• Offered by Centre for the Public Awareness of Science
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Science Communication
  • Areas of interest Science Communication
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Graham Walker
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

Students in this course develop their science communication skills in authentic science engagement settings, creating real-world impact and building networks and pathways to support career development. The course allows students to choose from a range of one-year intensive fieldwork placements at some of Australia’s leading science engagement organisations. Students explore the fundamental theory that underpins science communication in such settings, then apply it to deliver, evaluate and improve existing programs, develop novel programs and work on other suitable priorities of the fieldwork host – including working alongside and learning from their staff.

To see current fieldwork placement opportunities see the 'Class' tab. For more details, see all work-integrated learning opportunities the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Implement, analyse and critique common activities of science communication organisations such as program design, delivery and evaluation.
  2. Design, implement and critically evaluate novel science communication activities in real-world settings.
  3. Demonstrate high-level proficiency and theoretical understanding of science communication techniques including presentation, facilitation, online and in-person engagement, and creation of equipment/resources.
  4. Effectively and inclusively communicate science to audiences of varied ages and backgrounds, including youth, families, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and minoritised groups.
  5. Identify, utilise and formulate bidirectional relationships between the theory and practice of science communication.

Other Information

Current fieldwork hosts can be found in the class scheduling information. Please visit the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science website for further details of what fieldwork placements may involve and the application process. If you are a science communication organisation that would like to host ANU students, or a potential applicant with a suggested fieldwork host, please contact the course convenor.

As placements are limited, students must apply by September 30 (round 1) or November 30 (round 2 - only run if spaces remain) in the year prior to study by submitting:

  • a CV including (1) any experience/qualifications relevant to the fieldwork placement (however these are not mandatory), and (2) contact details (phone and email) for two referees, preferably relevant to the placement.
  • a one A4 page statement noting which fieldwork placement they are applying for, why they would be a valuable and effective person for the preferred fieldwork placement, and anything else they think the panel should know.

Please email to graham.walker@anu.edu.au and cpas@anu.edu.au; NOTE for students applying for a degree program at the same time please also upload these documents via the relevant Application Portal.

Late applications may be considered, please contact the course convenor.

Following review of applications, there will be an interview process including a short science communication audition activity (e.g. a brief talk or demonstration). Applications and interviews will be assessed on applicant's creativity and originality, motivation for applying, existing skills and knowledge, qualifications, interpersonal skills, past experience, ambition and adaptability. Contact the course convenor for more details.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Delivery of science communication activities (video recordings, reflections, reports, oral presentations, etc.) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Journal Paper - evaluation/research and refinement of an existing science communication activity (35) [LO 1,3,4,5]
  3. Creative Project Plan (design/develop novel science communication projects) (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Creative Project Report and Artifact (deliver and evaluate a novel science communication project) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


This course is to be enrolled in as 12 units + 12 units across two consecutive Semesters, commencing in Semester 1 and concluding in Semester 2 of the same year, in one fieldwork placement.

The expected workload will consist of approximately 260 hours per semester of which approximately 10% consists of lectures and other ANU-led teaching, with the rest split between team/location-based activity with the fieldwork host and independent self-study, assignments, fieldwork specific lectures and workshops, and individual/team fieldwork – the exact split of this will depend on the nature of fieldwork tasks.

Inherent Requirements

During this course, students learn skills associated with science engagement activities. This includes: 

  • Presenting programs to schools and the public (e.g. interactive science shows, exhibitions, nature tours/walks, and hands-on workshops).
  • Safely demonstrating and facilitating hands-on and/or or location-based science experiments, activities and experiences.
  • Monitoring activities for potential hazards and responding dynamically to audience needs.

Students who cannot meet these requirements will not be able to pass compulsory assessment tasks and therefore will not be able to pass the course.


During this course, students must participate in work-integrated learning which may include science engagement programs, events and other activities organised by our fieldwork hosts. In order to participate in these activities, students are required to:

  • Obtain ACT Working with Vulnerable People registration and pass additional checks for other States and Territories as deemed appropriate by the course convenor and/or fieldwork host.
  • Be available for activities after hours and on weekends (by negotiation).

Students who cannot complete these requirements will not be able to participate in the work-integrated learning and therefore cannot pass the course.


Students are also typically expected to contribute to the practical operations of the fieldwork hosts activity by: 

  • Assisting to set-up and pack down equipment.
  • For selected hosts, working in outdoor locations with sometimes limited accessibility such as nature reserves and botanic gardens.

Students who cannot meet these requirements will need to have an exemption approved by the course convenor. As this cannot be guaranteed in all circumstances, students are strongly encouraged to discuss their circumstances with the course convenor before enrolling in this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Master of Science Communication program. This course must be taken twice in consecutive semesters (12+12) within the same calendar year and with the same fieldwork host. Students must be concurrently enrolled in or have completed SCOM8014, which provides deeper conceptual background to enhance the fieldwork placement. This course is incompatible with SCOM6004, SCOM8004A and SCOM8004B. These requirements may be flexible in very specific circumstances, permission must be sought from the course convenor.

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


Assumed Knowledge

Experience in real-world science communication activities as a volunteer or professionally is helpful but by no means essential - thorough tuition and training will be provided.


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:
12 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.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $8880
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $12720
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
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Ce
2938 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
3547 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View
Mount Stromlo Observatory (ANU)
3548 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person N/A
Australian National Botanic Gardens
4266 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Ce
8288 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
8560 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A
Mount Stromlo Observatory (ANU)
8561 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A
Australian National Botanic Gardens
9145 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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