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Professional Communication Strategies and Graduating Project

Term 1: Class location and time: tbc

Term 2: Class location and time: tbc

Term 3: Class location and time: tbc

Students work full-time (30 – 40 hours per week) on their graduating project

Various workshops will be organized.

Course Instructor: Kelleen Wiseman,

Course Coordinator: Gabrielle Menard,

Important registration information:

You do not need to register for the FRE 547 course through SSC during Term 1 or Term 2. You will register for the 6 credit FRE 547 course during Term 3 (summer semester).

The course material can be found here:


This course runs for three terms. Term 1 (September to December) and Term 2 (January to April) are comprised of coursework, while Term 3 (May to August) is dedicated to completion of the MFRE Graduating Project. Term 1 and Term 2 classes are scheduled for 1.5 hour once a week. The Term 1 and Term 2 schedule is subject to change based on the availability of guest speakers.

Course Rationale:

Graduates of the MFRE program will be employed in a variety of work environments from NGOs, to governments, to private firms. Some may even start their own companies. No matter where your career path takes you, the foundation skills (e.g. delivering presentations, business writing, multimedia data presentation, professional communication in the workplace) you develop in FRE 547 will set you up for success in your Graduating Project, and in your career after MFRE. FRE 547 will help you practice and refine these critical skills.

Graduating Project:

The Graduating Project takes place during Term 3 (May 9th to August 22nd). The course coordinator will work with each student to develop a Graduating Project that meets his or her interests and learning objectives. The Graduating Project is an excellent stepping stone that helps midcareer students transition to a new industry, or younger candidates to transition from an academic to a workplace environment. Graduating Projects may take many forms, including a formal co-op with government, a consultancy project for a business or industry group, an academic research project at UBC or a partner university, and more. Each student will be assigned an Academic Advisor. Some students may have a site Supervisor, depending on the nature of the project.

Learning outcomes:

By then end of this course students will be able to:

  • conduct academic/business research using proper referencing techniques
  • prepare a proposal for a research topic/business project and identify relevant data sources and methodology
  • demonstrate the use effective writing techniques for different audiences
  • compile an attractive job application (cover letter, resume, online profile)
  • discuss strategies to prepare for a job interview
  • prepare and deliver an effective and engaging presentation
  • give effective and constructive feedback
  • demonstrate ability to develop and execute a research/business proposal; including troubleshooting and delivering a succinct and comprehensive final report (or other relevant deliverable)
  • utilize skills developed during MFRE classes to solve a real-world problem
Term 1 schedule: *subject to change
8-Sep Dr. Wiseman & Gabi Introduction & Avoiding plagiarism
15-Sep Andrew Scales Academic writing
22-Sep Duncan McHugh Effective presentation
29-Sep Gabi Peer review session
6-Oct Michael More Resumes, cover letters & online profile
13-Oct no class - midterms
20-Oct no class - midterms
27-Oct Dr. Wiseman & Gabi Proposal writing & Methodology
3-Nov Katherine Miller Online Library Resources
10-Nov Duncan McHugh Copyright & Creative Commons
17-Nov Michael More Job interviews
24-Nov no class
1-Dec no class


Grade Deliverable Due Date
8% Attendance and participation in FRE 547 classes Term 1 and Term 2
2% Presentations feedback exercise Term 1 and Term 2
5% Draft Graduating Project proposal January 12th
5% Final Graduating Project proposal April 28th
5% In person presentation to class in August August 18th
75% Graduating Project May 9th to August 22nd

Attendance and participation in FRE 547 classes

The schedule for the FRE547 classes takes in consideration your exam periods. This means that there will be no class when we expect that you are busy reviewing. This also means that we expect you to be present to every scheduled class. Attendance will be taken.

Presentations feedback exercise

You will be required to give feedback to your classmates on the presentations they will be doing in the other FRE courses. We will inform you of the details on September 22nd. This exercise will allow you to;

  • learn from the feedback you will receive and improve your presentation skills,
  • learn/improve how to receive feedback, and
  • learn/improve how to give feedback.

Graduating Project proposals

You will be required to write a proposal for a Graduating Project that would be of interest to you. A draft will be due in January, and the final version will be due in April. The final version will be your proposal for your Graduating Project. Your research question might change completely between the draft and the final stages, or you might simply improve and add details to your draft. Every student is required to submit a draft and a final proposal. This exercise will allow you to:

  • get familiar with proposal writing,
  • start thinking about your graduating project,
  • have a back-up plan for a graduating project in case your other plans are not successful.

In person presentation to class in August You will be presenting your graduating project in a 3-minute presentation. You will receive more details about this later in the year. This exercise will allow you to learn/improve how to communicate a comprehensive project in only a few minutes.

If you are completing your Graduating Project out of province, or out of country you may be eligible to submit a video presentation instead of an in-person presentation. Please do not book travel for the third week of August if you have completed your Graduating Project in BC.

Graduating Project

Graduating Project grades will be assigned by your Academic Advisor.