Science Communication Unit student working with broadcast

Prepare for a range of science communication careers through academic and practical experience.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your application

Applications for this course are still open.

The start dates of our courses have not changed as a result of COVID-19 and are scheduled to start as advertised.

We remain committed to delivering the highest quality education, so you can be assured that – whether the course starts on campus, online or through blended learning – we have the technology, the expertise and committed staff who are ready to offer you a first-class educational experience that will inspire you. You can read more about this on our website.

Find more about student applications on our COVID-19 webpage


Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start date: September 2020
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits
Apply now

Overview

This course will prepare you for a wide range of professional science communication careers, including:

  • Broadcast
  • Online journalism
  • Science policy
  • Public relations
  • Engagement and outreach
  • Digital campaigning
  • Exhibition development

For students who want to focus solely on broadcast media and filmmaking, we also offer an MSc in Science Media Production.

Through a mix of academic and practical modules, we will encourage you to develop your creative and intellectual abilities, working on ideas that communicate science, technology and medicine in original and effective ways and 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 the media environment, and the challenges these pose for science communication.

A final dissertation project gives you the opportunity to research in-depth a topic of your choice.

The course also develops skills in technical practice through a programme of practical options in which you can develop specialisms in particular media. The practical modules benefit from our in-house TV and radio facilities. We are also fortunate to be close to the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, which provide excellent material for museum studies work.

The course includes a work placement at a media company or other science communication organisation.

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 course 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

Core modules

You take all of the core modules below.

  • Core Practical
  • Creative Group Project
  • Media Representation of Science
  • Science and its Social Contexts

Optional modules

Academic options

In term two, you can choose three of the following academic options:

  • Documentary Film
  • Ethics in Science
  • Museums, Heritage and Science
  • Narrative
  • Science and Innovation Policy
  • Science & Communication for Development
  • Sound, Sign, Meaning in Radio

Practical options

In term three, you can choose from practical options which include:

  • Digital Media Campaigning
  • Exhibitions
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Writing for Journalism

Please note: the programme is substantially the same from year to year but exact modules may vary.

Dissertation

In term three, you will undertake a substantial piece of academic research which engages critically with the relevant scholarly literature and which involves some element of investigative work.

The research is written up as a 10,000-word dissertation.

Work placement

An attachment or internship with a science communication organisation, typically of three or four weeks will enable you to gain experience of the real world of science communication, and to put into practice and develop skills and knowledge gained on the course.

You will benefit from the supervision and guidance of professional science communicators and will be able to widen your range of contacts both in the media industry and in the world of science.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Supervised Workshops
  • Seminars
  • On-line reading materials
  • Supervised small groups/individual projects based on industry practices
  • Supervised work placements in the communications sector

Assessment methods

  • Essays
  • Practical coursework projects, including group projects
  • Dissertation

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.

How to apply

How to apply

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.

Aptitude assignment

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

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

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

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry
Full-time £9,900 per year
Part-time £4,950 per year

* Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each 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.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry
Full-time £22,600 per year
Part-time £11,300 per year

* Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each 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 are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. 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. Try our scholarships search tool 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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