The Master’s degree culminates in a science communication project of the student’s own design. This project is documented by a project proposal in Term 3 and a final product submitted near the end of the summer. Student work is guided by an academic supervisor. It also is supported by a variety of key skill programmes. Students are expected to construct a project that includes (1) original work and research, (2) deliberate and well-considered methodological choices, and (2) relevance to significant general conversations in the discipline of science communication. The project is a substantial part of the degree, and it should represent the very best work a student can produce.
HPSC0155 is available only to students pursuing UCL’s Science Communication MSc. The timetable spans the entire calendar year, with occasional sessions in Terms 1 and 2, then accelerated work in Term 3, and full commitment during the summer. Final project submission normally is at the end of August.
In 2023-24, Professor Joe Cain convenes this module for UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS).
HPSC0155 assessment includes:
- 80% dissertation or practical work equivalent to 10,000 words
- 20% coursework (project proposal) equivalent to 1,000 words
The science communication final project is the culmination of the Master’s programme. The overall aims focus on research, project management and project delivery to a high professional standard. The goal is not simply to create communication products. It also is to reflect on practice: demonstrate an intellectual engagement with key theories and concepts of communication as a discipline.
General aims for the module are:
- plan their project in advance, using a proposal to describe their undertaking, describe how it will be managed, and reflect upon its value
- work independently and manage a complex project within strict time constraints
- comply with relevant ethical, safety, and documentation processes
- reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of methodology, understanding how to improve in future work
- demonstrate an intellectual engagement with key theories and concepts of communication as a discipline
In addition, students on the portfolio pathway will be encouraged to:
- reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of technical skills
- understand how to develop new technical skills quickly
- peer assess work using comparable techniques
In addition, students on the research pathway will be encouraged to:
- undertake independent research that makes an original contribution to knowledge, or produces a novel synthesis of existing materials relevant to significant conversations in the discipline
- relate original research to existing literature on the subject
- relate research to general themes in relevant scholarly literatures and conversations
By the end of this module, all students should be able to:
- plan a substantial project
- comply with ethical, safety, and documentation processes
- assemble findings into a substantial product
- use expert knowledge in the subject of their project
- demonstrate skilled use of research methods appropriate to their research questions
- relate their work to key concepts and conversations in communication as a discipline
- network towards using expertise relevant to their project while working as an independent learner
In addition, students on the portfolio pathway should be able to:
- deliver creative outputs that meet high professional standards
- demonstrate expert knowledge of practical skills involved in producing creative output
- reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the outputs they create
- comment constructively on the work of their peers undertaking comparable work
In addition, students on the research pathway should be able to:
- generate original data, and incorporate existing data or literature, relevant to their research questions
- relate original data to existing literature, or to create a novel synthesis of existing materials
- advise on the strengths and weaknesses of their methodology, with constructive commentary on how they might improve their efforts in future work
A syllabus contains the module plan and expectations. It is a key document and students are expected to be aware of its contents.