Residential course

This two-day course includes both the communication and media skills courses.



The Royal Society recognises the increasing importance of providing communication and media skills training.

This two-day course includes both the communication skills course and media skills training. As well as the full programme for both courses, the residential format of this course allows for extended debate, discussion and dialogue beyond the training sessions.

Accommodation on the evening between the courses, along with dinner and breakfast, is onsite at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, a newly refurbished Grade I listed country house in Buckinghamshire.

Benefits for participants

Communication skills course:

  • Training in writing and editing skills for targeting specific audiences
  • Advice on writing press releases and newspaper articles
  • Coaching in writing and delivery skills
  • Tips on how to get key messages across clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon and unnecessary technical terms
  • Knowledge of how to chair conference and Q&A sessions
  • Constructive coaching and feedback
  • Opportunity to meet and engage with like-minded scientists
    Media skills training:
  • Inside knowledge of how the print and broadcast media operate and why
  • Coaching on how to handle the media successfully - where the successes lie and where the mistakes are made
  • Soft interview - to familiarise the interviewee with media techniques
  • Hard interview - to practise handling controversial issues and performing under pressure
  • Remote interview - to practise radio or tv interviews when the interviewer is not in the same room
  • DVD recording of your interviews with constructive feedback
  • Advice and discussion on pro-active ways to deal with all branches of the media
  • Opportunity to meet and engage with like-minded scientists

About the tutors

This course is designed exclusively for scientists and is tutored by leading journalists and communications professionals, Judith Hann and John Exelby.
John was news editor at the BBC for five years and then moved into production, being in charge of the BBC's main news programmes. Judith was senior presenter of Tomorrow's World for 20 years, has had her own series on health, food and medicine and has written eight books. Her most recent book, 'How Science Works', has been translated into 20 languages and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.


‘It was an extremely helpful course and hope that many others are able to take advantage of it.’

‘I'd like to emphasize what a really valuable service providing these courses is. I really do appreciate having participated and the practise of preparation for the camera and marshalling a lucid yet succinct argument has been invaluable.’

‘They were excellent - the best training courses I have been on. I've recommended them to everyone I work with! Excellent - keep running these courses!’

Cancellation policy

Places will be reserved upon receipt of the booking email. Confirmation of your place will be made when your funding is confirmed. After you have submitted your registration and you have received a confirmation email from us, should you wish to cancel and it is at least 3 weeks in advance of the course date, you will receive a 50% refund; if you cancel with less than 3 weeks in advance or do not show then you will receive no refund.

Applying for this course

The course is held at the Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre in Buckinghamshire. Next course dates:

  • 10 - 11 March 2014
  • 20 - 21 May 2014

The course costs £800 and includes accommodation, dinner and breakfast. Payment is required in full at the time of registration.

To apply for these courses, please contact us with your preferred course date.


The Royal Society, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 provide bursaries to cover the cost of the course for scientists whom they fund.

Those eligible for a bursary from STFC may also claim travel and subsistence costs up to a maximum of £250.

Communication and media skills courses

Residential course
This two-day course includes both the communication and media skills courses. Held at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre in Buckinghamshire.

Communication skills course
This one-day course develops written and spoken communication skills. Held at Carlton House Terrace in London.

Media skills training
This one-day course develops skills in working with television, radio, newspapers and other media. Held at Carlton House Terrace in London.