MSc Science, Communication and Society

University of Kent, School of Biosciences

Program Description

MSc Science, Communication and Society

University of Kent, School of Biosciences

The Kent MSc in Science, Communication and Society gives critical, professional and practical perspectives on science communication.

Using the latest scholarship, we enable students to get behind contemporary and historic science to understand how knowledge is created and consumed within society. The course also features professionals from a range of sectors (medical writing, journalism, industry, policy). These bring real-life case studies that inform students’ critical perspectives on science communication. Practical and innovative assessments harness students’ developing knowledge to create a portfolio of skills that are highly valued by employers.

Science, Communication and Society is intended primarily, though not exclusively, for the following:

  • Science graduates intending to pursue a career within science but not in the laboratory
  • Humanities graduates with an interest in Science and Technology Studies
  • Practising scientists wanting a career change into media, education, policy or other communicational area of science

The programme is led by Dr. Charlotte Sleigh, Director of the University’s Centre for the History of the Sciences, and Dr. Dan Lloyd, Reader in the School of Biosciences. Both are active researchers with a passion for explaining their research to non-specialist audiences. They are also award-winning teachers; Dan has won a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his science communication work with undergraduates.

Programme structure

The MSc has been developed by the School of Biosciences, a leading school in teaching, research and science communication, and the School of History, which has a dedicated research centre in the History of the Sciences. It integrates current theory and practice in communicating science with insights from historical and ethical perspectives. Two core modules have a case study-driven approach to science communication, learning from key scientific moments in history and from science communicators who work in a variety of different professions (e.g. media, politics, education, journalism).

Two optional modules allow you to specialise in a particular area relevant to science communication, based on your interests and experience, focusing on either practical/scientific or humanities-based approaches to the study of science communication. An extended research project allows you to take a practical approach to science communication, or to do in-depth research on a historical or contemporary episode in science.

In some cases, these projects may be undertaken in conjunction with external partners, such as Research Councils, charities and NGOs.

You can opt to take only the core modules, resulting in a postgraduate certificate, or to take the compulsory plus two optional modules, leading to a postgraduate diploma.

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.


  • Science at Work (30 credits)
  • Science Communication and Society Project (60 credits)
  • Science and Medicine in Context (30 credits)
  • Work Placement (30 credits)
  • Deformed, Deranged and Deviant (30 credits)
  • Geiger Counter at Ground Zero: Explorations of Nuclear America (30 credits)

Admission requirements

The entry requirement for the programme is a minimum 2.1 degree in a relevant subject. Given the multidisciplinary, integrated nature of the programme, we will not assume a high level of scientific knowledge or humanities experience amongst entrants, and are flexible about the subject of your undergraduate studies. We will expect students to have an enthusiasm for science, and a willingness to learn about scientific concepts. Similarly, science graduates will be expected to engage with perspectives from the humanities, and to avail themselves of the guidance and support provided in preparing extended essays and seminar material. The interdisciplinary approach will ensure that all participants will leave with significant transferable skills upon completion of the programme.

Please note that the School of Biosciences has a number of funding and scholarship opportunities for master's students. Please visit the funding and scholarships page to review eligibility criteria and the application procedure.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 15, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 year
Full time
United Kingdom - Canterbury, England
Start date: Aug. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2017
United Kingdom - Canterbury, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info