Science Journalism BIOL5416

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: MVLS College Services
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The importance of science journalism is even more clear now due to recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Conveying scientific information to a general audience comes with challenges, and finding reliable sources is important. It is also crucial to consider the role of journalism in both disseminating information as well as holding those in power to account. This course aims to introduce students to journalism and how to write science news.


The course will consist of lecture and workshops for 5 weeks in semester 1.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses



1. Write a science feature on a current topic of the student's choice with a rationale (1500 words) (ILO 1 - 5), 75%

2. Presentation on a current topic of interest in newsroom style (audio or visual) (ILO 1, 2, 4, 5), 25%

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with tools to write science news for the general population. The course aims to:

■ Explore the use of appropriate language for science journalism

■ Develop skills to find reliable sources

■ Build an understanding of journalism and its role in science communications

■ Explore writing short, attention-grabbing posts as well as feature-length media outputs such as audio and visual segments

■ Enhance engagement of the general public

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Critically evaluate literature and other sources of scientific knowledge

2. Critically assess news sources guidelines for publishing

3. Critically appraise sources' reports and work effectively and ethically with sources

4. Critically evaluate the role of journalism in the context of science communication more broadly

5. Critically assess journalism within the context of today's media sector

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.