UWA Handbook 2017

Major details


Danny Lam

Through my studies of Science Communication at UWA I have grown greatly both in my personal life and professional life. The community is inclusive and fun, resulting in a fantastic learning environment filled with inspiring guest lecturers, intellectually stimulating conversations, random science experiments, food and laughter.

Science Communication major

If you are creative, love science and want to work with people, Science Communication is for you. Science communicators use their knowledge of science to help raise the level of understanding about important issues in science—bridging the gap between the scientific community and the public. This major will teach you to communicate effectively with audiences ranging from children to scientists. Science Communication provides you with experience in new media, written, oral and visual presentations, science performance and working with industry experts. During your practicum, you will be individually placed with organisations to enhance your networking and employment opportunities. It is also an opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in a workplace setting. In consultation with the unit coordinator, you identify a host agency and science communication project that will be the focus of the practicum. Depending on the nature of the practicum, which requires 150 hours, you negotiate the timeline with the host agency. This major must be taken in conjunction with another science major, giving you both sound scientific knowledge and highly marketable communication skills.


Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of the theories and principles of effective science communication; (2) interpret and transform complex scientific information into more accessible forms; (3) demonstrate effective verbal communication skills through the development and presentation of a variety of oral presentations and performances, including face to face, via podcasts and videos; (4) present information and ideas in an effective written form that is appropriate to the purpose and the reader; (5) critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of science communication resources and activities; (6) develop and evaluate science communication strategies; (7) analyse and evaluate the nature of society's engagement with science through critical examination and understanding of the scholarly literature; (8) work both independently and collaboratively by effective participation in individual and team projects; and (9) use technology proficiently by using appropriate hardware and software to develop science communication resources.

Second major

Second major

Science Communication can only be taken as a second major in conjunction with a degree-specific Science major in the following degree courses:

BP004 Bachelor of Science
BH005 Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)

Overview of unit sequence

The Science Communication second major is a single major comprising:

  • two Level 1 units
  • two Level 2 units
  • four Level 3 units
Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2; NS = non-standard teaching period

Level 1

Take all units (12 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name  Unit rules
S2 PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context None
S1 SCOM1101 Communicating Science Prerequisites: ATAR Mathematics Applications or WACE Mathematics 2C/2D or TEE Discrete Mathematics or equivalent or higher
Co-requisites: MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals (only required if students haven't completed Maths Applications or WACE Mathematics 2C/2D or TEE Discrete Mathematics or equivalent or higher). Please note that there will be a delay in validating your enrolment in SCOM1101 after you have enrolled in MATH1720.
Incompatibility: SCIE1103 Science, Society and Communication

Level 2

Take all units (12 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name  Unit rules
S2 SCOM2205 Science Presentations None
S1 SCOM2208 Science Writing Prerequisites: completion of 36 credit points at University
Incompatibility: COMM3324 Science Communication—Writing

Level 3

Take the following unit:
Availability Unit code Unit name  Unit rules
S1 SCOM3320 Communication Strategies for Change Prerequisites: any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit
Take unit(s) to the value of 18 points:
Availability Unit code Unit name  Unit rules
NS, S1, S2 SCOM3318 Science Communication Practicum Prerequisites: enrolment in the Science Communication major; SCOM2208 Science Writing and SCOM2205 Science Presentations
S2 SCOM3319 Exhibitions and Interpretation Prerequisites: any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit
S2 SCOM3321 Science and the Media Prerequisites: any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit
S1 SCOM3322 Science Performance Prerequisites: any level 2 COMM unit or any level 2 SCOM unit

Choosing a second major

The flexible structure of an undergraduate course allows you the option of including a second major. You have the choice to either nominate your second major when you first enrol in the course or delay it until your second year. For a major to be recorded on your academic record it must be nominated before the requirements of the course are completed.

To fully understand the structure of an undergraduate course read the course structure information and the Undergraduate Degree Course Rules.

The following example illustrates how Science Communication can be included as second major in an undergraduate degree course.

Example: Course Study Plan: CSPGeneric-DSMGeneric-SCCOM (opens in a new window)

For more examples of combinations of majors, search the study plans .