DE7025 - Responsible Innovation Practice

What will I learn on this module?

During this module, you will refine your understanding of, and undertake, design-led innovation practice with a particular focus on responsibility in innovation. You will learn, through practice, how to lead organisations and communities; responding to their local issues in the context of mega trends; developing a detailed proposal informed by an understanding of the impacts and consequences of innovation.

Within a multidisciplinary team you will undertake design-led responsible innovation framing and addressing a complex innovation project within your client’s context. Individually you will produce a change plan for enabling your team’s proposal.

You will identify key knowledge and concepts related to ‘responsible business practice’, ‘resilient communities’, and ‘mega trends’. You will continue the process of personal and professional development within the context of multidisciplinary innovation teams, and in the aspects of ‘innovation horizons’, ‘local, national and global policies’, and ‘knowledge and transformation economies’.

Within a multidisciplinary team you will undertake an in-depth innovation project working with an external organisation(s) or community(s). During this project, you will be coached, supervised and challenged as you learn how best to contribute your knowledge and expertise within a multidisciplinary team. You will refine your understanding about the value of design-led co-creation, by producing a business proposal, defended as responsible, that justifies a vision and resourcing based upon:
• Understanding of a complex issue
• A critical appraisal of current action and initiatives
• An innovation tapestry and strategy
• Personal reflexive positioning of drivers, competencies and future action.

How will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn through a combination of independent research, team-based studio practice, workshops and project supervision sessions. You will form part of a core delivery team, assigned to a specific client and brief. As part of a multidisciplinary team you will work on a major innovation project. 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. Your project will include a number of review points that facilitate reflection, evaluation and critical review. These reviews provide formative feedback on performance, help to consolidate learning and produce the direction for the next phase of the project.

Project planning, review and evaluation sessions 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 and readings will be posted on shared digital filing platforms (core programme material located on the eLP ‘Blackboard’) to enable full participation in collaborative working within 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 project supervision sessions. You will engage in a rich dialogue with tutors (and fellow students) in scheduled sessions and receive feedback on ongoing work giving you the opportunity to respond directly as part of your process. You will keep a record of project activities and encounters to enhance both your skills and intellectual understanding.

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 position themselves reflexively within a global perspective? Does networked responsible innovation practice enhance resilience by leading strategic organisational transformation and is this an effective and democratic methodology for producing an understanding about how to address global challenges? You will be supported by the academic team in understanding how to create the team based and individual assessment documents 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 to 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.

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) Through an appraisal of a programme innovation project demonstrate an understanding of contextual and methodological issues and their impact on practice outputs and performance.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2) Demonstrate awareness, an ability to engage, stimulate and respond to, dialogue with experts and stakeholders.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3) Use reflexivity to position personal drivers, competencies and future action in the context of an innovation practice situation.

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 has two components: Innovation Project Outputs (40%) and The Responsible Innovation Critical Appraisal (60%).

Innovation Project Outputs are team produced and include a 3000-5000 word report & practice log. The Responsible Innovation Critical Appraisal is an individually produced 6000 word document. It includes a detailed appraisal of the impacts and consequences relating to your innovation project’s timeframes and network and a set of plans for actioning and scaling your team’s recommendations clarifying how your approach is similar and different to, and aligning with, related ongoing local, national and global initiatives.

Module learning outcomes (1) & (2) are assessed through Innovation Project Outputs. Module learning outcomes (2) & (3) are assessed through Innovation Project Outputs.

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





Module abstract

Ensure that innovation-grounded economic growth is based upon democratic and responsible principles. During this module, you will use responsible innovation practice to undertake real-world projects, tackling complex challenges with external organisations and communities. You will refine your own development as a multidisciplinary entrepreneurial professional and position new strategic value within a global perspective by developing and applying leading practices in design-led, networked responsible innovation. Through this module, you will produce an innovative proposal, defended as responsible, that justifies a vision and resourcing based upon:
• Understanding of a complex issue
• A critical appraisal of current action and initiatives
• An innovation tapestry and strategy
• Personal reflexive positioning of drivers, competencies and future action.

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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