Master of Science – Science Communication

Objective

Science needs communication for impact. The world of science communication is undergoing transition. The media scene is changing across the world. The print medium, which was the mainstay of communication till a decade ago, is facing decline. On the other hand, internet-based online and social media has been increasing in space. Thus, while the traditional spaces for science communication are declining, new areas are opening up which require new skills.

Today, an internet-linked computer is all that is required to start a communication platform. Communicating through blogs, online publications, Facebook and Twitter have become as important as communicating with peers through peer-reviewed journal articles. National governments, ministries, public and private funded research institutions have all taken to social media with alacrity. These have opened channels of two-way communications that did not exist before.

However, there is a need for understanding the difference between anecdotal and peer-reviewed information, and activist literature and scientific truth. For this, the method of science has to be understood and a scientific temper needs to be developed.

The MSc Science Communication programme at TDU will train students to fill the needs of communicating science better. They would be able to join the media industry (print, electronic and online), research institutions as public policy communicators, and the industry (data communication, product communication and corporate communication). They will also be better equipped to handle research and project-related communication in academia.

The two-year post graduate degree programme will be open to graduates in any discipline, but with a proven aptitude for communicating science. It will also be open for working professionals who are willing to take a career break to strengthen their science communication skills. To add flexibility for working professionals, the programme will provide an option to drop a semester and return with the junior batch to make up the credits required for the degree.

How is this programme unique?

The MSc Science Communication programme will provide students these unique benefits:

  1. Opportunity to learn from high calibre and well-established faculty who are communication practitioners drawn from industry.
  2. A unique programme design focussed on imparting skills for the workplace enabling students to be successful communication practitioners than just theoretically knowledgeable students.
  3. Exposure to key communication media, including news media, the web and social media, live presentations, fiction film and television, science centre exhibits, and more.
  4. Opportunity to produce real world science communication materials and a final semester internship/project at workplaces, giving them the edge in the science and communications job markets.

Structure of the programme

The programme is spread across four semesters culminating with students undertaking a capstone project work or an internship plus dissertation. This would make them ready for the job market as they complete the programme. Some of the projects may even be the beginning of startup enterprises.

Semester 1: This semester will deal with fundamentals of science and communication. Students will be introduced to what science and communication are through a series of lectures and assignments enabling students to understand the history of science and the key principles of communication. Then students will be introduced to the method of science. An Intranet platform will be used from this semester onwards, where the students will be encouraged to create a digital portfolio of their work and present it to their classmates and faculty members.

Semester 2: This is the skill development semester, where the students will focus on acquiring skills required for communicating science through multiple media like print, radio, television, online and social media. They learn about science and public policy, which should give them a conceptual understanding and the skills necessary to communicate science to strengthen opinion of both public and policy makers.

Semester 3: Students will understand and develop value-added skills needed to deal with national and international sensibilities when communicating science especially essential skills like technical writing and copy-editing and an understanding on science and media ethics. Together, mentors and students will look into the present and the future of science and science communication. They will also get an understanding on the international agreements, national policies and laws that a science communicator needs to know about. The sunrise sector of data mining and analytics shall help focus on strengthening the students’ skills on science visualization.

At the beginning of Semester 3, the students will intern with an industry, institution or a media house and will be encouraged to explore their inherent strengths and preferences to develop skills necessary for a career in science communication.

Semester 4: During this semester, the students will complete the value-added courses that spill over from Semester 3 and a final project of eight weeks that will announce to the science communication world that they have arrived. Students will develop a science communication group project, that will result in a cutting-edge body of work that will give the students the confidence to enter the science communication world in high spirits, and thus will be of the highest standards in content and the means of communication employed.

Programme Partners

A range of national and international partners will be involved in offering this programme. Such partners include Indian Science Writers Association (ISWA), Forum for Environmental Journalists in India (FEJI), Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the United Nations Environment, Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy and a range of experts from both print and electronic media in addition to scientists of national repute.

Opportunities for students who will complete the programme

The MSc Science Communication programme will enable the students to opt for any of career options in:

  • Media – print, electronic or online,
  • Academia and Research institutions – as information officers,
  • Government organisations – as information officers, Indian Information Service, etc.
  • International organisations – as communication specialists,
  • Corporate sector – as communication specialists, technical writers and product communicators.

 

Fees and Financial Assistance

For details, please refer the Brochure.

© 2017 TransDisciplinary University, Bengaluru.