Not offered in 2017

The Master of Science (Science Policy and Communication) is a 72-unit program comprising coursework and either a large research project or work placement offered by the Science21 in collaboration with The School of the Environment and the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold an approved Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Science
or a closely related discipline, from an approved institution. The Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

The Master of Science (Science Policy and Communication) is not available to students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in the same specialisation.

Course aims

The award aims to provide students with:

  • a deep knowledge and understanding in the theory and practice of science policy and communication
  • the ability to be change-agents (as opposed to agents of information transfer) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) environments and within organisations and institutions that develop public or private business policy
  • the ability to use their science and science-communication knowledge and know-how to participate in innovation and the shaping of a society in conditions of constant change
  • a deep understanding of the nature of science, science communication and the ways in which they interact with policy and decision-making
  • a strong understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and a commitment to them
  • the ability to critically analyse and evaluate information and solve complex problems
  • an awareness of social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of STEM
  • the ability to work professionally as an individual and as a member of multi-disciplinary teams
  • the ability to undertake research in a variety of contexts
  • an understanding of the need to undertake lifelong learning and the capacity to do so
  • preparation for professional roles as a scientific advisor.

Learning outcomes 

On successful completion of the course, graduates should be able to:

  • proficiently use cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in the systematic development of solutions to complex problems
  • apply their skills and knowledge in a professionally responsible manner with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability
  • communicate effectively with scientists, public and private sector professionals and the wider global community using a wide range of methods
  • work professionally as an individual and in a team
  • develop solutions appropriate to the social, political, international, economic and environmental contexts in which they are applied
  • demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods and complete an independent research project

Program of study

To qualify for the Master of Science (Science Policy and Communication), a student must complete 72 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study.

Core - Year 1 topics

36 units comprising:

SPOC8701 Nature of Science GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8711 Science and Decisions GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8712 Engaging and Influencing Non-Scientists GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8722 Science Narratives GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8721 Science Policy in Industry GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8702 The Science of Communicating Science GE (4.5 units)
SPOC8751 Science Communication for Influence (4.5 units)
SPOC8741 Research and Practicum Skills (4.5 units)

Core - Year 2 topics

36 units comprising:

Option A*
SPOC9710A Science Policy and Communication Practicum  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9710B Science Policy and Communication Practicum  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9710C Science Policy and Communication Practicum  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9710D Science Policy and Communication Practicum  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9701 Research Project (4.5 units)

PLUS:
13.5 units of approved options^ #

Or:

Option B*
SPOC9700A Science Policy and Communication Research  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9700B Science Policy and Communication Research  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9700C Science Policy and Communication Research  (4.5/18 units)
SPOC9700D Science Policy and Communication Research  (4.5/18 units)

PLUS:18 units of approved options^ #

* Students wishing to undertake a research pathway which may prepare them for further study in a Research Higher degree must undertake Option B.

^ Students are encouraged to seek advice from the course coordinator about the selection of suitable option topics.

# List of approved options:
Any 8XXX or 9XXX topic in the following subject areas for which eligibility requirements are met: BIOL, BTEC, BUSN, CHEM, COMP, CPES, CTEC, DSGN, DSRS, DVST, EASC, ENGR, ENVH, ENVS, FACH, GEOG, HLED, INTR, LEGL, MATH, NANO, PHCA, PHYS, POAD (except 8005 & 8006), POLI, PPHR, SOAD, SOCI, STAT, THEO and WMST.