School of Communications

MSc in Science Communication (PAC Codes: DC606 Full-Time, DC607 Part-Time)


Fact File

Duration: 1 year full time, 2 years part time
Contact: Dr Padraig Murphy
Fee informationClick Here
Indicative Timetable(Weeks 20-31)

Degree Information:

The programme explores social issues in science and technology, and the communications and controversies surrounding them. It will ensure that you have a good grasp of the social significance of science and you are capable of reflecting critically on the place of science and technology in society.

This MSc caters for students with diverse backgrounds in the natural sciences, the social sciences and humanities. By bringing these students together, the programme stimulates interaction, encouraging the different groups to reflect more fully on the contribution that the others make to the development of the total cultural fabric.

Although not primarily concerned with training in technical communications, the programme does include some practically oriented modules.

Whether or not you have a scientific background, if you are interested in a career in science media, marketing, policy, or specialist areas in communicating health, environment, IT or risk, the MSc in Science Communication is for you.

Please Click here to view our online video:

Please apply through Please go to the "How to Apply" tab for application deadlines.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To develop your understanding of the many different interactions between institutions of science and those of broader society.
  • To deepen your ability to analyse critically the strategies applied to communicating science in diverse social contexts.
  • To strengthen your capacity to participate in the public communication of complex information on science, environment, technology and medicine.

Programme Structure:

Full-time students attend lectures and coursework two to three days a week, depending on the options taken, for an academic year. Lectures and seminars take place in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate students who are working. The work placement (INTRA) and dissertation are completed in the summer period, May to September.

Part-time students attend for one to two days a week and they complete their dissertation in Year 2.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2015 - 2016)

Why DCU:

Why Do This Programme?

  • Unique in Ireland and a pioneer in Europe.
  • Well-established programme, having been in existence for 17 years.
  • Interdisciplinary and innovative in its content and delivery.
  • Internationally recognised as a significant contributor to a growing discipline.
  • Supported by strong research activity in collaborative and individual projects, drawing on Irish and international science communication networks.

What Our Graduates Say

"The MSc Science Communication in DCU enabled me to increase my knowledge and understanding of how science is perceived and communicated in our society and to develop skills to become a more effective communicator. Since I completed the course, I have developed and delivered communications workshops for engineers and developed an evaluation framework to assess the impact of science outreach engagement efforts." Caitríona Geraghty, STEPS Manager, Engineers Ireland

"I am a television producer and presenter and had made a number of science documentaries and series prior to doing the MSc in Science Communication. The course gave me an academic grounding and helped formalise and contextualise issues I had previously encountered in the 'real world'.The lecturers were engaged and engaging and were interested in students getting the most from the course." Kathríona Devereux, TV producer and presenter of RTE's The Science Squad

Career Prospects:

Graduates of this programme have found employment in science public relations and information services, science journalism, science broadcasting, science teaching, science demonstration and display, science publishing, web editing for science institutions and educational software authoring.

Independent research has been carried out by Brian Trench, founder and former chair of the MSc in Science Communication. The results of this survey are available to download. Results of survey of graduates of MSc in Science Communication (pdf)

Entry Requirements:

The programme is suitable for recent graduates and for those with professional experience in science or communications.

To be eligible, candidates are required to have a second class or better honours degree. Consideration is also given to candidates who have lesser qualifications but significant and appropriate professional experience. Applicants are asked to submit an article on a science related topic of 750 words, written for a general interest publication. Selection is done on the basis of the formal application, the submitted article and the candidate's statement of motivation. Candidates may be called for interview which mainly serves the purpose of clarifying for the applicants and for the academic staff on the programme, that the prospective students have a clear sense of what may lie ahead.

Assessment By Interview

Candidates should note that an interview is part of the assessment process for this programme. Shortlisted candidates are expected to be available for interview. Candidates shortlisted for interview will be able to book their interview through their application on the the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) website ( Interview slots will be allocated on a first come first served basis. It is not possible to accommodate other interview dates.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Dates for Submission of Applications 2016

Applications can be made via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (

EU Applicants

Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 31st July 2016.

Non-EU Applicants

Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre ( by 10th July 2016.

If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Applying through the Postgraduate Applications Centre

To apply for the full time programme use PAC code DC606.

To apply for the part time programme use PAC code DC607.

Queries on completed applications to be emailed to

Fee information

Indicative Timetable
(Weeks 20-31)