DEVELOPING AS A SCIENTIST: EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATING SCIENCE IN MODERN SOCIETY - 2020/1

Module code: BMSM021

Module Overview

In this module students will undertake a programme of training and development activities in communicating science. The communication of science to colleagues and to the lay public has never been more important. Efficiently and effectively communicating findings is important to prevent the confusion and to highlight the impact of the findings in their relevant fields. In addition, public investment in science requires increasing engagement of scientists and researchers with the general public, and in a “post-truth” era it is ever more important that findings are well explained and not misrepresented.

The communications methods investigated may include:


  • Academic journals

  • Industrial news outlets and “trade” journals

  • Press releases

  • Lay statements

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

  • Blogs

  • Social Media



The learning on this module will directly support the student in developing their skill in delivering the scientific article and oral presentation of the Dissertation module. Students will use their dissertation project as the basis for the work they develop in this module, alongside a wider range of appropriate materials.

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

JACs code: C700

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content may include:

Students will be expected to evaluate production of and critically review the efficacy of some of the following communications methods:


  • Academic journals

  • Industrial news outlets and “trade” journals

  • Press releases

  • Lay statements

  • Webinars

  • Podcasts

  • Blogs

  • Social Media


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Portfolio of Communications 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate Team based communication skills, professionalism and presentation skills and

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

• Portfolio of communications (100%) which will contain a broad range of communications types mentioned previously





Unit of assessment and Weighting


Module Learning outcomes met




Portfolio of communications (100%)


1, 2, 3, 4





Formative assessment

In class feedback, discussion and online engagement with discussion boards and blended material. Feedback will be continuous and will enable the student to revise and refine their communications skills.

Feedback

In class feedback, discussion and online engagement with discussion boards and blended material.

Module aims

  • 1. Expose students to a wide range of communications methods which are vital to communicating science to different stakeholders.
  • 2. Engage students in producing media to meet the requirments of different communications media.
  • 3. 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 Ref
001 Identify the key understanding and knowledge bases of stakeholder groups to appropriate target and refine the scientific information being communicated. KCPT
002 Identify and evaluate key characteristics of different modes of communicating scientific information and apply them to the development of new communications. KCPT
003 Competently communicate detailed scientific information to a range of different stakeholders KCPT
004 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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 30

Independent Study Hours: 120

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide a team-based learning environment where student work together to investigate, evaluate and analyse different communications methods and analyse and undertake processes of producing the communications methods.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Flipped classroom workshops in which students will be provided with authentic scientific communications tasks and who will work together as teams to deveop communications strategies in order to communicate with a range of different stakeholders. Blended online classroom materials and assessment areas to support the development of different communications styles.

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

Reading list for DEVELOPING AS A SCIENTIST: EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATING SCIENCE IN MODERN SOCIETY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/bmsm021

Other information

N/A

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.