Applications for 2019 entry to the Science Communication Unit are open and will remain so until the 26th of February. For those interested in the courses on offer at the unit, here is an insight into a day of an MSc Science Communication student.
Tuesday 15th January
08:30 The alarm goes off and the day begins. Whilst having my breakfast I browse through The Conversation’s latest articles, an independent news publication which I recently discovered. It sources articles from the academic and research community and is written to engage the public. You are encouraged to keep up-to-date with science (and general) news whilst in the Science Communication Unit at Imperial and I find reading earlier in the day works for me.
09:15 Being new to London I chose to live in Fulham, an area popular with Imperial College Undergraduates as it is within a 40 minute walk of the South Kensington Campus. However, other people have very different commutes from all over London – ranging from family homes in East London to a rented room in West London. Someone even flies from Dublin!
10:00 The first class of the day is one of my electives for the term, Documentary. We are learning about the evolution of the Documentary form, from its beginnings in the 1920’s to the present day. This week we looked at the Expository Mode – a form of documentary that is characterised by an overarching argument provided by a ‘voice-of-god’ style commentary that anchors the meaning of the images. We explored the mode through various documentaries from the 1930’s and the 2000’s.
12:00 Tuesday’s at the Imperial’s South Kensington Campus means Farmer’s Market day. There is a huge choice on offer from sweet treats to hearty main dishes. I am currently participating in Veganuary so I visited a vendor who sells 3 vegan burgers; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. There’s always someone from the course who will go and grab lunch from the market with you.
13:00 The next hour is a bit of free time. A lot of people from the course either sit in the ‘break-out’ area in the Centre for Languages Culture and Communication or head into the unit’s own study area. Discussions for our creative group project this term take place as well as some refreshing of the reading for the next class.
14:00 My second elective (out of three) for this term is Narrative. In this module we dissect texts to uncover what devices are used to create a narrative. Having established a definition for narrative in the previous session, today we looked at the different voices present in a narrative. This includes the voice of the author, the voice of the narrator and the voice of the focaliser.
16:00 Every week the Science Communication Unit organise a seminar by someone working in science communication. More often than not they have also been a student on the course. This week’s seminar was given by ex-student Tom Tapper, the Co-founder of Nice and Serious – a creative agency that help produce impactful work for ethical causes. He spoke about the use of surprise in projects as a tool to engage and inform various audiences.
17:30 After the seminar the speaker often comes along to the postgraduate bar, h-bar, with all of us. Not only is this a good time to network but it is also a nice time to relax from a busy day and get to know everyone on the course a bit better, as I mentioned in a previous blog post.
A somewhat busy day for a SciComm student but I hope it gives you a flavour of what could be in store for you if you come and study in the Science Communication Unit at Imperial.