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SCOM495 Thesis Preparation and Proposal

The development of a proposal for a thesis and a work of science communication.

The objective of SCOM 495 is to prepare for the thesis year of the Master of Science Communication. With guidance, you will choose a topic of interest in the area of science communication and develop a proposal for your MSciComm thesis. One of the unique aspects of the science communication thesis at the University of Otago is that it is often composed of both a creative component and original research. This gives you the opportunity to enhance skills in academic research, conceptual analysis, and in creative science communication. In this paper, you will learn about current research topics and research methods in science communication. You will see good examples of creative science communication projects and theses. If planning to produce a creative component, you will consider integration of the creative and research components of the thesis project. You will begin work on a critical literature review that will inform your thesis proposal.

Paper title Thesis Preparation and Proposal
Paper code SCOM495
Subject Science Communication
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,655.16
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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This paper is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Science Communication.


Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator:Professor Lloyd Davis



Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this paper you should have demonstrated your ability to:

  • define research questions that will help fill an identified gap in current knowledge,
  • find and critically analyse research literature relevant to your topic,
  • critically analyse various research designs and methods of data collection,
  • critically interpret reported research results,
  • determine an appropriate and relevant creative component that will contribute to an integrated project,
  • display time-management and organisational skills through attendance of scheduled sessions and completion of assignment work by required deadlines,
  • give a scholarly presentation outlining your project proposal to staff and your peers, and
  • express an enhanced understanding of the importance and value of science and science communication to the community.


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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41