Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics
Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Optional reading

Debates about the relationship between science, citizenship and democracy continue to influence public policies related to science communication and public engagement in science. In part, these debates involve discussions about scientific and other ways of knowing. For an introduction to these issues, see Irwin (1999).

This premise, of exchanging information and learning from others, is also relevant to your communication with other expert scientists. As a research student you will learn from your colleagues, but you will also bring new ideas and knowledge to these exchanges. As your career progresses, you will develop communication skills, e.g. in writing, presentation and teaching science. In this way, you will learn to communicate ‘scientifically’, following the practices and conventions of your chosen specialism, with a view to developing a trustworthy and influential reputation. Whether you continue to practice science or not, it is important to remember that one of the key skills for an effective science communicator is to know how to communicate scientifically to different audiences, both to your peers and to non-experts. This requires skills in the production (e.g. speaking) and reception (e.g. listening) of information, and an ability to identify, acknowledge and respect the prior knowledge, experience, attitudes and beliefs of other communicators, which is a challenging set of skills to master.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371