Postgraduate study

Science Communication and Public Engagement MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

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.

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.

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

Placements

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.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScScience Communication and Public Engagement1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

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.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a science-related subject.

We will also consider your application if you have a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in another discipline.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

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:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScScience Communication and Public Engagement1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Elizabeth Stevenson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3258
  • Contact: e.stevenson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Medical School, Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 31 July 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Elizabeth Stevenson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3258
  • Contact: e.stevenson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Medical School, Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG