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 6 September 2021 to 24 January 2022. The assessment comprises two elements – a 3,000-word critical appraisal (due 8 February 2022) and a 15-minute narrated presentation (due 22 February 2022). 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

Further information about how to apply, including course fees, can be found via the course information page or contact

Connecting People, Creating Events

This course will support you to develop underpinning knowledge and skills in science communication and public engagement with research.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • apply current theory in science communication and engagement
  • articulate specific and appropriate objectives for engagement activities
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and align key message, audience and medium
  • apply project planning and management skills to science communication projects
  • design justifiable and effective evaluation strategies for an engagement activity
  • critically analyse their own and others' practice.

Topics covered include:

  • an introduction to science communication
  • audiences
  • project planning and management
  • presentation skills
  • promoting events
  • facilitation skills and evaluation.

This is a ten-week course (including two private study weeks) and will run from 18 January 2021 to 26 March 2021.

The assessment, due 13th April 2021, will comprise of two elements: a 500-word summary of peer feedback), and a 1500-word grant application). On successful completion of the assessment you will receive transferrable credits (ECTS).

Further information about how to apply, including course fees, can be found via the course information 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 19 April 2021 until 25 June 2021. 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

Further information about how to apply, including course fees, can be found via the course information 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.

"Thanks for a fantastic course. Would recommend to others. Hope to meet some of you again in the future!"
2013 Masterclass delegate

"Really great course. I really enjoyed the variety of presenters and it was great to feel you had experts for each session."
2012 Masterclass delegate

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 our Building Blocks programme (PDF) and and new online Building Blocks programme (PDF).

Building Blocks training sessions

Watch our short video to find out more about the variety of sessions we offer.