Doctor of Philosophy & Master of Philosophy

Suitably qualified candidates can study aspects of science communication through research only degrees at the level of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy. Generally, entry to these programs requires a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the level of IIA or above.

The diversity of the discipline of science communication means that the areas available for study are also diverse. Some research projects completed include the following:

  • Motivation and emotion in science shows
  • Climate change communication in Australia 1987-2001
  • Models of time travel: a comparative study using film
  • Designing effective pictorial assembly instructions: a case study of a user-assembled wheelchair
  • Media coverage of the Maralinga nuclear tests
  • Rethinking the Australian research commercialisation experience
  • Representations of the social, cultural, economic and political aspects of science in Doctor Who
  • The evolution of public accountability in Australian medical research institutes
  • The implications of science communication techniques on a model for science teachers' professional development
  • The effect of scholarly communication practices on engagement with open access publishing
  • The public awareness of science in Thailand: a case study of biotechnology
  • The fairy tales of science: exploring popular science books
  • The mental illness communication environment in the lay community
  • The potential of computer games as a medium for science communication
  • Bridging the gap between the science of childhood immunisation and parents
  • The communication of chemistry: how effective is current practice?

See details of current PhD research projects.

For more information please read the Higher degrees by research guide on the Division of Registrar & Student Services website and the Graduate research student information section on the Study At ANU website.

Information on how to apply, can be found on the ANU Students gateway website.

Career prospects

A PhD or research Masters in science communication is an essential pathway for students pursuing an academic career in this discipline. Science communication is a small but growing discipline, with new departments established in many universities across the world in the past ten years, so now is a good time to find an academic job in this area. In addition, a well crafted PhD can provide a significant stepping stone to other areas of employment such as science management, communication analysis, senior policy development, and consultancy work, if the research establishes the student as an expert in the field. 

Updated:  01 November 2014/Responsible Officer:  CPAS web officer/Page Contact:  CPAS webmaster