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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Science Communication & Media Skills
Module Code PSYC119
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Barbara Gormley
Semester 2: Barbara Gormley
Autumn: Barbara Gormley
Module TeachersLorraine Boran
Barbara Gormley
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The aim of this module is to introduce students to theory and practice of science communication. Particular emphasis will be on developing practical skills to clearly communicate research findings to the ‘lay’ (non- expert) public and also patients. Communication skills can include writing for the non-expert audience e.g. feature writing, news report writing, and science blogging; broadcasting skills can include podcasting and radio production; and social media skills for science communication

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically consider theoretical approaches to studying science communication
2. Critically consider approaches to public and patient involvement (PPI) in research
3. Draft a piece of journalistic writing communicating research findings for the non-expert audience.
4. Create an audio production communicating research findings for the non-expert audience.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Based on indicative content and learning outcomes; Asynchronous active listening and engagement with lecture material.
Workshop6Moderator and student-led skills based workshops
Independent Study50Self-directed learning including Assessment preparation
Fieldwork49Developing and Communicating Graphics - Preparation and Training
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to science communication theory Science in public Science in media
Science in public Science in media Data Visualisation

Open and Reproducible Science

Narrative or Storytelling n/a

Writing for the non-expert audience
Feature writing News reporting Writing for new media

Broadcasting to the non-expert audience
Journalistic research skills Interview skills Audio production skills

Communication strategies for social media

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PresentationPecha Kucha Oral Presentation on theoretical approaches to science communication.20%n/a
AssignmentDraft a piece of journalistic writing communicating research findings to a public or patient audience e.g. Op Ed)40%n/a
AssignmentPodcast. Produce a podcast based on interview material with a researcher/other.40%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Peter Stewart: 2010, Essential Radio Skills: How To Present A Radio Show, A&C Black, 1408121794
  • David E. Sumner and Holly G. Miller.: 2013, Feature & magazine writing, ; Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, West Sussex, UK, 1118305132
  • William Zinsser: 2016, On writing well, HarperCollins, New York, 9780060891541
  • Healy, Kieran: 0, Data Visualisation (online), https://socviz.co/lookatdata.html,
  • National Academy of Sciences: 0, Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda, https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/23674/communicating-science-effectively-a-research-agenda,
  • Craig Cormick: 0, The Science of Communicating Science, 148630981X
  • Merlin Sheldrake: 2020, Entangled Life, Random House, 0525510311
  • Massimiano Bucchi (Editor), Brian Trench (Editor): 2014, Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology, Routledge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BPDTBSc Psychology & Disruptive Technologies
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

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