Bridging the gap between science and the community - Weilin's story

01/04/2021 | 3 mins
UWA Photography Club

Weilin Chi recently completed her postgraduate studies in the Master of Science Communication where she was able to combine her love of science with working with people and expressing her creativity. We caught up with her to find out what her experience was like and what advice she’d give to anyone considering postgraduate study.

Why did you decide to pursue postgraduate studies?

During my undergraduate degree, which was a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, I attended a WA Museum event where I got to chat with staff about their careers, and my desire to work with people and raise awareness about important issues in science. That event cemented my decision to pursue postgraduate studies in Science Communication.

What did you enjoy most about this course?

I loved having the opportunity to customise my study plan with a wide range of optional units. Rather than being tied down to one pathway, I was able to explore other areas that overlapped with science communication, including marketing and strategic communications. The staff are also incredibly supportive.

Are there any practical hands-on work experience opportunities?

There is a practicum unit built into the course structure. During the summer holidays, I took part in an 80-hour placement where I helped organise a UWA science event for high school students. I also interviewed a museum owner and produced a video on a research project. I was able to apply theories of science communication in these practical activities to see how they translate into reality. Analysing the pros and cons of different science engagement activities and actually getting to participate in an event are two entirely different things. It’s very important to have a grasp of both the theory and the practice in order to be a well-rounded science communicator.

How has this course helped prepare you for a future career?

Throughout my degree, I refined my communication skills and practical skills. I was also able to tailor my course by selecting units in other complementary disciplines such as marketing and strategic communications, which expands the breadth of my qualifications. The Master of Science Communication provided opportunities for me to complete several practical projects under the guidance of supportive supervisors and also allowed me to network with many people currently working in the Science Communication field.

What advice would you give someone who is considering studying the Master of Science Communication?

Consider what you’re really passionate about. Communication will always be important, especially communication around truth, facts and science. If you care about those things and want to pursue a career in that area, then the Master of Science Communication is definitely for you. There are so many paths that you can take during and after this course, so I’m confident you’ll find something that suits you. If you’re still unsure, you can always talk to the course coordinators who are always friendly and eager to help.

Interested to see where a degree in Science Communication could take you? Find out more about the Master of Science Communication at UWA

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