Courses / Modules / MEDI6258 Engaging and involving the public with your science

Engaging and involving the public with your science

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
Lucy Green
Academic year

Module overview

Solving complex medical research questions and refining clinical care works best when done in collaboration between diverse public (including patients), researchers and health care practitioners. This sort of partnership requires exchange of knowledge, trust and some special ways of working. This module tells you how it is done and helps you develop your own skills – ranging from research skills through to philosophy – which are considered as essential for the development of successful researchers.

Collaboration with the public over research means understanding what is known about the relationship between research and society and learning from approaches taken in the social sciences, in science communication, and the arts and humanities. In this module, you will explore the core concepts of patient-public involvement and engagement (PPIE), hear from professionals and practitioners from an array of settings at the University, NHS and civic groups about the principles, ethics, challenges and solutions in this work, using examples from a range of health areas.

You will develop skills in written and spoken communication of science to a lay audience - something that could help you in a clinical setting with patients or when interacting with the media, policy makers or engagement with general public. You will learn how clear, open and trusted conversations with people about your work can build a deeper involvement of patients and public with your research. In doing so, you will discover that high quality engagement and involvement tackles power dynamics, social injustice and inequalities.

You will explore different engagement techniques including story-telling, arts-based methods, how to tailor your engagement to different audiences, and discover the power of listening to people. You’ll hear from University academics about what they did and how they knew it had worked for their research – in other words, the ‘impact’ it had. Finally, you will develop and present your own public engagement or involvement idea – along the way, you’ll be thinking about how to measure the impact of your creation and who to tell about it.