Science communication certificate online

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

Science Communication and Public Engagement

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Discover the importance of public engagement in science, and learn techniques to share and raise awareness of your research.Join course for free

3,933 enrolled on this course

Science Communication and Public Engagement

Science Communication and Public EngagementJoin course for free

Define your message and share your findings through social and traditional media

Please note this course runs without facilitation

Good science communication ensures the public engage with and understand relevant scientific research. On this course, you will learn how best to share your science findings with your intended audience.

You’ll explore how the relationship between society and science has evolved over time, and find out how traditional and social media can be used to share research. You’ll learn to identify your target audience and define your message to build a shareable story.

You’ll also discover guidelines for working with journalists, and how to host small events to share information with the public.


Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service: 

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available nowJoin today

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Design small-scale public science communication events
  • Reflect on the role of traditional and social media in the communication of science
  • Improve your science communication activities by clearly identifying the target audiences, messages and stories

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for scientists and researchers who wish to communicate the results and theory of their field(s) of study to the public.

This includes graduate and postgraduate students, academic staff of all career levels, and scientists not working in academia.

The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

This course provides an introduction to most forms of science communication intended for non-scientific audiences, such as news and feature writing for both print and online outlets, video scripts, university communications, industry public relations, and more.

We will introduce various careers and considerations in science communication, including the ins and outs of being a freelance writer. We’ll also provide tips on interviewing and other tools and techniques needed to accurately convey complicated subjects in an engaging way to a variety of audiences.

Please note: This course is about communicating scientific topics to non-scientific audiences, not about writing scientific journal articles or grants.

Weekly Course Topics:

  • Introduction
  • Fundamentals I
  • Fundamentals II
  • Storytelling
  • Interviewing
  • Writing for Video/Controversial Topics
  • Brand Journalism
  • Freelancing
  • Write-a-thon

Quarters Offered:  WINTER (Online); SUMMER (Online)
Prerequisite:  Mastery of written English, some experience in writing and general knowledge of science are strongly encouraged.
Questions:  Contact the academic department at [email protected].

Note: Meeting times in the schedule below are listed in Pacific Time.

Course Number: WCWP-40105
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Science Communication

Conditions for Admission

Applicants are encouraged to have some previous background in writing and general knowledge of science. With the exception of the Science Communication Internship, all courses are open to students not enrolled in the certificate, as long as they complete the prerequisites to the particular course.

Certificate Guidelines

The Specialized Certificate in Science Communication consists of 15 units total. Students will take three (3) required courses (Science Writing I, News and Feature Writing and Science Writing II) which will give them the basic skills needed to communicate science concepts to a general audience through a variety of platforms and will provide them a fundamental understanding of the science writing marketplace.

Additionally, students will choose a minimum of six (6) units of elective courses which will enable them to focus on specific areas of interest.

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