Master of Applied Science in Science Communication (MAppSc 180 pts)

The Master of Science Communication is a coursework postgraduate degree designed to be completed in three semesters. Based on professional interests, applicants select a specialisation (endorsement) in Creative Non-Fiction Writing in Science (CNFW), Science and Natural History Filmmaking (SNHF) or Science in Society (SSOC).

Students are required to take seven papers from the list below and a supervised independent study. For full-time students, the degree can be completed in one academic year (and allows the flexibility for the student to begin coursework at the start of either semester). Part-time students can spread their 180-credit degree requirements over the course of six semesters.

The main difference between this option and the PGDipSciComm is that the MAppSc requires not just the standard coursework, but also the completion of a significant creative product in the third semester, such as a book, film, or exhibition. For this purpose, students register for APPS597, Supervised Independent Study (40 pts).

SCOM402 The Craft of Storytelling (20 pts; Semester 1)
A seminar-based paper that explores the requirements for the core skill necessary for the communication of science and natural history - telling a story.
Instructor: Assoc Prof Jesse Bering

SCOM409 Introduction to Science Communication (20 pts; Semester 1)
A seminar-based introduction to models of science communication, theories of what science is, audiences and publics for science communication and how to communicate widely and effectively.
Instructors: Dr Jenny Rock and Dr Fabien Medvecky

SCOM413 Digital Production for Science Communication (20 pts; Semester 1)
Digital production targeted specifically at communicating science. A focus on developing multimedia skills that are used to enhance the storytelling associated with communicating science. This paper covers the skills needed to publish and package science into various digital formats for best effect.
Instructor: Prof Lloyd Davis

SCOM404 Science Communication Internship (20 pts; Semesters 1 and 2)
Project-based development of professional skills and networks in a work setting, extending the skills and implementing practices and principles learned in other SCOM papers. Each internship is individually arranged and involves participation in a specific project. The internship requires approximately 130 hours work over the period of time.
Instructor: Prof Nancy Longnecker
Please note: The internship option is offered for either semester.

SCOM403 Science and Creative Non-Fiction Writing (20 pts; Semester 2)
A seminar-based paper that examines the academic and theoretical issues associated with creative non-fiction and how science can best be popularised. This paper nurtures the student's ability to write about science in creative and engaging ways.
Instructor: Prof Lloyd Davis and Assoc Prof Jesse Bering

SCOM405 Business of Filmmaking (20 pts; Semester 2)
The process and business of filmmaking, and development of the necessary critiquing skills to differentiate between bad filmmaking and good filmmaking.
Instructor: Ross Johnston

SCOM406 Science Exhibitions and Interpretation (20 pts; Semester 2)
Students explore creative approaches to communicating science in museums and other science engagement settings (e.g., science centres, national parks, broadcasting, participatory citizen science and science events). Students gain an awareness of methodologies of market research and project evaluation.
Instructor: Prof Nancy Longnecker

SCOM411 The Techniques of Natural History and Science Filmmaking I (20 pts; Semester 2)
A seminar-based paper that deals with the technical bits students need to know to make a documentary. The techniques of filmmaking are taught by award-winning professionals currently working in natural history filmmaking.
Instructor: Robert Brown

SCOM412 The Techniques of Natural History and Science Filmmaking II (20 pts; Semester 2)
This paper is a follow-on from Part I and is intended to provide more advanced techniques for the production of a documentary.
Instructor: Phil Davison

APPS597 Supervised Independent Study (40 pts; Offered Year-Round)
A supervised independent study resulting in a piece of original creative work.
Instructor: TBA

Application deadline: 4 November 2016

Second round applications for 2017 postgraduate study are now being accepted for New Zealand and Australian citizens
For more information on the application process please follow this link Applications close on the 31 January.

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Contact: For questions regarding this degree option, please email the Centre for Science Communication manager Sue Harvey at

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