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Science Communication and Future Media

MSc

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biomedical Science

Start Dates(s): September

Duration:

Three years part-time distance learning

Fees:

Part-time - £3,690 per year- note there is no fee for the final 3rd year

In Brief:

  • Enjoy excellent job prospects in the growing field of science communication
  • This course is delivered in partnership with industry giving you the opportunity to tap into world-class professional networks
  • Access to state of the art MediaCityUK facilities during the course residential
  • Part-time study option
  • Based at MediaCityUK
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Over the last 25 years, science communication has expanded from a field of public intellectuals, celebrity scientists, broadcast media professionals and event producers to include groundbreaking artists, games developers, disruptive creators, radical curators, social entrepreneurs and citizen scientists. Developed in  partnership  with  industry, this part-time, distance learning course will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to take advantage of excellent job prospects in this growing field. 

Studying this MSc will provide you with the opportunity to accelerate your career and become part of a global network pushing the boundaries of science communication through new and emerging technologies. You will gain practical and transferable skills informed by theory, a creative portfolio and access to world-class professional networks to progress your career in science communication. You will become mindful of the ethical challenges that new communication systems might pose to achieving sustainable development goals for health and wellbeing, gender equality and sustainable communities.

Through a selection of specifically designed modules, you will learn about the importance of involving the public in the co creation of scientific knowledge, explore the increasing trend of science festivals as well as the art and science of digital storytelling strategies for communicating science. Additionally, you will explore how science writing and journalism has changed in a digital era, and focus on contemporary matters of global concern in science communication.

Science communication is an expanding field, and as such there are many exciting career prospects working in science journalism, public engagement, events production, science publishing and within the media, to name a few. Our academics have strong networks in the field, and as the course is delivered in collaboration with industry experts and professional science communicators, you can be sure that the skills and knowledge you gain will ensure that you are best placed to forge a successful career in the field. This course aims to bridge the #scicomm digital skills gap in an era where digital literacy, critical thinking and creative innovation make professionals stand out from the crowd.

Book your place on our virtual open day

We have a great student and staff science communication community engaged in a range of events that we have run:

"I had the opportunity to collaborate with staff and other students on two fantastic science festival events – Amorance and Mushroom Hack – which got the public involved in doing science with us. I discovered how the communication of science can be part of daily life  and  incredibly  creative and fun"

Elena Constantinou 
Third year undergraduate student




Take a look at our Scicomm community here


Follow us on twitter

https://youtu.be/ePHTUQw1vTI

Course Details

This science communication masters focuses on the areas of communication, media management, public engagement, emerging technologies, global challenges, digital literacy and creative practice.

Features  

  • Course content reflects and connects your needs with industry trends  
  • Digital skills and emerging technologies focus  
  • Become part of a global learning community  
  • Connectivity and access to world-class facilities  
  • Co-delivery with industry practitioners  

Benefits

  • Learn alongside cutting edge researcher-practitioners  
  • Secure a global competitive edge and excellent employment prospects  
  • Gain real world, practical and problem solving experience  
  • Create a portfolio to showcase and help secure future work  
  • Access to a national and international peer and industry network

Year 1

This module explores how science is communicated through digital environments and why thinking digital is central to any science communications strategy. You will explore the ecosystem of digital science communication, the trajectory of the changing media landscape within the field, whilst nurturing your skills and practical expertise towards becoming an innovator and early adopter of new environments. This module covers the shift in science communication away from traditional media formats towards social media, the growth of mobile and wearable technologies, connected devices, immersive media and the Internet of Things.
This module focuses on the art and science of storytelling across a range of cultural forms, formats and methods to explore the crucial considerations to digital storytelling strategies for communicating science. Using examples drawn across a range of formats, you will develop an understanding of narrative techniques and tools to apply to a factual or fictional context.
This module introduces the idea that science communication is most effective when the public are involved in the co-creation of knowledge. This will be demonstrated by introducing co-design methods; from citizen science, to patient and public involvement in research, to human-computer-interaction. You will examine theoretical ideas on the relationship between democracy and science, whilst focusing on how digital environments, tools and applications shape science 'upstream' of research.  You will consider the motivations, opportunities and challenges of engaging a diverse range of actors to bridge the gap between scientific institutions and citizens. The role of scientific citizenship and science capital will be considered in this regard.
This module explores the idea of the knowledge economy and the historical context of disciplinary divisions, as an entry point into understanding areas of common ground in artistic and scientific practice. You will be introduced to different formats of artistic work that operate around science, examining case studies of renowned artists, and experimenting with forms of art production. With support and guidance from tutors, you will identify an art/science collaborator with whom to develop your critical and creative practice.

Year 2

With the proliferation of science festivals, science education programmes and the advent of broadcasting live via social media, the importance of live performances has grown considerably. This module develops your presentation skills and introduces a range of formats, from social media content to stand up shows. You will develop the skills to produce, exhibit and distribute accessible performances. This module offers an opportunity to explore production and post-production techniques in order to integrate compelling props and audio-visual elements.
This module focuses on contemporary matters of global concern in science communication. Using key case studies, debates and problem-based learning, you will explore how to frame ethical questions and concerns around global challenges and the development of new and emerging technologies. You will explore and evidence how the science communication sector is responding to these needs.
This module explores how science writing and journalism has changed in a digital era and the impact this had had on publishing and news production.  You will explore online formats, publishing platforms and industry standards in mobile science communication. You will gain critical and practical insights into the changing economy of media management, the relationship between traditional print outlets and online media and how principles of content generation and syndication have changed around new media consumption habits.
This module focuses on developing your professional skills as a reflective science communicator operating effectively in a digital environment. You will be guided to focus on developing creative habits and strategies to transfer ideas and skills into real world contexts through problem-based learning. You will locate your work within a professional context and community of practice that has the potential to continue beyond the life of the course.

Year 3

This module provides a critical, reflective space in which to dive deeply into an aspect of science communication by developing a project from concept to planning and final delivery. You will consolidate your knowledge, skills and abilities acquired through the course by critically reflecting on your chosen methodologies from across your portfolio. You will be encouraged and supported to find a scientific or artistic partner through our extensive networks. With support and guidance from a tutor, you will explore and express yourself as an independent learner.

Entry Requirements

Minimum grade 2:2 and we welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

Applicants are invited with degrees in a range of disciplinary backgrounds including science, technology, computing, engineering and mathematics and arts and humanities subjects, including media and design.

To apply, please submit:- 

A 300 word statement of motivation outlining why you want to apply including:

i) Mention any relevant skills and experience

ii) Creative career ambitions

iii) How the course will support your ambitions

B Provide a CV or link to an online CV that includes portfolio links (e.g. an acceptable format would include Linkedin) 

Prospective students will be interviewed.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

EEA applicants based in the UK may be able to take an English language test at the University. Please contact salfordlanguages@salford.ac.uk for more details.

Suitable For

This part-time, online science communication masters is designed with the creative professional and freelancer professionals in mind. We are looking for prospective students from a range of backgrounds (arts, humanities and design as well as science, technology, computing, engineering and maths graduates) who wish to nurture their confidence and expertise in using creative digital skills to develop a reflective, critical practice as a strategic communicator.

You may be a recent graduate or already working freelance or in full-time employment in a range of industries in the cultural, digital and science industries sector. Relevant occupations include professionals working in higher education, museums and galleries, research funding councils, publishing, broadcast and entertainment.

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£3,690 per year- note there is no fee for the final 3rd year
International Distance LearningPart-time: £6,750 per year- Note there is no fee for the final 3rd year

As well as course fees, additional fees may apply as follows:

UK field/residential trip (approx £300)

International residential/field trip (approx £560)

Access to laptop, smart phone, internet, a microphone and headphones 

Additional equipment (approx £500)

International students that opt for the residentials will need to cover any additional costs associated with visas.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • University of Salford student loyalty discount
  • Country bursary scheme for International students only

There are also other sources of funding available to you.

For more information please see our funding section

The Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships for 2017-18 entry are currently under review and subject to change. A revised schedule of scholarships and bursaries will be published in Spring 2017.

Teaching

The course is delivered by the Salford SciComm Space in collaboration with industry experts and professional science communicators. It will provide you with an applied online student experience that encourages independent study and reflection on practice in the real world. It is delivered through distance learning, collaborative tasks, a creative portfolio and a final project and there are two optional residentials in year 1 and year 2. Students taking the distance learning only option, gain access to unique virtual learning experiences.

In depth:

This distance learning science communication masters degree models in practice the key theories of science communication by designing and supporting interactions between students, tutors and industry practitioners. The course is enhanced by digital technologies, tools and resources. It is designed to provide educational experiences that engage you -the student- as a co-creator, co-inquirer and co-producer of knowledge giving you more responsibility over how, when, with whom and what you learn.

You will engage in problem based learning via live briefs, where key skills and approaches are introduced by tutors and practitioners. You will learn in an open and exploratory way, individually and in collaboration with peers, to test how creative ideas and approaches work in practice, including, where appropriate, in the current workplace.

Additional support includes online tutoring, online peer support and group seminars as students reflect on and develop their creative practice. You will draw on real world experiences as you advance your digital scholarship and creative portfolio.

The final project is to deliver an original science communication campaign or science communication experience, from conceptualisation to delivery with support from tutors and industry practitioners.

Optional Residentials

Residentials are available to UK students and students with tier 4 visas for a study trip. Two residential trips are offered (but not compulsory) and comprise 1x 3 day residential at Media City in Year 1 and 1 x 4 day trip at an International Science Communication site in year 2.

Students taking the distance learning only option will be provided with an equivalent collaborative experience via a unique Virtual Learning Environment.

Assessment

Assessments include a range of cultural artefacts (1 per module) and a final project, which are assessed as part of a creative portfolio.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Professor Andy Miah

Professor Andy Miah is Chair in Science Communication and Future Media. Whether it is the latest technological developments in sport or the rise of wearable devices and artificially intelligent machines, his research considers the ethical, cultural and policy issues arising from emerging technology. Today’s society is faced with profound and remarkable technology change, which challenges the idea of evolution and humanity’s place in the ecosystem. His work endeavours to answer some of the questions arising from this situation and how human life is enhanced or comprised by new technologies. He has been researching the Olympic Games for over 15 years.

He holds several advisory roles, including, to the Scottish Government Ministerial Advisory Group for Digital Participation and The European City of Science. He has written numerous books, articles and published for a range of publishing outlets from popular press to academic publishers on a range of topics including Transforming Sport for a Virtual World, Mobile wearable and ingestible health technologies, The Science of Light and Colour, The Olympics, The Medicalisation of Cyberspace, Art in an Age of Uncertainty and Genetically modified athletes. He has a PhD in Bioethics and a Masters degree in Law. To find out more, visit here.

‘Andy Miah is no ordinary academic. Part Futurologist, part philosopher, his work on the science of sport grew to encompass bioethics, medical law and now covers all aspects of the way technology impacts on human beings.’  The Scotsman

Dr Erinma Ochu

Dr Erinma Ochu, MBE is a mediamaker, curator and social entrepreneur. She pioneers collaborative projects that involve the public in science, the arts, technology, engineering and mathematics. This includes highly engaging citizen science research collaborations, including, The Manchester Robot Orchestra, Turing’s Sunflowers and game, #Hookedonmusic which have headlined major science festivals, attracted participation from hundreds of thousands of contributors, resulted in several academic publications and raised global awareness of social issues.

Her industry experience and connections include higher education, broadcast, interactive media and the cultural industries, working with artists, activists, social entrepreneurs and researchers. She has executive produced fiction, documentary and interactive exhibits and curates high profile events for festivals including Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

She is co-founder of several award winning social enterprise spinouts,including a pop up urban farm, FarmLab. Between 2013 and 2015 she received a prestigious Wellcome Trust Engagement fellowship to pioneer the future of public involvement in health.

She serves on several advisory boards including The BBSRC Bioscience in Society Panel, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Centre for Health Aging in Copenhagen and European Citizen Science project, Do It Together Science. In 2015, Erinma was awarded an MBE for Services to Public engagement in Science, Technology and Engineering. To find out more, visit here.

“It’s amazing studying Science Communication at Salford, where I’m learning and contributing to science communication theory whilst developing my own practice. The support from expert professionals and staff helps me to push the boundaries of my own creativity to explore and experiment  from  a range of angles.”

Gary Kerr (2nd year post-graduate PhD Science Communication)





Take a look at some of the projects we have recently been involved with


Alienated Life


Salford Science Jam 2015

Employability

Career Prospects

This science communication MSc is designed to equip the modern science communicator with the practical skills and theoretical grounding to carry out science communication, public engagement and policy roles in a wide range of institutions, from Universities to science festivals, museums and galleries to research funders, science and health charities, NGOs and science businesses spanning education, entertainment, PR/ advocacy and sustainable development.

Science communication professionals contribute to a wide range of industries including:

  • Media and creative industries;  
  • Science centres and museums;
  • Science education and outreach;
  • Research councils and policymaking.

Graduates could undertake roles (within these sectors and others) such as:

  • Broadcast, Media and Entertainment;
  • Science Journalism;
  • Science Advocacy;
  • Professional Consultancy;
  • Public Relations;
  • Science publishing;
  • Public Engagement; 
  • Public Involvement and Impact; 
  • Knowledge Exchange;
  • Museum education, exhibition and curation;
  • Events production, management.

Links with Industry

Through The University of Salford’s Industry Collaboration Zone and MediaCity Campus we work with The BBC, ITV, The Museum of Science and Industry and festivals including Manchester Science Festival and Abandon Normal Devices, plus online publishing platforms such as The Conversation, Wakelet and Digital Science as well as a range of creative and digital companies.

The university is also founding partner in HOME, educational sponsor of The Manchester Science Festival and organises the Salford International Media Festival at Media City. Students will benefit from interacting with and learning from high profile industry and cultural professionals made available through these collaborations.

Further Study

Graduates may be interested in studying for a PhD at Salford.

Facilities

Watch our video  

Our cutting edge MediaCityUK facilities

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