Master of Science Communication (coursework or coursework and dissertation)

Students learn principles of effective science communication, develop practical skills necessary for effective science communication, and design strategies that address communication needs of groups such as government organisations, informal museums, science centres and research centres. Students will gain an understanding of the theory underlying the discipline and be able to apply their knowledge to a research project.

Course overview

Course title
Master of Science Communication (coursework or coursework and dissertation)
Award abbreviation
MSc(Comm)
Course code
51580
Course type
master's degree by coursework or by coursework and dissertation
Status
current / 2021
Administered by
Biological Sciences
CRICOS code
061841J

Course details

Intake periods
Beginning of year and mid-year
Attendance type
full- or part-time (Student visa holders should read Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 for more information.)
Articulation
The Master of Science Communication has the following exit awards: 51240 Graduate Certificate in Science Communication (24 points) (24 points), 51340 Graduate Diploma in Science Communication (48 points) (48 points)
Credit points required
96
A standard full-time load is 24 points per semester.
Standard course duration
1.5 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) comprising 72 points of taught units and 24 points of admission credit, as recognised and granted by the Faculty
Maximum course duration
2 years full-time (or equivalent part-time) comprising up to 96 points of taught study (see Rule 5 for further information)
Time limit
5 years
Delivery mode
internal
Locations offered
UWA (Perth)
Domestic fee type
Commonwealth supported and/or HECS-HELP; or postgraduate fee-paying/FEE-HELP
Available to international students
Yes. For information on international student fees see 'Schedule 2: Fees'. (Enquiries: https://www.uwa.edu.au/askuwa)
Course Coordinator(s)
Dr Heather Bray & Dr Sam Illingworth
Fees
Visit the fees calculator.

Prospective students should see the Future Students website for details on admission requirements, intake periods, fees, availability to international students, careers information etc.

Course structure

Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2; N/A = not available in 2021; NS = non-standard teaching period

All units have a value of six points unless otherwise stated.

Note: Units that are indicated as N/A may be available in 2022 or 2023.

Students who have not completed prior tertiary studies in science communication including a minor in Science Communication, or equivalent, must complete relevant conversion units up to the value of 24 points from this group, as advised by the Faculty:

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science
Prerequisites:
enrolment in postgraduate course or honours
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil
7 workshops running once a fortnight. This unit runs in both Semester 1 and Semester 2 and taken in either semester.
N/ASCOM2205Science Presentations
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures and online activities: 2 hours per week; tutorials/practicals: 2 hours per week
S1SCOM2208Science Writing
Prerequisites:
completion of 36 credit points or enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580)
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
COMM3324 Science Communication—Writing
lectures: 4 x 15 minute online lectures per week; workshops: 1 x 2 hours per week
S1SCOM3319Exhibitions and Interpretation
Prerequisites:
any level 2 unit or enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures: 4 x 15 mins of online lectures per week workshops: 2 hours per week

Take all units (36 points):

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
NSCOMM5703Strategic Communications Planning and Management
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
up to 24 hours
NSPOLS5501The Politics of Public Policy
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
LAWS5214 Public Policy
Seminars for this unit are delivered intensively
S1, S2SCIE5004Professional Skills in Science
Prerequisites:
Completion of 24 Points And Course Enrolment in 72530 Master of Environmental Science (ID 166) Or 72510 Master of Agricultural Science (ID 164) Or 74540 Master of Marine Biology (ID 1902) Or 73530 Master of Agricultural Economics (ID 440) Or 51580 Master of Science Communication (ID 189) Or 70550 Master of Bioinformatics (ID 1490) Or 71580 Master of Biotechnology (ID 389) Or 72520 Master of Biological Science (ID 165) Or 71520 Master of Biomedical Science (ID 359)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
S1, S2SCIE5304Science Practicum
Prerequisites:
enrollment in Master of Science Communication (51580) or the Master of Exercise Science (52510), or the Master of Environmental Science (72530), or the Master of Biological Science (72520), or the Master of Biological Arts (71530), or the Master of Agricultural Science (72510), or the Master of Biomedical Science (71520) and approval of the unit coordinator
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
Contact hours in Practicum placement (the majority of student time in the unit) as arranged with the unit coordinator and host/supervisor. Additional, minor, contact hours for initial and post-placement discussions with coordinator, and final presentation and review.
S2SCOM5309Citizen Science
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
Lectures: 3 x 15 minute online lectures per week for 11 weeks Workshops: 12 x 2 hour workshops Self-directed learning (reading/online): 2 hours per week for 10 weeks
S1SCOM5311Science Communication as an Academic Discipline
Prerequisites:
Enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
SCOM3325 Science Communication as an Academic Discipline
3 x 15 minute online lectures per week; 1 x 2 hour workshop per week

For students in course by coursework and dissertation only, take all units (30points):

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
S1, S2MIXD5005Designing Social Research
Prerequisites:
for the following postgraduate course students (International Relations, Strategic Communications, Asian Studies, International Development, Public Policy): completion of 24 points of their coursework, three core units and one option unit, and have achieved a 70 per cent WAM in those units; for other students: none.
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
SOCS5003 Research Design (ID 5135) BUSN4403 Business Research Methodology (ID 1661) GEOG5550 Research Design (ID 6181) EDUC5631 Approaches to Research (ID 3078)
up to 30 hours
S1, S2SCOM4402Science Communication Literature Review
Prerequisites:
Course Enrolment 51580 Master of Science Communication (ID 189) Or 90620 Master of Clinical Research (ID 142) Or 12560 Master of Social Research Methods (ID 377)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
as arranged with unit coordinator
S1, S2SCOM5810Science Communication Dissertation Part 1
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580) and SCOM4402 Science Communication Literature Review and SOCS5003 Research Design. Students who want to undertake a research project as an optional unit must have (a)(i) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3 units in their undergraduate major. These units must be relevant to the master's specialisation; or (ii) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3, 4 and 5 units completed within the course; and (b) a supervisor, approved by the Faculty, must have confirmed their willingness and availability to supervise the research project.
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil.
as arranged with unit coordinator
S1, S2SCOM5811Science Communication Dissertation Part 2
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580) or honours in Science Communication and SCOM4402 Science Communication Literature Review and SOCS5003 Research Design
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
as arranged with unit coordinator
S1, S2SCOM5812Science Communication Dissertation Part 3
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580) or honours in Science Communication and SCOM4402 Science Communication Literature Review and SOCS5003 Research Design
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
as arranged with unit coordinator
S1, S2SCOM5813Science Communication Dissertation Part 4
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580) or honours in Science Communication and SCOM4402 Science Communication Literature Review and SOCS5003 Research Design
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
as arranged with unit coordinator

For students in course by coursework only, take unit(s) to the value of 36 points of which at least 6 points (one unit) must be taken at Level 5.

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
S1, S2APHB5510Advanced Aesthetic Crossovers of Art and Science
Prerequisites:
nil
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
VISA2214 Aesthetic Crossovers of Art and Science
lectures: 1 hour per week; labs/tutorials: 2 hours per week
S2APHB5511Advanced Art and Life Manipulation
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
VISA2249 Art and Life Manipulation
lectures: 1 hour per week; labs/tutorials: 2 hours per week
S1, S2APHB5518Biological Art Integration Studies II
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Biological Arts (71530)
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
seminars: 1.5 hours per week; labs/tutorials: 1.5 hours per week
S1, S2APHB5519Biological Art Integration Studies I
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Biological Arts (71530)
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil
seminars: 1.5 hours per week, labs/tutorials: 1.5 hours per week
NSCOMM5605Issues in Contemporary Global Journalism
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
This unit will be delivered online and it will consist of a mix of recorded lectures, structured activities and zoom tutorials.
NSCOMM5701Strategic Communications in a Digital Era
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
up to 24 hours
NSCOMM5702Digital Media: Theory and Practice
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
lectures: up to 1 hr per week. seminars: 2 hours per week for 6 weeks
N/ACOMM5704Global Media and Cross-cultural Communication
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
24–36 hours
N/ACOMM5705Representation and Promotion
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
24–36 hours
NSEDUC5608Integrating Pedagogy and Technology
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures: 2.5 hours per week for 10 weeks—face-to-face (50 per cent) and online (50 per cent)
NSEDUC5636Assessment and Measurement
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures/seminars: 2 hours per week (for 13 weeks)
NSEDUC5658Globalising Education Policy
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
12 x 2 hour online workshops
N/AHERI5101Debates in Contemporary Heritage Studies
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
4 hours per week (over 6 weeks from week 1)
N/AHERI5103The Business of Sustainable Heritage
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
4 hours per week (over 6 weeks from week 7)
S1, S2MIXD5005Designing Social Research
Prerequisites:
for the following postgraduate course students (International Relations, Strategic Communications, Asian Studies, International Development, Public Policy): completion of 24 points of their coursework, three core units and one option unit, and have achieved a 70 per cent WAM in those units; for other students: none.
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
SOCS5003 Research Design (ID 5135) BUSN4403 Business Research Methodology (ID 1661) GEOG5550 Research Design (ID 6181) EDUC5631 Approaches to Research (ID 3078)
up to 30 hours
NSPOLS5010NGOs, Governance and Development
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
seminars: 18 hours
S2PUBH5749Foundations of Public Health
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
seminars: 3 hours per week
S1PUBH5754Health Promotion I
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures: 3 hours per week
S1PUBH5805Qualitative Research Methods in Health
Prerequisites:
Nil.
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
Nil.
lectures/tutorials: 3 hours per week
S1, S2SCOM4402Science Communication Literature Review
Prerequisites:
Course Enrolment 51580 Master of Science Communication (ID 189) Or 90620 Master of Clinical Research (ID 142) Or 12560 Master of Social Research Methods (ID 377)
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
as arranged with unit coordinator
N/ASOCS5005Social Research Ethics
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
24 hours—taught intensively and may include evening and/or Saturday classes
N/ASOCS5009Innovative Social Research Methods
Prerequisites:
Nil
Co-requisites:
Nil
Incompatibility:
Nil
up to 3 hours per week

See also the rules for the course and the Student Rules.

Rules

Applicability of the Student Rules, policies and procedures

1.(1) The Student Rules apply to students in this course.

(2) The policy, policy statements and guidance documents and student procedures apply, except as otherwise indicated in the rules for this course.

Academic Conduct Essentials and Communication and Research Skills modules

2.(1) Except as stated in (2), a student who enrols in this course for the first time irrespective of whether they have previously been enrolled in another course of the University, must undertake the Academic Conduct Essentials module (the ACE module) and the Communication and Research Skills module (the CARS module).

(2) A student who has previously achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the CARS module is not required to repeat the module.

(3) A student must successfully complete the ACE module within the first teaching period of their enrolment. Failure to complete the module within this timeframe will result in the student's unit results from this teaching period being withheld. These results will continue to be withheld until students avail themselves of a subsequent opportunity to achieve a passing grade in the ACE module. In the event that students complete units in subsequent teaching periods without completing the ACE module, these results will similarly be withheld. Students will not be permitted to submit late review or appeal applications regarding results which have been withheld for this reason and which they were unable to access in the normally permitted review period.

English Language competency requirements

3. To be considered eligible for consideration for admission to this course an applicant must satisfy the University's English language competence requirement as set out in the University Policy on Admission: Coursework.

Admission requirements

4. To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have—

(a) a Bachelor's degree, or an equivalent qualification, as recognised by UWA;

and

(b) the equivalent of a UWA weighted average mark of at least 50 per cent;

Admission ranking and selection

5. Where relevant, admission will be awarded to the highest ranked applicants or applicants selected based on the relevant requirements.

Articulations and exit awards

6.(1) This course has the following exit awards:

  • 51240 Graduate Certificate in Science Communication (24 points)
  • 51340 Graduate Diploma in Science Communication (48 points)

(2) A student who withdraws from the Master of Science Communication course before completing it, but after completing 24 points excluding conversion units, with at least 12 points of core units, may apply to the Faculty to be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Science Communication.

(3) A student who withdraws from the Master of Science Communication course before completing it, but after completing 48 points excluding conversion units, with at least 24 points of core units, may apply to the Faculty to be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Science Communication.

Course structure

7.(1) The course consists of units to a total value of 96 points (maximum value) which include conversion units to a value of 24 points.

(2) Units must be selected in accordance with the course structure, as set out in these rules.

(3) Students who have completed prior tertiary studies in science communication including a minor in Science Communication, or equivalent, are granted credit for conversion units up to a value of 24 points.

Satisfactory progress

8. A student who does not pass units to a value of at least half the total points value of units for which they are enrolled, or who fails the same unit twice, will not have made satisfactory progress.

9. A student who has not achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the Communication and Research Skills module (the CARS module) when their progress status is assessed will not have made satisfactory progress even if they have met the other requirements for satisfactory progress in Rule 8.

Progress status

10. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress under Rule 8 is assigned a progress status of 'Excluded' unless the Faculty decides otherwise in light of exceptional circumstances.

11. A student who does not make satisfactory progress in terms of Rule 9 is assigned the progress status of 'On Probation', unless they have been assigned a progress status of 'Suspended' or 'Excluded' for failure to meet other satisfactory progress requirements in Rule 8.

Award with distinction

12. To be awarded the degree with distinction a student must achieve a course weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 80 per cent which is calculated based on—

(a) all units above Level 3 attempted as part of the course that are awarded a final percentage mark;

(b) all relevant units above Level 3 undertaken in articulating courses of this University that are awarded a final percentage mark;

and

(c) all units above Level 3 completed at this University that are credited to the master's degree course.

Additional rules
Research Project

13. Students who wish to undertake a Research Project must—

(a) have a weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3 units in their UWA undergraduate major. These units must be relevant to the master's specialisation;

or

(b) have a weighted average mark of at least 65 per cent in at least 24 points of Level 3, 4 and 5 units completed within the course; or equivalent as recognised by the Faculty.