University of Technology Sydney

68109 Advanced Communication Skills in Science

6cp; 10 x 2hrs (workshop, online), 3 x 1hr (lecture, online), 1 x 1.5hrs (computer lab), 2hrs (language development tutorials, where required only)
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Scientists of the 21st century must communicate effectively with other scientists and the public. This includes an understanding of the different models of science communication and requires you to consider the background of recipients so that the knowledge they are sharing with their target audience or readers is clearly understood. Acknowledging the potency of Indigenous Knowledge systems, different to the Western system of empirical, lab-based science, but equally valid and productive, is part of ensuring effective science communication.

Scientists work in teams and need to explain complex concepts to those with different scientific backgrounds. Scientists also need to request funding for their programs, equipment or staff or promote their findings to the public via media interviews, generalist publications or blogs. To be effective in these activities, scientists need communication skills: to speak directly, concisely and informatively about their work to colleagues and supervisors, conference audiences or specialist panels or the general public; to write reports, memos, academic papers, reviews and online material to promote their workplace; to apply for jobs or promotion and to communicate within their workplace with their supervisors and work colleagues. All of these activities require effective written and oral communication skills.

This subject aims to provide postgraduate science students with integrated professional language skills in written and oral communication and text-based research skills. Students are encouraged to take a critical and analytical approach to evaluate and produce written and spoken texts appropriate for different professional purposes. This subject focuses on critical reading skills, effective paraphrasing and summarising to avoid plagiarism, selecting and evaluating reliable information sources and their correct acknowledgement, developing a clear and convincing writing style to promulgate arguments, and presentation skills. Cover letters, resumes and interview skills are also addressed, given their importance to career development.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.