The academic competence framework was the starting point for building six prototype curricula. The prototype curricula are meant to serve as inspiration for institutions planning to develop a technical communication program or specialization within a program. Institutions already offering a technical communication program could also find these examples useful for comparative purposes.

The prototype curricula were not designed to be implemented as standards. Although the Bologna process has standardized higher education requirements and qualifications in Europe, nevertheless there are many differences in how standards are implemented. Furthermore, it is unlikely that any prototype will precisely match the needs and resources of a single institution.

The curricula are developed by selecting content from the academic competence framework to be included in the specific curriculum. Two different methods are used: a bottom-up and a top-down method.


Top-down method:

The competence dimensions were the starting point for selecting content. The guideline used was that content from every dimension should be represented in the curriculum to the same extent. Each module in the curriculum comprised subjects, sub-subjects and related learning goals of one competence dimension. The subjects, sub-subjects and learning goals were carefully selected based on their suitability for the specific curricula.


Bottom-up method:

Content was first selected at the most detailed level: the individual learning goals associated with the sub-subjects. The learning goals were carefully selected so that they would match the purpose of the program under development. After that, sub-subjects and subjects associated with the selected learning goals were noted. Finally, the subjects were related to the competence dimensions. The content was selected into coherent modules at the level of the sub-subjects. So, each module consists of a combination of several sub-subjects with the accompanying selected learning goals.

The later stages of prototype development involved giving each module a title, and assigning credit weightings to each module.

The following prototype curricula are developed:

  • Full bachelor’s degree in technical communication (for students who start studying at the higher education level).
  • Non-consecutive bachelor in technical communication (last part of a bachelor’s degree, first part is not related to technical communication)
  • Consecutive master’s degree (for students who have studied technical communication at bachelor’s level).
  • Non-consecutive master’s degree (for students from any disciplinary background who have not studied technical communication).
  • Subject stream in a bachelor’s degree in another field (e.g. language studies or engineering).
  • Subject stream in a master’s degree in another field (e.g. language studies or engineering).

Each module template provides information commonly found in module outlines throughout Europe, such as module title, credit weighting, indicative syllabus and learning outcomes. The module templates do not include details about readings or assessment, since these components date quickly and may be specific to an institution, language, or country.


Full bachelor programme

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Bachelor
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
180 ECTS Credit Points
Six semesters including thesis, and internship
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
This programme is intended to equip students with skills and competencies needed to work as technical communicators within three and a half years. It offers a rigorous introductory curriculum that finally leads to the competency levels of a skillful practitioner’s level. Therefore, the coverage has more breadth than depth. It includes modules such as: technical communication in general, content, management, visualisation, media technology, information design, instructional design, and e-learning.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Students who are about to commence their university level studies and would like to become technical communicators
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
A keen interest and affinity for technical topics. In addition, they must be proficient writers in their native language and competent users of technology.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
Internship and thesis are compulsory
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 6
➔ What graduates are able to do afterwards (Abilities, Competencies)? Graduates can:
• Apply communication theory
• Understand and comply with regulations and standards
• Develop, structure, evaluate and publish content
• Create e-learning materials
• Use industry-standard tools proficiently
• Create appropriate visuals
• Manage content and projects.
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? Graduates can work mainly as technical communicators and related roles. Domains where graduates work include software and manufacturing environments.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
Graduates can work mainly in teams. Graduates with a year or more experience can work independently.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree (e.g. Master programme)?
Lifelong learning is necessary for graduates to stay abreast of the fast-paced developments in this profession.
Bachelor’s graduates can go on to pursue their Master’s studies.
Most graduates do not require further studies to gain employment.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

Non-consecutive bachelor programme

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Non-consecutive Bachelor
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
60 ECTS Credit Points
Two semesters
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
This programme is intended to equip students with the necessary skillsets and competencies to prepare them for the role of technical communicators within a year. Therefore, the coverage includes modules related to: content, tools, standards, visualisation, e-learning, etc.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Applicants with a 2 year programme in higher education in any disciplinary area who want to work as technical communicators
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
From their primary degree in any discipline, applicants must have acquired relevant cross-disciplinary competencies. In addition, they must be proficient in English and their native language, and are competent users of technology. Programming skills or knowledge of specialist applications are not necessary.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
One of these options is compulsory.
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 6
➔ What graduates are able to do afterwards (Abilities, Competencies)? Graduates can:
• Apply communication theory
• Understand and comply with regulations and standards
• Develop, structure, evaluate and publish content
• Create e-learning materials
• Use industry-standard tools proficiently
• Create appropriate visuals
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? Graduates can go on to work as technical communicators and many related roles in software and manufacturing domains.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
Graduates are capable of working independently or in teams. Graduates with accumulated experience can go on to manage teams and projects.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree (e.g. Master programme)?
Life-long learning is necessary for graduates to stay abreast of the fast-paced developments in this profession.
Most graduates find jobs upon successful completion of this programme. They can also go on to pursue further studies and gain competencies that will expand their career options in the field of project management for instance.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

Consecutive master programme

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Consecutive Master
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
90 ECTS Credit Points
Two semesters and master thesis
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
This programme will equip students with the necessary skills and competencies pertinent to the work of information architects or managers who undertake advanced conceptual tasks and the responsibilities of management positions in enterprises and organisations. Therefore, the coverage includes both breadth and depth. It includes modules for all dimensions of the academic TecCOMFrame.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Applicants with a bachelor's degree in Technical Communication
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
Based on their primary degree, applicants would have acquired sufficient theoretical as well as practical knowledge in the field of Technical Communication. In addition, they must have excellent language skills in English and their native language and are competent users of technology.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
Thesis
International experience and exchange are recommended
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 7
➔ Which opportunities are available upon graduation? Kick-start their professional careers
Undertake research in the same discipline
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? The scope of activities and career prospects are varied. They include:
• Information architect
• Content strategist
• Manager of departments concerned with information development, marketing, and technical communication in domains such as software, engineering, or manufacturing.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
Graduates can manage teams and projects independently or in collaboration with others.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree?
The possibility of pursuing PhD studies can be considered especially if graduates are interested in an academic career path.
Further studies are not required to gain employment.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

Non-consecutive master programme

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Non-consecutive Master
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
90 ECTS Credit Points
Two semesters, and a dissertation, project, or an internship
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
This programme is intended to equip students with skills and competencies necessary for work as technical communicators within one year. Therefore, the coverage includes breadth and depth of learning. It includes modules on: content, tools, academic research, management, standards, visualisation, and e-learning.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Applicants with a bachelor's degree in any disciplinary area who want to become technical communicators
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
Based on their primary degrees in any discipline, applicants must have acquired relevant cross-disciplinary competencies. In addition, they must be proficientwriters in English and their native language, and are competent users of technology. They do not require programming skills or knowledge of specialist applications.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
One of these options is compulsory.
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 7
➔ What graduates are able to do afterwards (Abilities, Competencies)? Graduates can:
• Apply communication theory
• Understand and comply with regulations and standards
• Develop, structure, evaluate and publish content
• Create e-learning materials
• Use industry-standard tools proficiently
• Create appropriate visuals
• Manage content and projects
• Undertake research in the same discipline.
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? Graduates can work as technical communicators and in many other related roles. Domains where graduates find work include software and manufacturing environments.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
Graduates can work independently or in teams. Graduates with a year or more experience can manage teams and projects.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree?
Life-long learning is is necessary for graduates to stay abreast of the fast-paced changes in this profession.
Master’s graduates can go on to pursue their PhD studies.
Most graduates do not require further studies to gain employment.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

Specialisation course for language studies

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Specialisation in a Master's programme
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
30 ECTS Credit Points
A full-time semester is recommended, although it is possible to complete the modules over two semesters. First semester: modules 1, 4, and 5, 14 ECTS; second semester: modules 2 and 3, 16 ECTS.
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
Students will have a broad overview of the field of Technical Communication where basic knowledge of pertinent topics,concepts,and necessary skills are imparted. The programme essentially focuses on the process of creating user documentation.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Students in a master's programme for Translation Studies, (Applied) Language Studies, Communication Science, or a related field of study.
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
Is proficient in language skills, possesses insights into translation or communication theories and processes, and is fluent in written and spoken communication.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
No
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 7
➔ What graduates are able to do afterwards (Abilities, Competencies)? Students will have comprehensive understanding of technical communicators’ core activities and be able to create user documentation by applying fundamental principles.
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? Students are expected to work as a translator or a communications specialist depending on their master’s degree. In these positions, students can communicate and collaborate closely with technical communicators because they understand and appreciate what a technical communicator’s job entails.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
Depending on the master’s programme which the specialisation is associated with, the outcome of completing this specialisation is for graduates to communicate and collaborate successfully with technical communicators. Furthermore, they will be able to complete a few basic core tasks of technical communicators under supervision.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree?
If students wish to learn more about Technical Communication, they may apply for a master’s degree programme in Technical Communication or courses and training sessions related to more advanced topics in Technical Communication.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

Specialisation course for engineering studies

 Curriculum Template

Degree of the programme:
(Bachelor / Master / Specialisation)
Specialisation in Technical Communication (TC) that is completed within a four-semester programme of Engineering Studies (Master's level)
Programme duration:
➔ ECTS Credit Points
➔ Recommended number of semesters
30 ECTS Credit Points
It is recommended to complete the modules over three semesters: module 1 in semester 1, module 2 and 3 in semester 2, and module 4 in semester 4.
Focus and characteristics:
How broad the scope of the programme is (e.g. subjects, focus, depth of learning)
This programme focuses on information management in the organisation with an interest in system approach, communication issues, and the use of IT technologies. The specialisation is in Internet subjects, multimedia, content management, design, and knowledge sharing.
Target Group:
For whom is the programme intended for?
Students in a master's programme for Engineering Studies or a related field.
Prerequisites:
Which competencies is the programme based on?
Knowledge of IT technologies, good command of English, and an interest in communication-related subjects.
Internship/Apprenticeship/Thesis:
Is one of these options included?
Internship
The programme internship must include TC components or be related to the development of your master thesis. For example, your involvement in the development of case studies.
Expected outcomes / competence levels:
➔ EQF Level EQF Level 7
➔ What graduates are able to do afterwards (Abilities, Competencies)? Formulate sound business and communication strategies and implement structural changes within management to strengthen the competitive position of the enterprise in national and international markets.
This specialisation prepares graduates for the creation their own businesses, providing consultancy services such as the management of information, content, projects, and audit work.
➔ In which position or at what kind of workplace / in which function can they work (e.g. as technical writer / translator specialized in tc for translation of Technical Documentation)? Graduates with a TC specialisation find employment worldwide as digital marketing and social media specialists, project managers, consultants, or auditors in an engineering environment depending on their master's degree.
Employability:
What can industry expect from those graduates?
This specialisation encourages managerial approaches, integrates, and develops a holistic understanding for the workflow in TC and corporate processes. The industry can expect diverse competencies that support managerial and communication responsibilities. Academic knowledge in TC and related job competencies form a solid foundation for working individually or in teams.
Afterwards:
What are the options for graduates to proceed with further education after the degree?
Better job opportunities in a TC related role would motivate MA engineering graduates to pursue further education in TC or undertake research opportunities in the TC discipline, even in their PhD studies. As is the case everywhere, life-long learning is pertinent to TC professionals, keeping them abreast of the latest developments in the domain.

 

 Download prototype curriculum

 

Short explanation on how to use the excel-sheets to build a curriculum

By using the excel-sheet that includes the six competence dimensions, the 22 subjects and all associated sub-subjects and learning goals, you can build a module or a complete curriculum in technical communication. Several methods can be used.

You can start by taking a look at the competence dimensions that are relevant for your curriculum and then select, for each relevant competence dimension, subjects, sub-subjects and learning goals that you wish to be included in the curriculum. This is a suitable method to build modules that are focused on one competence dimension.

You can also start with going through all learning goals and select the ones that are relevant for your curriculum. After that, you should note the sub-subjects, subjects and competence dimensions associated with the selected learning goals. Then, you have to group the learning goals or sub-subjects into coherent modules. This is a suitable method to build modules that are focused on a particular topic within the field of technical communication, such as the process of developing user documentation.