanding different perspectives, experiences and inequalities.

5. Deliver a group presentation to your peers and tutor(s) on how you would successfully communicate your ideas and findings to different audiences. 

6. Demonstrate awareness of future opportunities to get involved in public engagement and understand the personal benefits of getting involved.

Indicative core content

children learn about bubbles through play

1. Introduction and context: What is Public Engagement? Why is PE important? 

2. Audiences for engagement. Covering four different audiences across two sessions. Speakers will cover:

- Who the audience is and what their needs are?

- What their aims are for working with them?

- Approaches that work well with these audience groups

- Where do they find/reach them and how they work with them?

- Opportunities to get involved at Imperial with these audiences

3. Engagement aims and evaluationIntroducing the different outcomes that you might achieve through engagement.

4. Engagement in museums. Guided visit focusing on Formats, Connections and Content

5. Reflection and project tasks

6. Project work

7. Project presentations. Assessed presentations to the rest of the group


  • Oral presentation in class (40%)
  • Written essay (40%)
  • Class participation (20%)

Key information

  • ECTS value: 0
  • Requirements: You must be prepared to attend all classes and to spend about an hour a week preparing for each session
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 4 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]