Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Master of Science Communication (MSciComm)

Clocktower.

Apply for the Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

Apply Now

Overview

Dunedin is a UNESCO City of Literature, supports an International Science Festival, and is the wildlife capital of New Zealand, with colonies of seals, albatross and penguins in the city's boundaries. It is perhaps no accident, therefore, that it has also become a hub for natural history filmmaking. The outstanding natural environment and dynamic cultural environment provide an excellent setting for the University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication, the home of story-telling and science.

Three Science Communication endorsements are available in the MSciComm:

  • Creative Non-Fiction Writing in Science
  • Science and Natural History Filmmaking
  • Science in Society

Students in each endorsement produce a thesis comprising a creative component (e.g. film, book, exhibition etc.) and original research.

Contact details

Department of Science Communication

Email: sciencecommunication@otago.ac.nz
Website: https://www.otago.ac.nz/science-communication/

^ Top of page

Programme requirements

Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) endorsed in Creative Non-Fiction Writing in Science

Papers and Thesis
  • SCOM 402  The Craft of Storytelling
  • SCOM 403  Science and Creative Non-Fiction Writing
  • SCOM 409  Introduction to Science Communication
  • SCOM 413  Digital Production for Science Communication
  • SCOM 495  Thesis Preparation and Proposal
  • One other 400-level paper with approval from the Director of the Centre for Science Communication
  • Thesis: SCOM 5A (60 points) and SCOM 5B (60 points) (including a substantial creative writing project)

Note: SCOM 432, 433 and 434 may be substituted for SCOM 402, 403 and 404 for Distance students in each option.

*Further information will be available for this paper in early September.

Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) endorsed in Science and Natural History Filmmaking

Papers
  • SCOM 402  The Craft of Storytelling
  • SCOM 405  Business of Filmmaking
  • SCOM 409  Introduction to Science Communication
  • SCOM 411  The Techniques of Natural History and Science Filmmaking 1
  • SCOM 412  The Techniques of Natural History and Science Filmmaking 2
  • SCOM 413  Digital Production for Science Communication
  • SCOM 495  Thesis Preparation and Proposal
  • Thesis: SCOM 5A (60 points) and SCOM 5B (60 points) (including production of a film).

Note: SCOM 432, 433 and 434 may be substituted for SCOM 402, 403 and 404 for Distance students in each option.

*Further information will be available for this paper in early September.

Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) endorsed in Science in Society

Papers
  • SCOM 402  The Craft of Storytelling
  • SCOM 404  Science Communication Internship
  • SCOM 406  Science Exhibitions and Interpretation
  • SCOM 409  Introduction to Science Communication
  • SCOM 413  Digital Production for Science Communication
  • SCOM 495  Thesis Preparation and Proposal
  • One other 400-level paper with approval from the Director of the Centre for Science Communication
  • Thesis: SCOM 5A (60 points) and SCOM 5B (60 points) (in most cases, including an exhibition or multimedia project)

Note: SCOM 432, 433 and 434 may be substituted for SCOM 402, 403 and 404 for Distance students in each option.

Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) unendorsed option

Papers Points

Any six 400-level SCOM papers which do not satisfy requirements for any of the other endorsements for the Master of Science Communication (MSciComm)

(Up to two other papers at 400-level may be substituted with approval from the Director of the Centre for Science Communication)

Thesis: SCOM 5A (60 points) and SCOM 5B (60 points) (in most cases, including a significant creative component)

Note: SCOM 432, 433 and 434 may be substituted for SCOM 402, 403 and 404 for Distance students in each option.

120

 
 

120

Regulations for the Degree of Master of Science Communication (MSciComm)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Sciences), on the advice of the Director of the Centre for Science Communication.
    2. Every applicant must either
      1. be a graduate and have achieved an average grade of at least B in the relevant 300 level papers.
      2. have equivalent qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).
    3. In considering an applicant’s qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant’s performance in the programme.
    4. An applicant seeking admission to the thesis-only option of the programme (see 2 (c) below) on the basis of the Degree of Bachelor of Sciences with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or equivalent, must have a B+ average within the papers required for that degree.
  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. Every programme of study shall be as prescribed for one of the options listed above.
    2. A candidate may be exempted from some or all of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
    3. A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Director of the Centre for Science Communication for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
    4. A candidate may not present a thesis or other material which has previously been accepted for another degree.
    5. For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
    6. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or equivalent may achieve the degree in a minimum of one year of further study, normally by completing a thesis or equivalent as prescribed in 2 (e).
  3. Duration of the Programme

    A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than two years of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study, and shall complete the requirements for the degree within three years of admission to the programme. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the permission of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

  4. Withdrawal from the Programme

    1. A candidate undertaking both papers and thesis who does not achieve an average grade of at least B+ in their papers or does not achieve a grade of at least B in any paper for the degree, shall be required to withdraw from the programme
    2. Where a candidate withdraws from the programme, whether voluntarily or otherwise, after completing the prescribed papers, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may recommend the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication or determine which papers should be credited towards the Diploma; alternatively, the PVC may recommend that the candidate convert to the degree of MAppSc in Science Communication.
  5. Examination of the Thesis and Associated Material

    1. The thesis and any associated material shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    2. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Director of the Centre for Science Communication.
    3. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and any associated material and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis and any associated material as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (d) below.
    4. The examiners may recommend that a thesis and any associated material:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion and to the satisfaction of the Director of the Centre for Science Communication;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    5. Amendments 4(d)(ii) and revisions 4(d)(iii) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Director of the Centre for Science Communication.
    6. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis and any associated material for examination once only.
    7. If a revised and resubmitted thesis and any associated material is finally accepted, the result shall be either Pass or Fail (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
    8. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Director of the Centre for Science Communication should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
  6. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  7. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

  8. ^ Top of page