Module code: BMSM021

Module Overview

The communication of science to scientists and to the lay public is critical component of “being a scientist”.  In this module students will undertake a programme of training and development activities in communicating science effectively to different audiences and for different purposes. 

The communications methods investigated may include:

  • Academic journals

  • Industrial news outlets and “trade” journals

  • Press releases

  • Blogs

  • Impact & lay statements

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

  • Social Media

  • Oral presentations

The learning on this module will directly support the students in understanding and delivering a scientific message to different audiences.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

THUMSER Alfred (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 30

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content may include:

  • Overview and discussion of different types of science communication, e.g. academic journals, industrial news outlets and “trade” journals, press releases, blogs, impact & lay statements, webinars, podcasts, social media;

  • Advice on how to write and produce a blog, as well as responding to feedback and comments;

  • Student seminars;

  • Discussion of and advice on peer feedback and developmental reflection.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Peer review of blogs (peer-to-peer feedback for other students) - Reflection on their personal learning 20
Coursework Blog 30
Coursework Seminar 20
Coursework Handbook: Purpose and use of different communication styles - targeted at Level 6 students 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate individual and team-based communication skills

Programme learning outcome area

MSci Biochemistry Programme learning outcomes met in this module

Knowledge and Understanding


Intellectual and cognitive skills


Professional practical skills

4, 5

Key/transferrable skills

1, 2, 3, 4

Formative assessment

Formative feedback provided on initial blog posts


In class discussion and feedback, and online engagement with feedback, e.g. posted blogs.

Module aims

  • Expose students to a wide range of communications methods which are vital to communicating science to different stakeholders.
  • Engage students in producing media to meet the requirements of different communications media.
  • Provide a structured framework to enable the student to engage in professional development in communications and to support completion of the research project.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify and evaluate key characteristics of different modes of communicating scientific information and apply them to the development of new communications. KCPT
002 Competently communicate scientific information to a range of different stakeholders. KCPT
003 Identify and engage with self-evaluative processes, enabling positive engagement with training- and research-skill development. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide a learning environment where students work together to investigate, evaluate and analyse different communications methods and individually produce communications targeted at different audiences.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Presentations of different communication methods, including discussions;

  • Development and peer review of a blog (latter targeted at a scientifically-knowledgable lay audience)

  • Seminar (targeted at scientific public)

  • Review of dissertation topic, including Abstract (2019/20) or Overview of Scientific Communication (2020/21 onwards)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMSM021

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.