Postgraduate research

Masters in Research (MRes) Applied Sciences

Offering students the opportunity to join the science communication research community, this programme allows you to develop specialist knowledge and research experience in your area of interest. It is particularly relevant for students who want to conduct research in your workplace or via innovative collaborations with our organisational partners. You’ll work with a supervisor from the Science Communication Unit to develop an extensive research project, which answers questions to some of the fields most contemporary questions.

For more information, see the full MRes course description.

PhD research

Our academic team supervise a range of PhDs in Science Communication. At present we are interested in PhD proposals that relate to the following themes:

  • Science Communication through digital and social media
  • SciArt – who engages with artistic approaches to science engagement and why
  • science engagement in informal spaces
  • how we measure the impact of science outreach activities
  • science in the media (including film, news and online representations)
  • inclusivity in science communication
  • investigating science communication with experimental methods
  • the cultural evolution of scientific ideas.

We welcome students who can put forward a research proposal on a self-funding basis, or with funding from external organisations eg employers, government scholarships. For information and how to apply, please see our postgraduate research study pages or email Emma Weitkamp and Clare Wilkinson for further details.

PhD sabbaticals

The Science Communication Unit regularly hosts PhD students who are including sabbaticals at other universities in the course of their studies.

We host students who have an interest in science communication and/or public engagement, who would benefit from spending between three to six months working with our Unit.

Aline Bastos"During my visit to the Science Communication Unit I was made to feel very welcome and was encouraged to participate actively in classes, events and meetings. I found it an exciting environment in which to discuss Science Communication practices in its different forms: journalism, TV, internet, social media, exhibitions, publications, political issues, public engagement etc.  In the same way, the theoretical approaches are tackled in depth with supervisors, at MSc student seminars and PhD student meetings. UWE, Bristol has an excellent and modern infrastructure at the Frenchay Campus, stimulating a vibrant community via which students of all levels can be engaged. Moreover, Bristol is a lively city in the South West with plenty of cafes, museums, galleries and restaurants.  During my sabbatical period at UWE I was able to make great improvements on my ongoing PhD research. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to keep in touch with the staff and students continuing to share knowledge and enthusiasm in future partnerships for Science Communication."   Aline Bastos, PhD student, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, January 2019.

 Kaisu Innanen"As the UK is the leading nation for science communication and impact research, UWE’s Science Communication Unit is in the heart of international developments in this field. Their reputation for the supportiveness and excellence of the research environment had reached me through the international PCST network, and proved to be correct and during and beyond my semester long stay. The clue to this excellence is the active, respectful, and yet easy going interaction that enables intelligent and inspiring academic discussions within the Unit. As the field is dispersed in many countries, PhD students often study in solitude, so visiting the SCU truly gives confidence and perception on one’s own research amongst the interdisciplinarities of the field. The frequent research meetings, discussions, courses and conferences consolidate one’s expertise. The outstanding network of experts in other UK universities is opened for the newbie. Informal, collegial activities such as the busy Bristol Science Communicators scene, qualitative inquiry group, and lunches with the staff and PhD students from different countries, strongly support the PhD life and diversify one’s reflection on current developments. Visiting the SCU, one has a superb opportunity to build up competencies, and take home international level insights." Kaisu Innanen, PhD student, University of Oulu, Finland, January 2019.

Gabriela“During my visiting period at the Science Communication Unit (SCU) within my PhD studies, the strong commitment of the entire unit to my stay was the first thing I was surprised by. They gave me constant support in all the aspects of my research which allowed me to carry it out successfully. However, the visit wasn’t limited to the study’s tasks; there were a wide range of activities that have complemented my professional development too. For instance, the SCU, generously, offered me the possibility to sit in their master’s degree in Science Communication and, by the end, I had completed around 70 hours of training. Furthermore, I was considered a member of the unit since the very first day, being invited to attend to the SCU meetings and many others events which gave me the opportunity to take part in exciting discussions and share knowledge and ideas with other colleagues. In short, the stay not only has been an incredible personal experience, but also has enlarged my professional network and has introduced me to the UK public engagement community increasing my future career opportunities.” Gabriela Ojeda Romano, PhD student, Universidade da Coruña, Spain December 2017.

Pamelie“I’m an Italian journalist completing the third year of my PhD in Science Communication at the University of Perugia. For my research project, I was looking for a consolidated and authoritative reference in the field of science communication research and the SCU at UWE Bristol, whose work I have been following for several years, is without a doubt a point of reference in Europe for research in Science Communication. The short time I spent with the SCU offered me the opportunity to make a truly interdisciplinary experience and to create a network of people that are working on science communication, which was very useful to me since my research project straddles science communication, science outreach, physics and social science. I found everyone very helpful and generous in devoting their time to having a coffee or tea, to talking with me.” Pamela Pergolini, University of Perugia, Italy, March 2018.  

For further information please send an email to This should provide a brief outline of your PhD, why you would like to spend a period of time working with the Science Communication Unit, the university you are based at and the expected dates of your visit.

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