SCOM 402: The Craft of Storytelling


All communication comes down to storytelling, which is why this paper is THE core paper for the Master of Science Communication. Our emphasis on storytelling is one key area that really sets us apart from other programmes. As we say, the three things that will most improve your ability to communicate science - be it in film, in print or on the internet - are storytelling, storytelling and storytelling!

This is a seminar-based paper then that explores the requirements for the core skill necessary for the communication of science and natural history: telling a story.

Develop the crucial research skills required to put together effective stories and learn the key skills needed to take an idea and develop it into a script, a book, a magazine article, a display, or a digital masterpiece.


• Explore ideas that make effective stories
• Develop appropriate research skills
• Analyse effective storytelling in films, books and other media
• Explore successful storytelling structure

Examples of components of this paper:

• Short stories
• Stories and research
• Story analysis
• The shape of the story
• The three act structure
• Writing a script
• Writing a commentary
The seminars are peppered with prominent storytellers coming in to tell their stories. Learn by example.

Examples of practical exercises associated with this paper:

• Write a short story
• Analyse a story
• Conduct research for a story
• Write a script or outline
• Produce a commentary


Available ONLY to students enrolled in a Master of Science Communication (MSciComm) degree.

Next Application Deadlines

Applications for PhD study can be accepted at any time.

New Zealand Resident Applications for second semester study (excluding Science and Natural History Filmmaking) close 2 June

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