Studying online

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

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SCOM3325 Science Communication as an Academic Discipline

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective
Recent geopolitical events have highlighted the complex relationship between scientific knowledge and social, political, and economic structures. Where does science communication fit in a post-truth world? In this unit, we will examine the contribution of a range of theoretical approaches to science communication scholarship to answer this question, including Public Understanding of Science, Science and Technology Studies, and Social Studies of Science and Society. We will also look at the contribution of other theories, such as Feminism and Post-Colonialism, to our current understanding of the relationship between science and society. We will examine the shifts in the discipline towards dialogue and public participation to enhance public engagement with science and technology. Students will participate in masterclasses with leading researchers in the field, and work together to prepare a series of Q&A-style forums.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of key theories and concepts in science communication; (2) apply key theories and concepts to the construction of arguments about controversial issues in science communication; and (3) reflect on their ethical responsibilities as learners and future science communicators.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) blog posts; (2) essay; and (3) group presentation. 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
any Level 2 SCOM unit or
enrolment in Master of Science Communication (51580)
Advisable prior study:
SCOM1101 Communicating Science; SCOM2208 Science Writing; SCOM2205 Science Presentations; SCIE2205 or SCIE2206
Contact hours
3 x 15 minute online lectures per week; 1 x 2 hour workshop 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.