UCL Engineering Exchange


Skills and Strategies for Community Engagement

This two-part short course provides an introduction to community engagement. It will help you develop skills and strategies for working effectively with community groups and users

There are no upcoming training sessions planned, but you can contact us to find out when we will next be offering training.

Community engagement promotes collaboration between different stakeholders. This improves the chances of understanding and addressing the right problems and designing the right solutions for local contexts.

This course consists of two parts:

In part 1 (one day) you’ll learn practical skills to improve how you engage with community groups and users as part of your professional practice or research.

In part 2 (three days) you’ll learn management strategies for setting up community engagement initiatives (e.g. the Engineering Exchange) in your own workplace.

The course is delivered by the Engineering Exchange, a group of engineers and community members based at UCL.

Who this course is for

This course is designed for anyone who needs to engage local communities and users in their professional practices and/or research, such as:

– engineers
– infrastructure providers
– urban planners
– geographers
– product designers
– entrepreneurs/SMEs
– sustainability consultants
– NGOs
– sustainability/environmental managers
– academic researchers

You don’t need any previous experience with community engagement to take this course.

Content and structure

This is a two-part course (you can take either part on its own, or both together).

Part 1 – Practical skills for community engagement

The first part of the course will cover:

-The benefits of and needs for community engagement
-How to address community needs and opportunities directly in your projects
-How engaging with communities can deliver better project outcomes
-Skills to improve how you engage with community groups in your professional practice or research

Part 2 – Strategies for developing community engagement initiatives

The second part of the course will cover:

-Principles, theories and core activities of community engagement
-Project management, protocols and evaluation methods
-Community outreach and recruitment
-How to navigate the institution (internal stakeholders, funding, communication)
-Site visits to infrastructure projects in London

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, real-life case studies, group discussion and exercises. You’ll have access to online learning resources.

You’ll also have the opportunity to network with potential project partners, build professional networks and work with a diverse group of backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

After completing part 1, you’ll be able to:

-identify the benefits of community engagement and involving users in your professional practice
-work with community groups to define their needs and objectives for effective engagement
-describe the value of your work and explain technical concepts to local communities and users
-identify opportunities for improving community engagement within a specific project or discipline

After completing part 2, you’ll be able to:

-know how the UCL Engineering Exchange works, its setup and business model
-learn community based research methods through case studies
-identify the benefits of community based research from research, community and industrial perspectives
-develop action plans for setting up your own community engagement initiatives and model in your organisation

Benefits of attending this course

By attending this course you’ll have:

-access to a network of community groups and support in instigating collaborative research projects
-expert tuition from both UCL engineers and community-based practitioners
-small class sizes, which encourages deeper engagement and the opportunity to focus on your own projects and interests

You’ll also get the chance to:

-network with potential project partners at our community forums and events
-build professional networks within the field
-work with a group of like-minded colleagues
-build CSR credit by helping communities achieve technical solutions

Fees and concessions

The fees are:

Part 1 only (one day) – £300
Part 2 only (three days) – £900
Parts 1 and 2 (four days) – £1,080 (which includes a 10% discount)

Non-students receive a 10% discount if you book parts 1 and 2 together. Students (any university) receive a 10% discount on either part, or 15% if you book parts 1 and 2 together. Students will be asked to provide proof of status when attending the course; please email engex@ucl.ac.uk to receive a discount code.