Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The development and advancement of science relies heavily on effective written and spoken communication. Strong communication skills allow scientists to acquire new information, convey research results, mount convincing arguments, make decisive and evidence-based decisions, form effective and worthwhile collaborations, and become leaders who can influence the perception of science in their discipline and in wider society.

This unit is built around a series of modules to help students develop the skills needed to communicate effectively to scientific audiences. Students will learn to find, examine and critically analyse information relating to a scientific topic. They learn different ways to discuss and present scientific ideas, write their own scientific paper or report, and give oral presentations.

Modules include guidance on effective use of library and information services, the presentation of research data, ethical considerations in research conduct and publication, and exploring the various conduits for disseminating research findings. This unit is of interest to postgraduate coursework students, who will become more employable through the acquisition of research ethics and communication skills.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the theory and technical skills that are needed to communicate science effectively to various audiences; (2) conduct ethical research, which includes acquiring, managing, and sharing of data in a way that respects the personal and intellectual property of the owner, avoiding plagiarism, and fostering inclusive authorship; (3) demonstrate scientific literacy skills, and using this to write an appropriately structured scientific article to a high professional standard; (4) demonstrate reciprocity with peers through the giving and receiving of constructive feedback; and (5) present advanced-level knowledge and/or results to a non-specialist audience through talks or seminar presentations.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentations; (2) online quizzes; and (3) written reports. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Michael Burton
Unit rules
Enrolment in
73660 Master of Medical Physics
SCOM1101 Communicating Science (ID 1553)
or SCOX1101 Communicating Science
and SCOM2208 Science Writing (ID 1559)
Contact hours
Weekly face-to-face OR online workshops. This unit runs in Semester 1 and Semester 2, and can be taken in either semester.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.