SCOM3321 Science and the Media

6 points

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Not available in 2021UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
How is science covered (or not) in the media? Students examine science on the radio, television, news media, in the movies and on the web. They interview a research scientist and create electronic media resources, including podcasts, movies and websites.
Students are able to (1) have a greater understanding of constraints and factors that affect coverage of science in the media; (2) have an awareness of how science and science-related issues are handled in different media; (3) enhance their skills in interviewing research scientists; (4) improve information technology (IT) skills and the ability to create electronic resources that could be published on the Web; (5) create a balanced, informative, easily navigable website and media for websites; and (6) have reflected on their learning process.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) website—students improve their understanding of how the media interprets scientific issues through class discussions, presentations and the creation of a website; (2) podcast—students research a scientific concept or topic of their choice, gather and produce the necessary resources and create a podcast designed to engage a non-specialist audience; and (3) film—students interview a researcher and create a short film about their work, suitable for publication on the Web and an accompanying media release publicising the film. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Heather Bray
Unit rules
any Level 2 COMM unit or any Level 2 SCOM unit or enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
Contact hours
tutorials: 3 hours per week
  • 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.