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University of Otago
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Postgraduate Certificate in Science Communication (PGCertSciComm)

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


0.5 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


The need for effective and powerful science communication is greater than ever. Our course is very practical and applied, with a special focus on creative nonfiction science writing. Our students tend to be those whose passions and talents lie between the sciences and creative practice. One of the great things about Science Communication is that it is deeply interdisciplinary, weaving together engaging content from STEM areas to the social sciences to the arts and humanities.

Programme requirements

There are no subject prerequisites for course entry. If you who aspire to work in science communication, our course teaches core skills in: Putting science communication theory into creative practice Writing engaging science-based story content for a general audience Multimedia such as infographics, podcasts, and mobile filmmaking Pitching to media and literary agents, drafting professional proposals Running idea-based events and exhibitions Taught entirely by distance, our asynchronous course is tailored to suit busy, working professionals. The PGCertSciComm (3 papers) can be done part-time or full-time as an “at-your-own-pace” programme. To enable students to develop their skills and interests through real-world work experience, the course offers a popular internship paper with a range of professional partners.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Sciences), on the advice of the Head of the Department of Science Communication.

Every applicant shall either

  • have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Science; or
  • have alternative qualifications acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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