Short courses


Crafting Project Narratives

  • 10am to 12pm
  • 5 days
  • 14 Feb 2022


This online short course will give you the skills you need to use narratives in projects and megaprojects.

You'll learn:

  • what narratives are
  • why project narratives are important
  • how to craft and maintain narratives throughout a project life-cycle

Several real-life case studies are used throughout the course to show how narratives can be used.

This course draws on research by the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction but is relevant to any sector.

Who this course is for 

This course is for anyone who works on projects (or will do). You may be a project manager, but you don't need to be one to benefit from the course.

While several of the examples used in this course are infrastructure projects, the course is relevant to all industries.

Teaching and structure 

The course consists of 5 live 2-hour online sessions, held over 5 days (Monday to Friday).

You'll also need to do some reading and watch pre-recorded videos before each session.

Course content 

Day1: What narratives are and why they're important

This session will cover:

  • the meaning of narratives
  • key distinguishing characteristics of narratives
  • how narratives are communicated and shared
  • types of project narratives

You’ll gain an understanding of the effect of project narratives on project outcomes. You’ll learn how to identify narratives and understand how they can help in your project work.

The case study of the East West Link megaproject in Melbourne, Australia will be discussed to highlight the importance of narratives.

Day 2: Narratives in projects

This session will cover different narratives, such as narratives of the need for project, its benefits, sustainability, innovation, and digital transformation. We’ll examine the nature of these different narratives at different levels (industry, firm, project).

The case study of the UK infrastructure industry innovation platform i3P will explore the industry and firm narratives in projects, and their role in innovation.

Day 3: Promoters and protesters of project narratives

This session will cover interactions between narratives and counter-narratives in projects. The narratives communicated by those who support and are against a project, and different associated strategies, will be discussed.

The case study of the High Speed 2 (HS2) project in the UK will explore labels of 'protesters' and 'promoters'.

Day 4: Crafting narratives in projects

In this session you'll learn about:

  • tools and instruments for creating and maintaining a narrative
  • different processes for sustaining the narratives throughout the project lifecycle

Using these tools and understanding of associated processes will enable you to impact your project outcomes.

The case study of the High Speed 2 (HS2) project in the UK will be discussed to show the different tools and processes used in megaprojects.

    Day 5: Narrating and storytelling

    This session will cover the processes of narrating and storytelling and their implications for identity and image. The role of narratives in shaping identity and bringing stakeholders together will also be discussed. This will help you apply narrating and storytelling skills in your projects.

    The case study of a Metrorail project in India will be discussed to show the effect of narratives on project team rationalities.


    You'll receive a certificate of participation from The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction when you complete the course.

    Learning outcomes  

    By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

    • create useful narratives for your projects
    • maintain narratives throughout a project’s life cycle
    • manage counter-narratives by external stakeholders
    • understand the role narratives play in crafting a project identity

    Course team

    Dr Natalya Sergeeva

    Dr Natalya Sergeeva

    Natalya is an Associate Professor in The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction at UCL.

    Natalya’s areas of expertise are project management, innovation management, and organisation studies. Her research contributes to these fields by deepening understanding of how managers create and communicate their narratives and stories (e.g. visioning project narrative, narratives about project value, project identity narrative, narratives of innovation, narratives of environmental sustainability) and their implications for meaning making, identity work, policy making and strategising. 

    Dr Johan Ninan

    Dr Johan Ninan

    Johan is a Research Associate in The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction at UCL.

    Johan’s research focuses on megaprojects, stakeholder engagement, innovation, and project organising, with a particular emphasis on the role of digital media. He had hands-on experience in the planning and construction of multiple infrastructure megaprojects, before researching the project management complexities surrounding such projects in Australia, India and the UK. He was awarded the 2020 IPMA Global Young Researcher Award and the 2020 APM Paper of the year award for his research on social media in projects.

    Course information last modified: 14 Dec 2021, 14:06