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Science Communication & Public Engagement MSc

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MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement - 1 Year (Full-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. For guidelines on living costs see:

Funding opportunities

See Scholarships and Student Funding Services for other funding opportunities:

Contact information
Dr Elizabeth Stevenson (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3258
Address: School of Biomedical Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Medical School, Teviot Place
Central Campus

The field of science communication and public engagement with science is currently enjoying unprecedented growth.

This is driven by a greater need to demonstrate the impact of publicly funded research, the need for research to be valued, increased government scrutiny and a desire for a stronger evidence base for policy.

Many career opportunities are emerging at the interface between scientific research and various public groups.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK), in a science-related subject. Other qualifications, at honours degree level combined with relevant experience, will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the 'Enabling Skills' sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

The application deadline for the next intake is:

Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2016 31 January 2016

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

You will experience a variety of science communication and public engagement issues and methodologies. In the process, you will develop critical thinking skills and self-evaluation skills through reflective practice.

The learning gained from one course is transferable to other courses, thus ensuring interconnection across the programme.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Academies.

Programme structure

This MSc is a twelve-month programme, divided into three semesters. The final semester consists of a choice of research-or practice-based project. Students also complete placements in an organisational setting.

Teaching methods contain a blend of lectures, individual and small-group activities, and practice-based sessions. Teaching styles will be designed to ‘model’ the practices in science communication and public engagement.

Compulsory courses

  • Science and Society
  • Principles and Practice in Science Communication and Public Engagement
  • The Role of Social Media in Science Communication
  • Science Education
  • Dialogue for Science Communication and Public Engagement
  • Science Policy and Practice


Students will also complete two placements in public engagement workplaces.

The University of Edinburgh has excellent links with many organisations and placement opportunities include: National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh International Science Festival and placements in policy and education.

Career opportunities

There has been a significant rise in opportunities available for scientists with the specialist knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to pursue roles at the interface between scientific research and the public.

These roles can be found in, for example, higher education institutions, museums, science centres, learned societies and consultancies for democratic decision-making.

Examples of specific roles include Engagement Managers, Information and Education Officers, Policy and Knowledge Brokers.

Further information

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