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Faculty of Science and Engineering

MSc in Public Engagement and Science Communication

Postgraduate - Taught MSc

Open for admission in 2019/20

Open for admission in 2020/21

Start in September

Full time Part time
MSc 1 year 2 years

About the course

Science and technology has a key role to play in modern global and regional issues. To deal with them, decision makers and the general public need to be able to make evidence based choices. The MSc in Public Engagement and Science Communication will equip you with the skills (both communication and critical thinking) to effectively and efficiently explain complex issues in a way that is appropriate and relevant to the audience. In doing so, you'll have the skills to collaborate more effectively and lead in your future career.

This MSc is a cross faculty programme that taps into the most creative elements of science, drama and English to create a course that challenges science graduates to become engaging communicators. Along with the fundamentals of science communication, you'll have the opportunity to work with creative writers, theatre performers, and journalists to help you explore the medium you're most comfortable with and interested in. You'll also have the opportunity to gain real world experience through a work placement.

Alongside the taught modules, you'll conduct a piece of research into science communication, with the support of an academic supervisor and our social scientists. You'll learn through doing, and assignments will be based on real science communication activities. If you choose to write, you'll be encouraged to publish; if you take the drama modules, you will also take to the stage. This programme gives you the freedom to explore your creative ideas, whilst being guided and supervised by experienced science communicators.

What you'll study

Experiential learning and authentic assessments are central to the programme. You will practice and develop through applying your knowledge and talents in real world settings.

From the outset of the programme, you will be expected to develop ideas for your own public engagement activities. First trimester modules underpin this by setting the historical and philosophical scene, the present scene and the evaluation of future activities.

The second trimester allows you to build on your plans and deliver them during placements or through your own initiative. Alongside these experiential modules, specific creative skill sets are developed via drama or creative non-fiction modules. 

The final dissertation allows you to investigate aspects of your own or others public engagement activities through a piece of novel, independent and relevant research.

Core module

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


  • Dissertation in Public Engagement and Science Communication

Compulsory modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


  • Practice and Principles of Science and Communication and Public Engagement

    ​This introduction to science communication takes a workshop approach to start thinking about audience, activities, evaluations and theories of science communication and public engagement. You'll also touch on planning tools, risk assessing and ethic considerations for your future sci-comms events.​

  • Research Design and Methodology

    Explore the key features of qualitative and qualitative research designs, including evaluation research. This module enables you to choose appropriate methodological approaches and research design in full awareness of their strengths and limitations, for addressing research questions​.

  • Science Reason and Values

    ​A challenging introduction to the history, philosophy and sociology of science. You will examine the nature of scientific knowledge and practice, set in its historical and social context, and whether, and how, science is different from other modes of investigating and thinking about the world.

Optional modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


  • Public Engagement Through Applied Performance

    ​Taught jointly with staff in drama, this module provides you with skills to confidently perform in front of a live audience. You'll work with drama students to develop a small production on a science theme and then perform it to a real audience. You'll explore collaborations between scientists and artists and also and with external partners – ranging from schools and youth centres to local businesses.​

  • Creative Non-Fiction

    Through the likes of travel writing, true crime, narrative history, and biography, learn how to take readers with you as you explore your world. You'll mine creative nonfiction writers to see how they conjure effects, learn how to investigate archives and conduct field trips and interviews, and expand your writing's horizons.

  • Science Communication, Activity Design and Delivery

    ​If you have a science communication activity in mind that you've always wanted to design and deliver, this is the module for you. We'll support you to create a fabulous activity and deliver it to your target audience.​

  • Public Engagement Placement

    Spend time working in an external organisation learning and delivering a science communication activity. Whether you want to spend time in a museum, newspaper, school or somewhere else entirely - we'll help you to find a placement and support you to create a new piece of engaging material for them.​

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

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Hull Campus

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Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £8,500
  • Home/EU (part-time): £945 (20 credits), £2,835 (60 credits), £4,250 (90 credits)

Part-time fees are charged pro-rata to the full-time fee, according to the number of credits being studied. 

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK are now available. They provide up to £10,609 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. For more information, visit our Postgraduate Loans page.

  • International: £16,600

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

Graduate Studentship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught study a £1,000 studentship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the University of Hull Graduate Studentship page.

International Scholarships and Bursaries

For a list of all scholarships and bursaries for international students, please visit the International Scholarships and Bursaries page.

We also offer an International Studentship Scheme Discount of up to £3,500.

UK and EU Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships to help you with your studies.

For more information, please visit the UK and EU Scholarships and Bursaries page.

This programme taps into the most creative elements of science, drama and English to challenge science graduates to become engaging communicators.

Work with creative writers, theatre performers, and journalists to help you explore the medium you're most comfortable with and interested in.

You'll learn through doing, and assignments will be based on real science communication activities.

Entry requirements

You will have a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree or international equivalent in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM). Alternatively, you will be able to demonstrate a significant level of knowledge and experience in STEM.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate a passion for Science Communication through a personal statement. This should explain motivations for pursuing a science communication and public engagement programme and detailing any relevant experience.

Once you start this programme, you will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check as, in the second semester, you may come to contact with children and vulnerable adults. Should your DBS be unsuccessful, this will not affect your ability to complete the course, but you will not be able to work with vulnerable adults or children. 

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in each skill.

For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Future prospects

This programme has been designed to enhance your profile, and make you more desirable to the traditional employers of science graduates.

Potential careers for skilled science communicators include journalism, teaching and broadcasting. However, communicators are employed by professional bodies, research councils, outreach teams in higher education and industry, visitors centres, politicians and festivals. Science communication also offers significant freelance work through festivals, school shows, journalism and broadcast media, making self-employment a serious and successful option for graduates.