Professional and short courses

Applied Research Skills

Looking to develop your research and evaluation skills? We are now offering an online-only professional development course focused on research and evaluation methods in science communication. This course will help you develop the knowledge and skills required to design, carry out and critically analyse research in science communication and to evaluate science communication practical projects.

The course focuses on science communication contexts, but the taught skills will be relevant to anyone wanting to conduct social research using both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as those seeking to the skills to evaluate public engagement initiatives. You will examine topics including methodologies for research, how to design a research project, criticality in research, ethics, and how to share research effectively. Research methods covered will include secondary and desk-based research, experimental approaches, questionnaires and surveys, content and discourse analysis, observations, interviews and focus groups, as well as social media analytics and analysis.

The module will be taught through 20 weeks of online content, including four private study weeks. Course dates run from 7 September 2020 to 25 January 2021. The assessment, due on 1 February 2021, comprises two elements  a 3,000-word critical appraisal and a 15-minute narrated presentation. On successful completion of the assessment you will receive transferrable credits (ECTS).

Topics covered include:

  • Critically apply the principles of effective research design and its relationship to research questions, as well as analysis
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding, of the purposes and limitations, of a range of quantitative and qualitative research approaches
  • Critically evaluate research within its appropriate methodological context
  • Recognise, illustrate and understand the need for ethical considerations in research
  • Identify and explain means to effectively share research via dissemination
  • Understand the contexts and approaches that can be taken for research to demonstrate impact

For further information about how to apply, including course fees please visit the course page or contact

Online and Media Writing

This course will equip participants with the skills they need to write about science and communicate clearly with non-scientists. From identifying a story in a piece of research to shaping the material into engaging text, this course will offer a comprehensive insight into science writing. The course is suitable for those new to science writing and those who have some experience but who are looking to develop their skills. The skills taught here will be applicable to all forms of popular science writing, but there is a particular emphasis on online writing.

The course draws on the expertise of the team that delivers UWE Bristol Science Communication Unit’s postgraduate programmes.

This is a ten-week course (including two private study weeks) and will run from 20 April 2020 until 28 June 2020. You will complete assessed work as part of this course and on successful completion receive transferrable credits (ECTS).

Topics for the course

  • Introduction to science writing and guiding principles
  • Spotting a good story
  • Story structure
  • Making your science writing clear and engaging
  • Writing for different audiences
  • Writing about statistics and risk
  • Getting your writing noticed online
  • Effective use of social media
  • Writing an effective press release
  • Tips on writing about different fields of science

For further information about how to apply, including course fees please visit the course page or contact


The course is aimed at those who are new to science writing and science communication in general as well as those with some experience. Participants will need to be comfortable with reading, listening and writing in English. For more information, see our frequently asked questions and tutor biographies. If you would like to register your interest in participating, or have any queries regarding this course, please email Andy Ridgway at

Science Communication Masterclass

The Science Communication Masterclass is an intensive, short course created to provide professional development in science communication. It draws on the expertise of the team that delivers the MSc in Science Communication.

Science Communication Building Blocks

Science Communication Building Blocks offers a unique opportunity to bring cutting-edge expertise to your staff, students and teams. Pick from a wide selection of three hour sessions covering relevant topics for contemporary science communication and public engagement. Create your own bespoke programme, or select from a series of perfect pairings designed to fit in one day of training. 

Browse through our building blocks programme or watch our short video to find out more about the variety of sessions we offer.


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