Award: 5 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: September (Semester 1) and January (Semester 2)

MEEN40820 Technical Communications


This module is for students from any discipline with a need to make presentations on their work.

To view a short video on this module click here.

Use the following links to view some sample content from the module:

Excerpt 1 (Eye Contact)

Excerpt 2 (Structure)

Excerpt 3 (Examples & Analogies)

What will I study?

This module focuses on making presentations. To do this an understanding of the entire communication chain is required (e.g. handouts, questions, follow-up meetings etc.)

It works off the assumption that you already have the skills necessary to make a presentation – your conversational skills.

The challenge is to set out your material in an audience-friendly way so that you can deliver it with the same style, and as easily, as if you were talking to a friend.

How will I study?

The module will include:
  • Extensive set of videos demonstrating best practice and conversational techniques.
  • Themed podcasts edited from interviews with people who present as part of their jobs.
  • Small-group work for preparing for each presentation task.
  • Discussion boards and several scheduled live group/class discussions.
  • 2 sessions, on UCD campus, during the term to deliver group presentations.
  • Online feedback sessions on presentations.

Expected Commitment

Students are not required to attend lectures on the UCD campus. However, to deliver each of the presentation tasks, they are required to attend 2 separate sessions during the term to make group presentations and receive feedback. These dates are not fixed and there may be more than one date for each deliverable (different groups present on different days) to facilitate participants’ varied commitments.

There are 100 hours of learning activity associated with the module. Of that, the group-work and final presentations between them will make up nearly 50% of the workload.

How will I be assessed?

Two presentations will be made and one presentation plan to be submitted digitally. Each will be accompanied by a short report summarizing the decision-process that brought about the presentation. The marks are allocated as follows:

  • Assignment 1 – Presentation plan on topic of choice. Visual material and/or description of other aids. (20%)
  • Assignment 2 – Presentation to critique a printed and audiovisual sample, chosen by the group. (40%)
  • Assignment 3 – Presentation on technical topic. (40%)

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

  • Adapt your personal conversational style to the task of presenting.
  • Analyse your presentation task and set realistic goals.
  • Learn design principles of effective visual aids.
  • Use of communication tools – examples, analogies, stories, demo’s.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Otherwise there are no pre-requisites for this module. Students from all disciplines can take this module. It is aimed at final year and postgraduate students.