Postgraduate study
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Science Communication and Public Engagement MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

The programme covers communication of all science, engineering, maths and technology.

About the programme

The fields of science communication and public engagement are currently enjoying unprecedented growth. The growth is driven by many situations present in modern society including:

  • the need for effective public health and climate change communication and engagement
  • a greater need to demonstrate and share the impact of publicly funded research
  • the need for research to be valued and a desire for a stronger evidence base for policy decisions.

Many career opportunities are emerging at the interface between research/researchers and various stakeholder groups, and ever more creative methods and practices for engagement are being explored and utilised. The MSc programme covers communication of and engagement with all sciences, engineering, maths and technology together with non-science disciplines.

You will experience a variety of science communication and public engagement approaches and contexts. In the process, you will develop critical thinking skills and reflective practice.

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

Please note this MSc is NOT a programme in communication science and does not specialise in marketing, advertising, or corporate communication

This MSc is a one-year programme, divided into three semesters. The final semester consists of a choice of research or practice-based project.

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

Compulsory courses

Semester 1

  • Principles and Practice in Science Communication and Public Engagement (20 credits)
  • Science, Society and the Media (20 credits)
  • The Role of Social Media in Science Communication and Public Engagement (10 credits)
  • Placement course (10 credits)

Semester 2

  • Dialogue for Science Communication and Public Engagement (20 credits)
  • Science Education (10 credits)
  • Science, Policy and Practice (10 credits)
  • Placement course (10 credits)
  • Choice of Elective courses (10 credits)

Examples of elective courses include:

  • Digital Making and Information Visualisation for Science Communication and Public Engagement (10 credits)
  • Creative Arts and Science Engagement (10 credits)

Please note elective availability is subject to annual academic review and demand.

Following semester 2

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

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 2024/25

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

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

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band A.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Medical School, Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

You can apply for this degree during a number of periods through the year. We limit the time we accept applications due to the high level of demand for places.

When you are able to apply depends upon your fee status.

Work out your fee status

If you don’t hear from us by the award deadline, your application is carried forward to the next admissions round for further consideration.

Deadlines for all fee statuses

Round Application Deadline Places awarded by
1 15 December 2023 26 January 2024
2 23 February 2024 22 March 2024
3 19 April 2024 24 May 2024
4 21 June 2024 26 July 2024

Deadlines for UK/Scotland fee status

This round is only open to applicants who are eligible for the UK/Scotland fee rate, including the EU/EEA Pre-settled Scotland fee status.

If you apply with another fee status in this round your application will be rejected.

Round Application Deadline Places awarded by
5 23 August 2024 30 August 2024

(Revised 16 May 2024 to update staged admissions wording)

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Medical School, Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG