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University of Otago
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Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) - Endorsed in Creative Non-fiction Writing in Science

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected July 2022


University of Otago


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.

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.

Structure of the Programme

  • A candidate may be exempted from some or all of the prescribed papers on the basis of previous study.
  • 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.
  • A candidate may not present a thesis or other material which has previously been accepted for another degree.
  • 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.
  • A candidate whose qualification for possible 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.

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