• Code SCOM7000
  • Unit Value 3 to 24 units
  • Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Research
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Science Communication
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Delivery of this course will vary from student to student. Contact your course convener or supervisor to see if there is an on campus activity.

The Master of Science Communication Research Project involves a substantive investigation of an approved topic in science communication. It is a compulsory course for all students enrolled in the Master of Science Communication program.

Students devise their own science communication research project in collaboration with the supervisor, or can pursue a topic already offered by the supervisor. The project should be devised and conducted with journal publication in mind as the desired end goal.

The course can be taken as 18 or 24 units completed within a single semester, or two consecutive semesters. Students will complete a minimum of 18 units in this course, but students who hope to use the Master of Science Communication program as a stepping stone to higher degree research are advised to complete a total of 24 units. The course convener can advise on this decision.

  • The 18-unit version of the course entails a research project with a significant original component, aspiring to professional-level data collection and analysis, with ethics approval required for any human participant element. 
  • The 24-unit version of the course involves a research project as for the 18-unit version, plus compulsory research methods training. This training could involve completing specific, externally provided research training activities (such as the online courses offered by the Statistical Consulting Unit) to an acceptable standard, or completing a 4000 word literature review on relevant research methods to an acceptable standard, or similar. The research methods training is a hurdle requirement which doesn't contribute to the final mark, but has to be completed to pass the course. The course convener will set and assess this item, in consultation with the supervisor and student.

Students must discuss their project ideas with the course convener prior to enrolling in the course to ensure they enrol in the appropriate version and that an appropriate supervisor can be found.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation and evaluation of a chosen research topic
2. Systematically identify relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions
3. Engage in systematic discovery and critical review of appropriate and relevant information sources
4. Appropriately apply statistical or other evaluation processes to original data
5. Understand and apply ethical standards of conduct in the collection and evaluation of data and other resources
6. Communicate research concepts and contexts clearly and effectively both in writing and orally

Indicative Assessment

  • 5000-8000 word report on an original research project, in the style of a journal paper for the journal 'Public Understanding of Science' (80%, LO 1,2,3,4,5,6)
  • 800 ±10% word academic blog post written as if for 'The Conversation', communicating about the research project to a wider audience (15%, LO 6)
  • 5 short reflections spaced throughout the semester, answering set questions about the research process and experience (5 x 1%, LO 6)
  • for 24-unit version of course only: research methods training activity (hurdle requirement, LO 2,3,4)

The main report will be examined by two science communication academics outside the supervisor's research group.

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.


Total 390 hours work across the semester(s) of enrolment.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Master of Science Communication program.

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


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:
3 to 24 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.

3.00 0.06250
4.00 0.08333
5.00 0.10417
6.00 0.12500
7.00 0.14583
8.00 0.16667
9.00 0.18750
10.00 0.20833
11.00 0.22917
12.00 0.25000
13.00 0.27083
14.00 0.29167
15.00 0.31250
16.00 0.33333
17.00 0.35417
18.00 0.37500
19.00 0.39583
20.00 0.41667
21.00 0.43750
22.00 0.45833
23.00 0.47917
24.00 0.50000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions