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Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, we will be adapting the way we teach and assess your modules in line with government guidance on social distancing and other protective measures in response to Coronavirus. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

PX376-15 Communicating Science

Department
Physics
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Michael Pounds
Credit value
15
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Employers look for many things in would-be employees. Sometimes they will be looking for specific knowledge, but often they will be interested in more general skills. One such skill is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the different approaches required to write for different audiences.

Module web page

Module aims

To provide experience in presenting technical material in different formats to a variety of audiences

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

You will analyse short articles in a number of scientific publications of different levels to see how the selection of material and style of writing has to be tailored to suit the intended readership. You will be asked to produce a number of short pieces written in these different styles, which will be assessed for the accuracy of the science, the appropriateness of the level of presentation and the quality of the English. The module will also include some experience of group working.

Information for the assignments will be readily available from journals, such as Scientific American, Physics World and New Scientist, academic staff and the internet.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Present scientific material to groups with different levels of understanding of the background science
Indicative reading list

There are no specific scientific texts. Use will be made of material in standard undergraduate texts, articles in journals such as New Scientist, Physics World and Scientific American, and resources available on the internet.
For written English: D. Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual (3rd ed.), Bedford/St. Martin's

Interdisciplinary

Interdisciplinary studies almost always involve collaboration between people with different backgrounds. Everyone must be able to communicate with people who have other areas of expertise to their own. In this module, students present and explain scientific ideas in ways appropriate to different audiences.

Subject specific skills

Ability to explain results and ideas from science to different audiences

Transferable skills

Analytical, collaborative, communication, group working, organisational, self-study

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Private study 130 hours (87%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Wider reading on a range of scientific topics, discussing with others taking the module, drafting written work, listening to presentations by other students, preparing an oral presentation and poster

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Coursework 100%

Written work + presentations

Feedback on assessment

Written and oral feedback from markers

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 3 of UPXA-GF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
  • Year 4 of UPXA-GF14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 3 of UPXA-F300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
  • Year 4 of UPXA-F301 Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 4 of UCHA-F107 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
  • UCHA-F109 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry (with International Placement)
    • Year 3 of F109 MChem Chemistry (with International Placement)
    • Year 3 of F111 MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (with International Placement)
  • UCHA-4M Undergraduate Master of Chemistry Variants
    • Year 3 of F105 Chemistry
    • Year 3 of F109 MChem Chemistry (with International Placement)
    • Year 3 of F126 MChem Chemistry with Med Chem (with Prof Exp)
    • Year 3 of F125 MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry
    • Year 3 of F106 MChem Chemistry with Professional Experience
  • Year 4 of UCHA-F127 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry(with Intercalated Year)

This module is Option list A for:

  • UCHA-4 Undergraduate Chemistry (with Intercalated Year) Variants
    • Year 4 of F101 Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
    • Year 4 of F122 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
  • UCHA-3 Undergraduate Chemistry 3 Year Variants
    • Year 3 of F100 Chemistry
    • Year 3 of F121 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry

This module is Option list B for:

  • UCHA-4 Undergraduate Chemistry (with Intercalated Year) Variants
    • Year 4 of F101 Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
    • Year 4 of F122 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
  • UCHA-3 Undergraduate Chemistry 3 Year Variants
    • Year 3 of F100 Chemistry
    • Year 3 of F121 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry