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Science Communication and Society Fundamentals



Science Communication and Society (SCS) Fundamentals is a 16-week course for science master students. The course prepares students for internships/career in communication about science and health, for example, as a science or health communicator, a science policymaker, a public relations officer, a health officer, an educator or for a career as a scientist with a communicating mind-set.

NOTE: this course used to be a 13-week course of 17 EC. Since 2017, we have increased the time period of the course and the number of ECs. In addition, we have removed the Visual Communication section from the course and will substitute that with a separate course Scientific Narration and Visualization.

Students of the Science Communication & Society specialisation are required to also take Scientific Narration and Visualization.

Who can join this course?

The course is open to all MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC. Other students who are interested should contact their own educational board for permission.

Course objectives

After completion of this course students:

  • will have a general overview of the field of science communication

  • will have developed relevant theoretical knowledge about the underlying theories of science communication (communication models, learning theories)

  • will have developed relevant skills for communicating science, such as popular science writing and developing science communication products.

  • will be able to plan and conduct science communication research

Course content

The course provides a mix of lectures, in-class activities, individual assignments, group assignments, exams, within 5 different sections:

  • Science journalism (taught separately in Dutch and English)

  • Science communication theories and methods

  • Informal science education

  • Policy and Funding

  • Final project

NOTE: the Science Journalism section (English) is open as an elective course 4603SCSSJT (3 EC) to all MSc students from the Faculty of Science and to MSc students in the Biomedical Sciences program of LUMC.

Teaching method and participation

The course uses a mix of lectures, discussions, in-class activities, individual assignments, group assignments, and exams. Each section is taught by a different teacher on a designated day of the week (e.g. all Thursdays are science journalism) for the first 13 weeks. Each section is assessed through practical assignments and/or an exam. In the last three weeks of the course, students work in groups on a final project of their choice.

Course schedule

This course is a 32 hours/week course (one day is available for Scientific Narration and Visualization). The course is worth 19 EC in 16 weeks, September 3 – December 21, 2018. Most classes are scheduled in the mornings, leaving the afternoons for self-study and working on assignments.


In order to pass the course, students need to pass each of the five sections. The final grade is a weighted average of the sections. Students are allowed to retake sections.


Mandatory literature:

  • For Dutch students (English students will get translated extracts): Henk Asbreuk en Addie de Moor (2017). Basisboek Journalistiek schrijven. Derde editie! Groningen: Wolters Noordhoff.

  • Laurie, C., & Jensen, E. (2016). Doing Real Research. London, UK: Sage.

  • For Dutch students (English students will get the translated book during class): Frans van Dam, Liesbeth de Bakker en Anne M. Dijkstra (2014). Wetenschapscommunicatie, een kennisbasis. Den Haag: Boom Lemma.

  • Other readings to be announced


There is a blackboard module for the entire course. Students who have applied for the course will receive a registration code for the blackboard module. Lecture notes, assignments, reading material, and important announcements can be found there.


Application forms can be requested through the SCS department ( Please apply as soon as you have decided to enroll in this course, so we have an idea of the number of students.
The class number for enrollment in uSis will become available here.


Dr. Anne Land (program coordinator),


More information about the SCS program can be found at our website