Training courses

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There is a vast array of training courses available for scientists, early stage career science communicators and for the seasoned science communication professional! If you run a course and would like it added to the list here then contact the BIG administrator.

The courses are listed with increasing length as regards time; the courses most suitable for your situation are obviously depending on your needs, qualifications and ultimately finances! For people interested in testing the waters of science communication I personally would recommend some of the short courses available then weigh up your options and see what area you want to specialize in and what qualifications you may need to take you there!

Short Courses

These courses might be useful at various career stages!

Little Event

Offered by the British Interactive Group the Little Event is for people who are relatively new to STEM communication, whether they work in a science centre or museum, volunteer for a festival, are involved in university outreach, or do anything else to engage people with sciences.

AQMeN presents Communications and Media Skills training with Dr Emily Grossman

20-21st February, Sheffield Methods Institute

Dr Emily Grossman, best known as a resident science expert on ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Sky1's celebrity panel-show Duck Quacks Don't Echo and the Discovery Channel's How Do They Do It,  will lead this 2-day interactive workshop on effective science communication and public engagement. The course is aimed at early career researchers, academics and research professionals who wish to learn how to present their research in a clear and engaging way and learn how to get the most out of working with the media. 

Find out more at the AQMeN website.

Royal Society of Biology

Their 2016 training courses include: exhibition design, social media, grant writing and project management. Find out more here.

UWE Science Communication Masterclass

UWE's Science Communication Masterclass is anintensive course created to provide professional development in science communication. The masterclass draws on the existing expertise of the team that delivers UWE's popular and practical MSc in Science Communication.

Dialogue Academy

dialogue academy is all about helping professional science communicators gain the ideas, tools, skills and techniques to use dialogue and debate to engage audiences in contemporary science issues. Whether you are new to using dialogue to engage audiences or want to gain new skills, share your experiences and get new ideas, the academy has something for everyone.

Science Busking

After the BIG event 2010 I was keen to find out if there were any science busking training courses which I could add to this list…I haven’t been able to find any specific ones, though I know that they run for specific science festivals so they are worth keeping an eye out for! There is a resource available on the BIG website produced after the event 2010 and I also found this introduction to science busking that might be of interest to any would be buskers…of course there is always the Science Buskers Festival if you are really keen!

Famelab

If you fancy yourself as a science communicator but have yet to take the plunge, this may be the opportunity for you! FameLabis an exciting competition to find the new voices of science and engineering.Over the past five years FameLab hasbeen running in the UKin partnership with NESTA, and internationally in partnership with the British Council.

Short Courses for scientists wishing to gain experience in working with the media

Most universities now offer some sort of media training as part of CPD training, or ad hock training for those who find themselves in the media spotlight. Increasingly learned societies are beginning to offer working with the media sessions at their own conference and these work well as introductions. Those interested in further media training may find some of these courses of use.

Science Communication for practicing scientists

Science Communication for scientists – offered in house at many universities as part of ongoing training courses. In my experience if your university doesn’t offer one then it is worth asking if they will offer one. If they can’t offer one for whatever reason you may be welcome at a course at another local university as an exchange type scheme.

VoYS Sanding Up for Science

These media workshops are for post-grads, post docs, or equivalent in first job, who are passionate about science and want to communicate research to a wider audience. They combine discussion about science-related controversies in media reporting with practical guidance to help younger scientists make a greater contribution to public debates.

Create and Inspire Dundee Science Centre

Create and Inspire is a one-day course, designed to give practicing scientists the confidence, skills and inspiration to share your research with the public. The course is open to researchers of all subjects, and is suitable for both beginners and those with some experience.

Media Fellowships

The British Science Association Media Fellowships
These fellowships last 3-8 weeks and are targeted at practicing scientists, social scientists, cliniciansand engineers. Provide placements with national press, broadcast or internet journalists the fellows learn about the conditions and constraints of the media.

PGCert Courses

UWE

Postgraduate Certificate in Practical Science Communication
The course focuses on practical skills development. Depending on the options chosen, students will develop skills in science writing, such as journalism, public relations and book writing; new media skills, including podcasting and vodcasting and the science/arts movement; and/or the management skills needed to develop and run science communication projects. This includes devising and managing a project, evaluation and funding.

The Open University

Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Society
This postgraduate diploma is for students who want to explore aspects of science and society at postgraduate level through taught modules. It offers an opportunity to pursue contemporary issues in science communication, science education and public engagement with science. You will experience the innovative teaching methods pioneered by The Open University and develop a wide range of skills associated with postgraduate study.

MSc Courses

University of Bath

MSc Risk, Health and Science Communication

Cardiff University and Techniquest

MSc Science, Media and Communication

City University London

MA Science Journalism

Dublin City University

MSc Science Communication

University of Glamorgan and Techniquest

MSc Communicating Science

University of Glasgow

MSc/PGDip/PGCert in Inter-Professional Science Education and Communication

Imperial College London

University of Kent

MSc Science, Communication and Society

The Open University

University of West of England, University of Bristol and At-Bristol

MSc Science Communication

University College London

Degree Courses

Supplementing standard undergraduate science degrees many university courses offer science communication or museum style module in addition to their applied science content. The degree courses listed here are more heavily weighted to the study of science communication.

University of East Anglia

BSc Biology with Science Communication

Royal Holloway University of London

BSc Biology, Biochemistry, Geology, Physical Geography and Physics with Science Communication

University College London

University of Plymouth

BSc Science and the Media

Royal Holloway, University of London

BSc Science Communication

Courses for the seasoned science communicator

STEM Evaluation Courses

One of the key aims of STEM Enhancement & Enrichment providers is to help young people, teachers, schools and colleges to participate fully in STEM. Evaluating activities appropriately is essential to providing schools and colleges with confidence that activities are worthwhile and matched to their students’ needs. Effective evaluation is also a crucial way to assure funders that their money is being well spent, and helps you as STEM providers ensure that your activities are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible.

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Acknowledgements

Written by Vicki Symington.

This list was complied in-part from a resource on the pages of the British Science Association.

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