Technical Writing

Technical Writing Extension Certificate


The field of technical writing continues to experience rapid growth. Businesses need technical writers who can combine the skills of effective communication with practical experience using the latest tools and technology. This program will provide students with experience developing reports, procedural manuals, training guides, design specifications, editing, online documents and various other communication forms.

The Technical Writing program is a recognized member of the Society of Technical Communication (STC).

Students! Learn more about STC events.

CE Icon - Read Article Article about the Technical Writing program

  • Prepare to enter the field of technical writing for science, technology, education, oil and gas, business communications, web-based publishing, freelance writing and editing, and more
  • Identify common types of technical communications, including but not limited to manuals, guides, design specifications and online documents
  • Demonstrate skills in using key software programs commonly used by technical writers
  • Apply a systematic approach to creating technical documents
  • Identify and apply appropriate styles of writing for specific technical communications purposes
  • Conduct an audience analysis to organize and present technical information
    evaluate the effectiveness of the content and presentation of a technical communication form
  • Earn a credential
  • Develop highly sought-after technical writing skills using the latest tools, methods and key software programs
  • Complete the 10 required courses plus 22.5 hours of optional courses (172.5 hours)
  • Can be completed within 1 year up to a maximum of 3 years
  • Some required courses may require assignments to be submitted within 1 week after the course has finished.

Recommended Preparation

  • A grade 12 level of proficiency in written and spoken English and strong intermediate skills in MS Word and Windows are strongly recommended requirements.
  • We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors before beginning other courses in the certificate.
Required Courses
Recommended Order
Foundations of Technical Communication
Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors
Document Layout and Design
Writing User Guides
Preparing Policies and Procedures
Editing Basics for Technical Documents
Producing Software Specifications
Site Architecture for Online Media
Design and Authoring for Online Media
Documentation Project Management
Optional Courses (choose 22.5 hours)
Grammar and Punctuation Essentials (classroom)
Writing and Editing for Digital Media (online)
Effective Business Writing (classroom)
Effective Business Writing (online)
Creating Training Manuals
The above schedule is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester.
Fall schedule and registration available in June. Winter schedule and registration available in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available in March.

Required Courses

Document Project Management
Learn techniques for managing documentation projects, including the four stages of project management; initiating and planning, developing and executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing the project. This course will also explore the relationship between the technical writer and the subject matter expert.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10032 12 Hours Fee: $369
CRN 30211 Online Mar. 30 - Apr. 27


Foundations of Technical Communication
Explore the discipline of technical writing and enhance your writing techniques to meet the demands of today's marketplace. Study the concepts involved in technical writing, including audience analysis, document organization, and grammar and writing skills to create clear, concise, correct and cohesive communications. Apply these through practical exercises.

Recommended Preparation:
Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10004 18 Hours Fee: $439
CRN 50105
Online May. 4 - Jun. 15

Design and Authoring Online Media
Discover how to author pages that are organized, readable, easily comprehended and credible. Apply these skills while authoring pages using a combination of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) within a managed environment. Information websites, online help and Intranets are prevalent in the business and technology world. Review the benefits and challenges, and examine and practice the skills necessary to author pages.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10026 15 Hours Fee: $419
CRN 50353
Online May. 11 - Jun. 8

Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors
Develop intermediate skills to create professional looking documents. Learn how to use features and templates to create and format documents with more complex layouts, including styles, tables, pictures and objects, columns, numbering, headers and footers, tables of contents and templates.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication

recommended: Previous knowledge in Microsoft Word Levels 1 and 2 (available here)

Subject (for registration):
Computers - Word Processing

Subject code: XWOP 10011 15 Hours Fee: $299
CRN 50186
Online May. 25 - Jun. 22

P roducing Software Specifications
Functional requirements and design specifications are vital to any development or manufacturing project. Explore the role these and other technical documents play in developing a software product, and discover the elements they must have to describe a product properly using Use Cases and other specification documents. Prepare representative documents using MS Word.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10024 15 Hours Fee: $419
CRN 50106
Online May. 25 - Jun. 29

Site Architecture for Online Media
Digital media is redefining the way our world communicates, accesses information and shares ideas. According to online statistics, there are as many as 2 billion websites currently in operation throughout the world. With the explosion of social media and mobile technology in recent years, how users interact with those sites is changing on a regular basis, creating incredible new opportunities for website designers and content creators.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10025 15 Hours Fee: $419
CRN 70263
Online Jul. 20 - Aug. 24

Optional Courses

Choose 22.5 hours

We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors before beginning any optional courses.

Effective Business Writing
Are your writing skills holding back your career because you struggle to express yourself clearly, concisely and efficiently? Review and apply the principles of effective writing and revising. Learn how to create powerful workplace documents including emails, letters and reports that achieve the results you want. Review the basic design principles and survey professional editing techniques.

Textbook (required): Chandler, M. (2017). Good Writing is Good Business . Green Fuse Inc. Available at the Campus Store . eBook available at

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10013 15 Hours Fee: $419
CRN 50182
Online May 25 - Jun. 22

Writing and Editing for Digital Media
The rapid growth and evolution of digital media has presented tremendous opportunities and new challenges for writers and editors. Be introduced to principles, strategies and techniques for writing and editing relevant, compelling content for various digital media platforms.

Subject (for registration): Communications

Subject code: XCOM 20010 15 Hours Fee: $419
CRN 50107
Online May 4 - Jun. 1

Creating Training Manuals
Learn to design and prepare effective training materials for a variety of training situations. Study the process of creating training materials using MS Word, including task and audience analysis, documentation standards, teaching roles, learning sequences and evaluation techniques.

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10028 7.5 Hours Fee: $259
CRN 50241
Online Jun. 8 - Jun. 22


Refer to your Confirmation of Registration for specific course and textbook information.

Textbooks may be purchased independently or through the Campus Store.

Course materials are provided on Blackboard 3 days prior to class start.

"I liked the exercises a lot. They really help drive home the ideas."- Foundations of Technical Communication student

"Very practical, relevant and up to date information, good to learn what employers want and how to market myself."- Portfolios for Technical Writers student

"Clarified exactly what policies and procedures should accomplish, applicable to my current job."- Preparing Policies and Procedures student

"Very useful information, 'hands-on' learning all day long. It's exactly what I wanted to learn."- Preparing Policies and Procedures student

CE Bio - Editing Business Commun - ChandlerMargaret Chandler BA, MEd

Margaret Chandler is a continuing education instructor at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. At Mount Royal University, she teaches grammar and punctuation, effective business writing, and editing courses. She also delivers customized workshops for clients in the private and non-profit sectors. When not busy teaching, she works as a freelance editor and writer.

Margaret studied literature and journalism at the Freie Universität in Berlin and has a BA in history and a MEd in Adult and Community Education from the University of Calgary.

She greatly enjoys sharing her passion for the English language and helping people become better writers. Students appreciate the practical tools, techniques, and resources she provides that make the writing process less difficult and more rewarding.
ce_img_RichardErlendsonRichard Erlendson

Dr. Richard Erlendson has the distinction of serving as a long-time professor in both the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies and the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension at MRU. In both faculties, he has taught professional writing, editing, reporting, design, publishing and visual communication. He is a career journalist and photojournalist, and has received the Canadian Word Award for magazine writing. Richard is also a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award at MRU. He holds both a masters and doctorate from the University of Alberta with undergrad degrees in journalism and education.
ce_img_Michelle_ShawMichelle G. Shaw

Michelle brings over 25 years of industry experience to classroom. She spent a number of years working in a variety of roles as writer, software developer and manager in the Calgary technology community. Michelle believes that effective software development relies on clear and well written documentation that is timely and accessible to a range of stakeholders.

She holds a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, and is presently working on a Master's degree. When she isn't working, Michelle can often be found hiking in the mountains near Calgary, or riding a bike along our amazing network of bike paths.
ce_img_lyndsay_stefflerLyndsay Steffler

Lyndsay Steffler is a native Calgarian, and as such it's unbelievable she doesn't work in oil and gas but rather in aviation. She earned her Degree in Applied Communications (Technical Writing) and began her career as a Technical Editor; eventually working her way into a full-time technical writing role. She has added Project Management, Enterprise Content Management, and Adult Education certifications to her portfolio and began teaching for the technical writing program at MRU in 2006. Lyndsay loves working with the students and is always working diligently to support them throughout the program. Although Lyndsay is passionate about her work, when she's not in the office or the classroom, you are likely to find her enjoying time with her husband and their 3 children, training for her next run, or attending a kickboxing class.
Glynndon Dobson BA, MA.

Glynndon Dobson is a Technical Writing and Professional Editing Program Instructor in Continuing Education here at MRU. Having previously taught University courses at the University of Saskatchewan he brings both passion and experience to the classroom and is excited to be a part of the Mount Royal instructional team. Glynndon completed his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature at the University of Alberta. After working in Finance for a number of years he pursued a Master's of Arts at the University of Saskatchewan. The focus of his Master's Degree was Violence in Male Identity: Post 1950's American War Literature. He now works as a freelance Technical Writer in Calgary.

Contact us

For information about this program:
403.440.6861 or 1.888.392.3655
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB T3E 6K6

Customize this program for your organization through our Corporate Training unit.