DE7024 - Design-Led Innovation Practice

What will I learn on this module?

During this module, you will be introduced to and undertake design-led innovation practice. You will develop a detailed understanding of the principles and a range of approaches to innovation practice, through the phases of: Set-up, Problem & Solution Exploration, Strategy Development, Pitch, and Unpack. You will learn about the range of methods and resources that support design-led innovation practice and be encouraged to challenge and adapt them.

You will be introduced to key knowledge and concepts about the practicing professional, his/her self-development and the broader contexts of the team, the organisation, and the commercial environment. You will enter into the process of personal and professional development within the context of multidisciplinary innovation teams, and in the aspects of project planning, coordination and management.

You will tackle, as part of a multidisciplinary team, a range of innovation projects, working with external organisations and communities. During these projects, you will be coached, supervised and challenged as you learn how best to contribute your knowledge and expertise within a multidisciplinary team. You’ll learn about different forms of innovation and design-led co-creation, by practicing:
• Project scoping and planning
• Creative research and insight development
• Reflective practice and collaborative workshops
• Ideation, concept refinement and evaluation
• Strategy development and communication
• Value definition and impact assessment
• Client pitches and reporting.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching strategy / how learning materials provided / how the student participates
In this module, you will learn through a combination of seminars, workshops and project supervision sessions. Seminars will be used to introduce core concepts and allow group working and encourage discussion and debate.

A part of your directed learning will be based on practical engagement in a studio environment where you will work on a number of team projects. This will allow you to practice design-led innovation, applying and testing the theory, knowledge, and concepts that you have learnt. Project supervision sessions will provide ongoing feedback on performance and support project progress as tutors challenge and coach you. Each project concludes with a detailed ‘project unpack’. Project unpack facilitates reflection, evaluation and critical review providing formative feedback on performance and helping to consolidate learning.

Project planning and evaluation session will allow you to engage with active researchers as you conduct research with the academic team using innovation practice as the leading methodology.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on shared digital filing platforms (core programme material located on the eLP ‘Blackboard’) to enable participation within the seminar programme. Summative assessment will establish your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a team of academic experts in scheduled seminars and project supervision sessions. You will engage in a rich dialogue with tutors (and fellow students), in timetabled sessions and receive regular feedback on ongoing work giving you the opportunity to respond directly as part of the process. You will keep a record of project activities and encounters to enhance both your skills and intellectual understanding and also to develop your Portfolio of Practice.

This module is constructed through a series of critical enquiries that enable students, academics and researchers to work together to practice design-led innovation that delivers impactful solutions and new knowledge. Two core questions guide this module, the knowledge you will be introduced to and the research inquiry that the tutors and students conduct together: How does the multidisciplinary entrepreneurial professional develop? What approaches, methods, and tools enable effective networked responsible innovation practice?

Through innovation projects with external organisations and communities you will work as part of a community to enhance practice excellence while responding to complex challenges. You will be supported by the academic team in understanding how to create the assessment Portfolio of Practice and what evidence you need to collect during the semester in support of your assignment.

The Northern Design Centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days and week enabling a flexible approach to learning and innovation project delivery. Digital work environments are encouraged as an integral aspect of the programme, enabling collaborative practices between you and your peer group, the academics, researchers and Innovators in Residence.

The Library is open 24 hours a day and the E-Learning Portal houses all your module documents including your timetable. These services can be accessed on a range of devices. ESAP (English for Specific Academic Purposes) support is integrated with the programme and aims to develop study skills to support your achievement of module learning outcomes. The module tutor(s) will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email.

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:
1) Demonstrate your ability to understand and apply a range of design-led innovation approaches and resources.
2) Produce a critical evaluation of excellence within the context of innovation project practice.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3) Employ research methods to produce insights and through co-creation nurture the creativity in others in order to develop innovative solutions.
4) Apply critical and reflexive thinking in order to challenge and develop established ways of behaving and working, in a multidisciplinary innovation context.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5) Become familiar with and practice the development and facilitation of co-creative sessions and workshops.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided through weekly contact with peers and tutors, and through in-depth project debriefing sessions.

Summative assessment will review a portfolio of practice. The portfolio will highlight a developing understanding, underpinned by theory, of design-led innovation practice and your developing capabilities as a multidisciplinary professional. The portfolio will demonstrate how that understanding has been actively applied into practice. It will also evidence how individually you have engaged with your multidisciplinary team, community of practice, and when appropriate members of the public to define new value and explore its innovation impact and consequences.

All of the module learning outcomes for are assessed through the portfolio of practice.

Feedback will be provided through tutorial support throughout the module. Written feedback on summative assessment will be provided.





Module abstract

Make a positive impact on the world. Working within an energetic, talented and creative team, in a studio environment, you will tackle real-world challenges with external organisations and communities. As part of a team, you will practice design-led innovation creating and bringing to life new policies, systems, services, products, communications and way of working. During this module, you will establish your own development as a multidisciplinary entrepreneurial professional. You will also lead co-creation by adapting and facilitating innovation sandpits, design sprints and collaborative projects by practicing:
• Project scoping and planning
• Creative research and insight development
• Reflective practice and collaborative workshops
• Ideation, concept refinement and evaluation
• Strategy development and communication
• Value definition and impact assessment
• Client pitches and reporting.

This module will encourage you to locate your practice within the broader context of the team, the organisation, and the commercial environment, while developing and defending new value through effective creativity, engagement, project planning, management and reporting.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria School of Design, Newcastle Business School

Location Northern Design Centre

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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