Design Thinking

Subject MGMT90223 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

Total time commitment: 136 hours


Entry to the Master of Entrepreneurship

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Frank Vetere



Subject Overview:

How do you solve a difficult problem? What if the problem is impossible to solve entirely because knowledge about it is incomplete, contradictory or changing. How do you arrive at a workable solution? What makes your solution the best and the most innovative? In this subject we address these questions by adopting a Design Thinking approach. Design Thinking is a powerful set of idea and techniques that encourages empathy and creativity to address 'wicked' problems. The subject begins by exploring the foundational characteristics of design thinking arising from the limitations of traditional approaches to problem solving. We highlight the significance of human-centred design principles to understand problem settings. We examine various forms of prototyping and their capacity to be generative of innovative solutions. We will also interrogate assumptions with critical discussions of relevant ideas. A significant proportion of the subject will be devoted to practicing design thinking techniques. Students will undertake a critical analysis of a problem setting and use design thinking principles to create, iterate and test an innovative solution.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • understand and explain the foundational principles of Design Thinking;
  • undertake a critical and empathetic analysis of a problem setting;
  • demonstrate skills in ideation;
  • discuss the relationship between human desires, organizational needs and design characteristics;
  • defend and justify design decisions;
  • develop comprehensive skills is customer-centric evaluation.
  • Group Poster - critical analysis of a problem setting. A0 size poster (500 words). Due in Week 3 (10%)
  • Individual Presentation - lead a critical discussion. This is an individual activity. 10 minutes (1000 words). Students are allocated a session during the semester (10%)
  • Group Report – detailed report (written and video) of the design process and evaluation of a prototype. This is a group activity (@ 4 students). 2000 word report and video 10 minutes duration. Due Week 12 (40%)
  • Individual Essay – written essay on design thinking. This is an individual activity. 2500 words. Due in Exam week (40%)
Prescribed Texts:

You will be advised of the prescribed texts by your lecturer

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

High level of development:

  • Develop problem-solving skills through tutorial exercises
  • Develop creative ways of solving unfamiliar problems, through the tutorial exercise series
  • Learn to adopt new ideas, from participation in the lecture program

Moderate level of development:

  • Think critically, and organise knowledge, from consideration of the lecture material
  • Plan effective work schedules, to meet the regular deadlines for submission of assessable work
  • Present an argument, by reflecting on those presented in the lecture series
Related Course(s): Master of Entrepreneurship

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