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Design Thinking (MGMT90223)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMGMT90223
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

Intended 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.

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

Eligibility and requirements


Entry to the Master of Entrepreneurship



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • 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%)

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorsPaige Talbot and Mond Qu
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours (one 3 hour seminar per week)
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours per semester

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    You will be advised of the prescribed texts by your lecturer

Last updated: 9 April 2019