APS 279 Talking the Talk: Getting Science onto Film

Level 2
Semester 2
Credits 5
Teaching Staff Matt Pitts-Tucker (Freelance producer/director), Ali Riley (USEA), Dr Millie Mockford 
Co-ordinator Dr Millie Mockford


‘Science is not finished until it is communicated’ -Sir Mark Jeremy Walport, government chief scientific advisor.

Communication is a fundamental aspect of being a responsible scientist, as well as many other careers. This intensive, week-long module during the Easter holiday covers an introduction to science communication using the medium of video-making. There will also be a few sessions during semester 2 in the run up to the start of the module. The focus will be to turn technical scientific information into a form accessible to multiple audiences, working within the confines of an authentic brief given by an industry professional, with several opportunities for feedback throughout the process. A key feature will be developing the project as a group: students will have to be pro-active in recognising strengths to create and implement innovative ideas. Individually, it will develop confidence and creativity in presenting ideas and technical skills in shooting footage and editing.

Teaching will take place in the form of lectures on the importance of public engagement, working within the confines of a brief and maximising creativity. These will be led in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Enterprise Academy. There will also be sessions on storytelling and using editing software. There will be guest seminars given by industry professionals early on in the week. This will allow an insight into different aspects of the filming process e.g., producing, editing, presenting, and allow the opportunity to learn about career progression and employment in this area. Between these times, the students will engage in group sessions to plan and implement their filming project. Feedback will be given ad hoc throughout the week and formally after the groups present their ideas for their project to the whole group.

Aims and Objectives

1. Film, edit and produce a video communicating a scientific theme.
2. Work within confines of an authentic brief.
3. Design innovative communication mechanisms.
4. Present intentions of project to industry professionals.
5. Recognise and cater to requirements dictated by a specific target audience.
6. Recognise potential of diversity of skill and division of roles within a group.
7. Construct an achievable work plan within a set time scale.
8. Use current computer software to edit and enhance film footage.

Delivery Method: Lectures, Seminars and Fieldwork

Student Contact Hours: 50

 Assessment Method:
20% - Presentation of ideas in an ‘industry pitch’ style
65% - Final 5-minute video submission
5% - Associated paperwork documenting planning procedure, division of work and sources details for un-owned music, images and footage.
10% - Peer review from other members of group with justification

Feedback: Feedback will be given throughout the course when needed. There will also be formal feedback given after scheduled presentation of ideas to the group.

For more information on APS279, please go to MOLE