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 / 2020
Administered by
Faculty of Science
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
Postgraduate fee-paying/FEE-HELP
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 2020; 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 2021 or 2022.

Students who have not completed prior tertiary studies 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
S1SCOM2208Science Writing
Prerequisites:
completion of 36 credit points or enrolment in the Master of Science Communication (51580)
Incompatibility:
COMM3324 Science Communication—Writing
tutorials/practicals: 3 hours per week
S2SCOM3205Science Presentations
Prerequisites:
SCOM2208 Science Writing
Incompatibility:
SCOM2205 Science Presentations
1 hour (total) online lectures per week. 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week.
S1SCOM3319Exhibitions and Interpretation
Prerequisites:
any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit or enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
tutorials: 3 hours per week
S2SCOM3321Science and the Media
Prerequisites:
any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit or enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
tutorials: 3 hours per week

Take all units (36 points):

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
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
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.
S1SCOM4402Science Communication Literature Review
Prerequisites:
enrolment in Science Communication honours or Master of Science Communication (51580) or Master of Clinical Research (90620) or Master of Social Science Research Methods (12560)
as arranged with unit coordinator
S2SCOM5302Contemporary Issues in Science Communication
as arranged with unit coordinator
S2SCOM5309Citizen Science
Lectures: 4 x 15 minute online lectures per week for 6 weeks Workshops: 6 x 4 hour workshops Self-directed learning (reading/online): 2 hours per week for 10 weeks
NSSOCS5003Research Design
Prerequisites:
for Social Research Methods students and Science Communication students : none; for other postgraduate course (International Relations, Strategic Communications, Asian Studies, International Development, Public Policy) students: 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.
up to 30 hours
NSSOCS5501Evaluation
Taught intensively over 6 weeks (second half of S1),

For students in course by coursework and dissertation only, take all units (24 points):

AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
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.
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
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
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
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. For students in course by coursework and dissertation only, take unit(s) to the value of 12 points:

Group B
AvailabilityUnitcodeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
S1, S2APHB5510Advanced Aesthetic Crossovers of Art and Science
Incompatibility:
VISA2214 Aesthetic Crossovers of Art and Science
lectures: 1 hour per week; labs/tutorials: 2 hours per week
S2APHB5511Advanced Art and Life Manipulation
Incompatibility:
VISA2249 Art and Life Manipulation
lectures: 1 hour per week; labs/tutorials: 2 hours per week
NSCOMM5303Communication Strategies for Change
Prerequisites:
enrolment in a postgraduate course
Incompatibility:
COMM3303/COMM8303 Science Communication for Change in Industry and Community; SCOM3320 Communication Strategies for Change
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials/practicals: 1 hour per week
NSCOMM5605Issues in Contemporary Global Journalism
24 hours
NSCOMM5701Strategic Communications in a Digital Era
up to 24 hours
S1COMM5702Digital Media: Theory and Practice
up to 24 hours
NSCOMM5703Communication, Innovation and Project Management
up to 24 hours
N/ACOMM5704Global Media and Cross-cultural Communication
24–36 hours
N/ACOMM5705Representation and Promotion
24–36 hours
S1EDUC5492Understanding and Managing Disruptive Behaviour Disorders
lectures/seminars: 2.5 hours per week for 10 weeks
NSEDUC5494Approaches to Student Assessment
lectures/seminars: 2.5 hours per week (for 10 weeks)
NSEDUC5608Integrating Pedagogy and Technology
lectures: 2.5 hours per week for 10 weeks—face-to-face (50 per cent) and online (50 per cent)
NSEDUC5631Approaches to Research
Prerequisites:
enrolment in one of the following courses: Master of Educational Leadership (30520); Master of Education (30580); Graduate Diploma in Professional Education (31310); Graduate Diploma in Educational Assessment; Master of Education (31500); Master of Teaching (31520); Master of Education in Assessment, Measurement and Evaulation (31530); Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (31560); Master of Educational Studies (31600); Master of Special Education (31620); Master of Education in Assessment, Measurement and Evaluation (31630); Master of Educational Leadership (31650); Master of Education (31670); Master of Education (31700); Graduate Diploma in Curriculum Studies (32310); Graduate Diploma in School Leadership (32320); Master of Curriculum Studies (32510); Master of School Leadership (32520)
25 hours compressed mode over 4 full days; offshore as required
NSEDUC5633Quantitative Inquiry
25 hours
S1EDUC5634Qualitative Inquiry
25 hours
NSEDUC5658Globalising Education Policy
up to 4x6 hour sessions held on Saturdays
S1GEOG5502Conservation, Development and Sustainability
Incompatibility:
SOCS5502 Conservation, Development and Sustainability
lectures/discussions: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks
NSHERI5101Debates in Contemporary Heritage Studies
4 hours per week (over 6 weeks from week 1)
S2MKTG5406Buyer Behaviour and Decision Making
lectures/seminars/workshops: up to 3 hours per week
NSMKTG5604Technology Commercialisation
Incompatibility:
MKTG5603 Management of Technology and Innovation
lectures/seminars: 36 hours (12 x 3 hours)
S1PUBH5754Health Promotion I
lectures: 3 hours per week
S1PUBH5805Qualitative Research Methods in Health
lectures/tutorials: 3 hours per week
S1, S2SCIE4403The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science
Prerequisites:
enrolment in postgraduate course or honours
7 workshops running once a fortnight. This unit runs in both Semester 1 and Semester 2 and taken in either semester.
S2SCIE4481Good, Bogus and Corrupted Science
Prerequisites:
enrolment in honours or postgraduate course
seminars: 3 hours per week for 12 weeks—theory is provided by the unit coordinators and guest speakers; tutorials: 2 hour per week for 12 weeks—students present cases of bogus and corrupted science in classes, discuss further the material covered in the seminars, and are asked to support their learning with examples of their choice, thus guaranteeing a multidisciplinary flavour to this unit. The advanced academic training and research experience required of the postgraduate and honours students attending this unit provide the grounds for scholarly and informed discussions during the tutorials.
N/ASOCS5005Social Research Ethics
24 hours—taught intensively and may include evening and/or Saturday classes
N/ASOCS5009Innovative Social Research Methods
up to 3 hours per week
NSSOCS5010NGOs, Governance and Development
seminars: 18 hours
S1SSEH5491Health Education
Prerequisites:
enrolment in Master of Teaching (Secondary)
lectures: 3 hours per week
NSSSEH5492Health Promotion in the Schools
Prerequisites:
enrolment in Master of Teaching (Secondary)
lectures: 3 hours per week; field work/labs: 2 hours per week; one debating night
S1SSEH5654Fundamentals in Research Methods
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science honours; or postgraduate study in Sport Science, Exercise and Health; or the Master of Exercise Science (coursework) (52510); or the Graduate Diploma in Sport and Recreation Management (51390)
lectures/seminars: 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 http://handbooks.uwa.edu.au/postgraduate/student-procedures'>student procedures apply, except as otherwise indicated in the rules for this course.

Academic Conduct Essentials module

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).

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

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 of Science; or a bachelor's degree with a major in Communication and Media Studies; 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, and has completed four units at level 4/5 three of which must be core, 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, eight units at level 4/5 four of which must be core, 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, 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 ACE 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.