• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Science Communication
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Joan Leach
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course is offered in two modes: online and in person. Please select the correct class number when enrolling for the relevant mode of delivery.

This course introduces students to the history, theory and practice of science communication at an advanced level. It covers contemporary competing theories in science communication, the historical roots of the discipline, fundamental practical skills for communicating science with the public, and a deep understanding of science communication professional practice. It provides a solid foundation for further studies in science communication, touching on multiple communication mediums, considerations of different aims and audiences, and some specifics of communicating particular kinds of scientific information. Students will develop foundational science communication research skills in this course.

The course is compulsory for students in the Master of Science Communication and Master of Science Communication Outreach programs, but postgraduates in other disciplines, particularly in the sciences, can also benefit from its overview of the current science communication landscape.

The course will be run as a combination of online content, face-to-face or online classes and an intensive component on-campus.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Research and critically evaluate published papers on science communication history, theory and practice.
  2. Critically analyse examples of science communication practice in light of theory and best practice literature.
  3. Synthesize relevant research in science communication and relevant disciplines and apply to practice
  4. Critically evaluate the communication context of scientific issues and apply that evaluation to communication practice.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Oral exam on science communication history and theory (20) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Journal article review assignment, written and oral presentations (20) [LO 1,4]
  3. Research essay (40) [LO 2,4]
  4. Regular short writings on science communication topics (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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:

In person:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 2-3 hour seminar per week.
  • Approximately 106 hours of self-study which will including online lecture and reading material plus preparation for seminars and other assessment tasks.


  • 1 x 2-3 hour online seminar per week.
  • Approximately 106 hours of self-study which will including online lecture and reading material plus preparation for other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with SCOM4014

Prescribed Texts

Gilbert JK & Stocklmayer S. (2013) Communication and Engagement with Science and Technology: Issues and Dilemmas: A Reader in Science Communication. Routledge.


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
3568 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View
3569 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 Online View

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