Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


The world is full of ‘wicked problems’, issues of great complexity with multiple overlapping concerns and stakeholders. The Design Thinking suite of methods and techniques assists the lay designer as well as the expert to untangle systemic and service design problems across a wide range of sectors and disciplines. Using inclusive and empathetic approaches that foster innovation, this course will produce critically, pedagogically and creatively informed research that generates real-world impact. In this course, students will explore various methods and techniques related to Design Thinking, applying these to inform their own disciplinary practices, in ways that respond to the experiences of end users, and the needs of multiple stakeholders.


PSB Singapore

  • Trimester 3 - 2022 (Singapore)

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interpret established Design Thinking theories, concepts and processes, as well as analyse new directions in the field;

2. Apply user centred research methods that appropriately respond to an area of practice to generate a solution to a specific real-world problem;

3. Communicate an understanding of various problem-solving methods and their relationship to Design Thinking strategies;

4. Critically reflect on their own disciplinary practice through the lens of Design Thinking and/or Art Thinking;

5. Collaborate effectively in group based work


Topics will include:

  1. Design Thinking values and theories, informed by the related field of Art Thinking;
  2. Methods, techniques and processes for advanced iteration, rapid prototyping, and project implementation; 
  3. Design Thinking suite of methods and techniques applied to project lifecycles with an emphasis on interdisciplinary practice;
  4. Experiential and user centred approaches such as co-design, participatory design, empathy mapping, and ‘personas’;
  5. Analysis of exemplars and precedents in professional practice from a variety of disciplinary perspectives;


To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 60 units, chosen from any courses offered by UON.

Assessment items

Presentation: A Visual/ Verbal Slide Presentation to an Audience - 20%

Project: Research to Prototype - 40%

Online Learning Activity: Online Blog - 40%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 7


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 1

PSB Singapore


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.