• University of Leeds

Discovering Science: Science Writing

What science discoveries will you choose to write about?

35,635 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Why join the course?

Without science writing, science could not really exist. Writers find an engaged audience by writing accessibly about the findings of scientific research. Discover how to structure your narrative, and convey your message for different written formats. Gathering accurate information is a crucial element for science writing, and this course will provide you with useful techniques for conducting a successful interview. From press releases to articles in scientific magazines, this course will teach you different types of science writing, and the factors you need to write a compelling story.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds How is science communicated in today’s media? This course will help you understand how the latest scientific developments affecting our everyday lives are communicated through mainstream media, examine high-profile news stories and reports in science journals, led by science journalist, Catherine Sanderson, reflect on the power of blogs and videos as influential communication tools, learn top tips for conducting interviews, and find out what questions you should ask, so that you can write a balanced report. Using this analysis, identify the right angle for your story and write a compelling hook that will grab and retain your readers’ attention. The techniques explored in this course will help you develop your skills as an engaging science writer, communicating with both professional and public audiences.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds Sign up now for Discovering Science: Science writing.

What topics will you cover?

  • Examine the different forms science writing can take, and the sources for finding out about science.
  • Examine the factors to consider when preparing to write your own science story, such as the angle, who your audience is, and why they will be interested in a story.
  • Understand how to structure a narrative.
  • Examine the different components you need to write for news articles, press releases and blogs, such as the headline for a news article.
  • Understand the importance of balance in a news story and how to achieve it.
  • Explore how to use video stories to communicate scientific information to different audiences.
  • Explore interviewing techniques to use before and during a broadcast.
  • Write a news article, blog post or video script; and review and comment on the work of other learners.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what science writing is and identify different types.
  • Identify how to source examples of science writing and evaluate them.
  • Evaluate how science is communicated through the media.
  • Identify how to define an audience, angle and the top-line in science writing.
  • Demonstrate how to structure a narrative.
  • Identify the appropriate use of reporting and interviewing techniques.
  • Develop a news article, blog post or video script.
  • Reflect on the power of science blogs and videos as communication tools.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in science; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in the field of science and would like to practice and improve your science writing skills, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 10 hours of CPD time.

If you intend to complete the Discovering Science program we recommended that you complete this course before starting the other courses in the program.

What do people say about this course?

"I joined this course because I wanted to try something different... No one at college taught us how to write about science in an "informal" way, they always focused on research papers, and I feel that, as scientists, it is one of our tasks to spread science to society. Thanks to this course I have learnt that there are many possibilities for science writing, and I have also been able to share and discuss my thoughts with people from all around the world. It was very enriching and totally worth it! Thanks a lot!!"

Who will you learn with?

I'm from West Yorkshire. I'm a Professor at the University of Leeds & Dean : Student Education. I research cancer & evolution https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/210/professor-paul-taylor

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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