Science communication

Master of Science Communication

Overview

How can we use social media to teach science? How do we engage different kinds of audiences with science? How can science best contribute to debates about public good?

With a combination of research, coursework and the option of work-integrated learning opportunities at Questacon, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary and Mt Stromlo Observatory. This program is taught by some of Australia’s leading science communicators, and can contribute to the development of a wide range of careers.

Key facts

  • 2 years full time

  • Semester 1 & 2 intake

  • #1 in Australia for graduate employability (Times Higher Education)

  • Limited Commonwealth Supported Places available

  • Credit arrangement for up to one year for previous study

Testimonials

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Skye Zhu

“The Master program has taught me to be more engaging in the way I communicate. Before, I would use lots of technical terms to show how much I knew about science. Now I use plain English so the audience can understand me, and I include stories to relate the science to their daily lives.”

Ellie and Nancy

Tiah Penny

I really value the balance between theory and practical learning in the Master of Science communication. The placement with Mulligan's Flat has been a great experience to directly contribute to environmental science communication – spending time in nature, working alongside passionate people, and increasing awareness and appreciation of the Yellow Box Grassy Woodlands and its inhabitants with others. 10/10 experience!

Careers

The program is ideal for people interested in becoming professional science communication officers and managers, or in gaining skills in communicating their own science.

Many graduates have found careers as communication officers for scientific organisations such as the CSIRO, government departments, universities, businesses, NGOs, or in the media. Some have set up science media businesses or consultancy firms. Others work in centres for informal science learning across the world, such as science centres and museums.

The Master's research project provides an opportunity to produce assessment tailored to the needs of particular organisations or employment sectors, and most coursework assessment can also be tailored to students' interests, areas of expertise, and career ambitions.

The Australian National University has been ranked as the top university for graduate employability in Australia in the Global University Employability Ranking 2020. As a student at ANU, you gain access to the ANU CareerHub – an online career development and employability tool that includes a jobs board and careers resources. You also have access to drop-in chats with a career consultant and to attend our career fairs to meet potential employers.

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ANU graduate Ellen Phiddian says her Master degree was “the most fun I’ve had in a single year – ever." Find out how it also led to her becoming a science journalist for the highly respected Cosmos magazine.

Read Ellen's story

Leading science communication centre

ANU was the first place in Australia to open a science communication centre. It prepares students to be leaders in science communication in Australia and internationally.

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Work-integrated learning

Learn in authentic, real-world environments in partnership with some of Australia's leading science communication organisations.

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Global partnerships

We have links with science communication programs in universities across Australia, Europe and the Americas and with science centres on all continents including Asia and Africa.

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Learning experience

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Three people testing a small parachute as part of a science experience

Get out of the classroom

Complete an internship as part of your degree and graduate with real-world science communication skills, professional networks, and pathways to employment.

Find out how
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vanessa hill

Meet the YouTube science star with 30m viewers

Vanessa Hill, host of the PBS web series BrainCraft, says the Master of Science Communication turned her dreams into a blockbuster reality.

Read Vanessa's story
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What is science communication?

“Basically, it’s how we get science from a discovery, in a great scientist’s mind, out of the lab and being used somewhere."

Meet Dr Will Grant

Fees & scholarships

Fees

Please visit the Programs and Courses website for information about fees.

View fees

Scholarships

Whether you are looking for financial support to start your studies at ANU or help to move away from home for the first time, we have scholarship opportunities for you and your situation.

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Convenors

Dr Merryn McKinnon

Dr Merryn McKinnon

Dr Merryn McKinnon

Merryn regularly appears in the national media discussing interesting science topics from around the world. She conducts research which explores why publics react and respond to scientific issues the way they do in a variety of different disciplines including public health and conservation science. 

How to apply

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the international postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

International postgraduate applications

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the domestic postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

Domestic postgraduate applications
 

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