University of Derby

Written Communication Skills Training

The University of Derby is a public university in the city of Derby, England. It traces its history back to the establishment of the Derby Diocesan Institution for the Training of Schoolmistresses in 1851. It gained university status in 1992. The university provides over 300 study programmes at undergraduate level.


There are many roles in a university which require good writing skills. These range from lecturers, to marketing communication, public relations, course administrators and leadership roles. The reputation of the Universty rides on the quality and accuracy of written documents from websites to leaflets, emails to contracts.


The need for this training was to provide ideas on how to develop writing skills for people who are already highly proficient at writing.


We designed a three hour virtual workshop on written communication skills. This started with a look at real examples of written communication which demonstrated errors.

Key parts of skills development in the session covered:

  • Objective – how writing a clear objective impacts on your writing.
  • Structure – the importance of creating a structure before writing any content. Applying this to the participants’ writing.
  • Understanding the reader and how this impacts what and how you write.
  • Stentence sructure.
  • Word choice.
  • Grammar.
  • Punctuation.

At every stage the participants are interacting with the content and applying the ideas to their writing.


Each participant completed the session with a range of actions to improve their writing.

One surprising outcome was that the participants said that they preferred doing the training virtually, because they could see each others work on the screen.

Participant Feedback

“I have really enjoyed the session and found every bit very interesting”

“Really useful and enjoyable.”

“Thanks. Really good session; interaction really great and better than a classroom and whiteboard.”

“Thanks Martin. Really great session. Very useful tips and advice.”

“Fantastic session, good to be on the other side of interactive learning. Thanks!”

Client Comment

“Martin designed communications development which was professionally delivered, well received and really met our requirements. Thank you so much.”

Perie Cordner, Organisation and People Development, University of Derby