• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Political Communication, Science Communication, Environmental Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Christopher Cvitanovic
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course is offered in online mode only.

This course will provide students with an introduction to both quantitative and qualitative research methods as they relate to the fields of science communication and engagement.  This will include, but not be limited to, surveys, interviews, content analysis, focus groups and social network analysis. The course has been structured to (i) provide students with an in-depth theoretical understanding of each research method, (ii) gain experience in designing actual research projects in the fields of science communication and engagement, and (iii) develop practical skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation. The course will also introduce students to the critical ethical considerations associated with undertaking scientific research.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the role and importance of quantitative and qualitative scientific research methods within the context of science communication.
  2. Identify and critically evaluate quantitative and qualitative research methods within the scientific literature.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the challenges (both logistical and ethical) associated with applying quantitative and qualitative research methods to science communication, and strategies for overcoming these challenges.
  4. Develop research hypotheses, and design quantitative and qualitative research projects to address these hypotheses, in relation to science communication.
  5. Undertake exploratory data analysis for a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and report research results.

Indicative Assessment

  1. In-class quiz (20) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Designing and writing a research project proposal for a science communication and engagement topic of the student's choosing, Approx. 1500-2000 words. (35) [LO 3,4]
  3. Completion of a human ethics application in relation to the research project proposal described in point 2, Approx. 1000 words. (20) [LO 3,4]
  4. Short research report based on actual data that the students will collect in relation to the research project proposal described in point 2, Approx. 1500 words. (25) [LO 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of two hours of lecture and two tutorial hours per week throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 72 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks, independent student research, reading and writings.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with SCOM8019

You will need to contact the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course, however, for students seeking relevant material to support their learning the following text is suggested:

Bryman A (2012) Social Research Methods. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assumed Knowledge

This course is only available to Honours students.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4526 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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