Programme description

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.

Programme structure

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 organizational 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 of 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


Students will also complete two placements in public engagement workplaces.

The University of Edinburgh has excellent links with many organizations and placement opportunities include National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh International Science Festival and placements in policy and education.

Career opportunities

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.

Entry requirements

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.

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

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

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

  • PTE(A): 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

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • English language requirements

Fees and costs

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies.

Scholarships and funding

UK nationals, those with settled status, and some EU nationals not resident in the UK could be eligible for a postgraduate loan towards fees - and in some cases living costs.

Program taught in:
  • English
The University of Edinburgh - College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
Last updated October 8, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 year
10,700 GBP
(UK/EU). 21,600 GBP (International).
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