The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Design Thinking is a Human Centered Design approach to solving problems across a wide range of sectors and disciplines using creative methods that foster innovation and empathy based on critically and creatively informed research. In this course, students will learn the stages of Design Thinking from ideation through to inspiration and implementation, and gain the practical tools that enable them to apply Design Thinking methods in their own disciplinary practices in ways that respond to, and are focused on, the needs of end users and multiple stakeholders. Projects run in this course may involve exploring opportunities, problems and pain points with external stakeholders such as the not for profit sector, social enterprises, small medium or large commercial enterprises, public sector agencies and the like.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Winter - 2020


  • Winter - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Interpret Design Thinking theories, concepts and processes

2. Apply user centred research methods that appropriately respond to the needs of users within an area of practice

3. Communicate an understanding of Design Thinking concepts and their relationship to proposed solutions

4. Critically reflect on their own disciplinary practice from a Design Thinking perspective

5. Collaborate effectively in group based work


Topics will include:

  1. Design Thinking values and theories
  2. Design Thinking processes applied to project lifecycles, research and creative practice
  3. Iterative design processes, rapid prototyping and creating feedback loops
  4. User centred approaches and skills such as ethnography, co-design, participatory design, empathy mapping
  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.

Students must have successfully completed 60 units at 1000 level.

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 and Online


Face to Face On Campus 20 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Face to Face On Campus 10 hour(s) per Term Full Term