AT7043 - Design Process

What will I learn on this module?

Through studying on this module, you will learn about the three fields of design knowledge described above, which you will interpret relative to your own practice. You will apply this knowledge in co-creative practice and will reflect on your experience to summarise the utility and limitations of methods employed. You will learn about action research methods and will build your own action research process models and recording templates that you will apply in practice to facilitate your development as a reflective practitioner. In parallel, you will learn about theories of enterprise and innovation and will apply this knowledge in action by exploring business models and intellectual property. You will also learn about cross-cultural collaboration by applying relevant concepts from literature whilst working in multi-cultural teams.

The underpinning knowledge and understanding will be applied in the context of a collaborative project with industry or other organisation, which will help you learn effective ways of working in multi-cultural/multi-disciplinary teams.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, and project supervision that cover three core areas of design process;

1. Action research and reflective practice; you will synthesise relevant literature to develop your own action research based reflective practice model that you will then apply in action through your design practice, and luxury sector (for campus-based students) through a team based collaborative project. You will use your reflective practice template as a diary planning and reporting tool throughout the rest of the course.

2. Enterprise and innovation; you will develop an entrepreneurial approach to design-led innovation by creating your own business model canvas that reflects the facets of your value proposition. You will also distinguish different forms of intellectual property developed in your practice.

3. Cross cultural collaboration; you will work in multi-cultural / multi-disciplinary teams to identify barriers to and develop strategies to enable effective cross cultural communication and collaboration

The module will enable you to review, interpret and apply design process knowledge in the context of real business and social challenges. This experience can inform your own unique learning journey articulated by your personal reflection in LD7156.

Campus based students. Part of your directed learning will be based on practical engagement in a studio environment where you will work on a team project to apply and test the theory, knowledge, and concepts that you have learnt. Small group seminars and workshops will allow you to engage with tutors whose research portfolios align with cross cultural collaboration, enterprise, innovation, action research and reflective practice. You will also conduct independent study that will centre on the identification and pursuit of areas of interest, gaining deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities including extended reading, reflection, research etc.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a team of academic experts in scheduled timetabled lectures and seminars and will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas and methods through project supervision. You will engage in a rich dialogue with tutors (and fellow students) and receive feedback on on-going work giving you the opportunity to respond directly and as part of your process. You will keep a record of this feedback in order to progress your work to enhance both your skills and intellectual understanding and to develop your Portfolio.

The Masters programme curriculum has been developed to capitalise on the extensive, active and well-defined research emphasis of the School and channel this expertise to support your development through a range of expert lecture, seminar, project supervision and tutorial support delivered both on campus and by distance learning. The e-Learning Portal provides important learning resources for both campus based and distance learning students and many lectures and seminars are recorded through BB collaborate and Panopto so that students can review their content after the event.

Where appropriate, students may also be directed to engage with Study Skills +, or other resources offered through the University Student Support Services such as Dyslexia Support.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and e-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. You can access these services on a range of devices.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding (KU):
1) Demonstrate scholarship in Masters level research through a comprehensive literature review in the fields of enterprise and innovation, cross cultural collaboration, action research and reflective practice.

2) Develop your personal interpretation the theory and develop personal insights relevant to your field of practice

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Application (IPSA):

1) Demonstrate the application of knowledge/theory/methods (as described in KU) in the context of your creative practice

Personal Values Attributes (PVA):

1) Critically review and reflect on the application, utility and limitations of the action research and reflection, cross cultural collaboration and enterprise and innovation, knowledge you have applied and the impact of this knowledge on your practice.

How will I be assessed?

You will prepare a single illustrated portfolio of three components (as 1, 2, 3 below) evidencing your interpretation of existing theories and methods in the field (through literature review), application and implementation of this knowledge in your practice and a summarising the adoption and utility of this knowledge including evaluation and possible recommendations.

1) Action research and reflective practice
2) Cross cultural collaboration
3) Innovation and enterprise

The module will be marked as Pass/Fail.

This module is exempt from the Anonymous Marking Policy. The nature of working closely and directly with the students in workshops makes anonymity unfeasible.

Formative assessment will take place at 2 staged points and through on-going dialogue in group work, project supervision, assignment discussions and tutorials throughout the course of the module.

Summative feedback will be provided to students on a module assessment sheet against the module learning outcomes.





Module abstract

This module provides a grounding in the concepts, methods and principles of three key fields of knowledge: Action Research & Reflective Practice, Cross Cultural Collaboration, and Innovation & Enterprise. You will appreciate the transferability of design thinking and will be able apply your knowledge in different contexts and domains.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location Netherlands

City Amsterdam

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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