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Module XUE-4004:
Design Project

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mr Dewi Rowlands

Overall aims and purpose

During this module students will apply all the knowledge, understanding and skills accumulated throughout the design and strategic thinking modules to produce a valid practical outcome which is suited to innovative contexts, and could be an artefact, system or service. The project scope will be defined through a learning contract written by the student.

Course content

This will be a self-identified design project, agreed with lecturers through the development of a learning contract with defined milestones. The scope of identified project will enable a deeper applied understanding of design processes. Guidance on learning contract writing will include: guidance on identifying the scope of potential innovation and value in an identified project, preparation for identifying assessment milestones and outcome/s, and creating a gap analysis of skills and knowledge to support project. Workshop induction will enable students to prototype confidently and safely in a prototyping workshop environment.

Assessment Criteria


70% or above. Comprehensive knowledge • Detailed understanding of subject area • Extensive background study. Excellent presentation with very accurate communication


50-59% Knowledge of key area/principles. Understands the main elements of the subject area. Limited evidence of background study. Some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy


60-69% Strong knowledge • Understands most but not all of the subject area • Evidence of background study. Good presentation with accurate communication

Learning outcomes

  1. Operate in complex and unpredictable and/or specialised contexts, requiring selection and application from a wide range of advanced techniques, information sources and data.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of current theoretical and methodological approaches, along with the interrelationship between the specialised field and other relevant disciplines.

  3. Designs and undertakes substantial investigations to address significant areas of theory and/or practice. Selects appropriate advanced methodological approaches and critically evaluates their effectiveness.

  4. Develops ideas at a high level of abstraction. Develops critical responses to existing theoretical discourses, methodologies or practices and suggests new concepts or approaches.

  5. Liaise, co-ordinate and manage resources and professional relationships, demonstrate full accountability for outcomes.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Learning Contract 20
Midterm Evaluation Presentation 40
Final Evaluation Presentation 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Total hours: 2hrs Teaching Strategy: 1x2hrs


Total hours: 12hrs Teaching Strategy: 6x2hrs

Supervised time in studio/workshop

10x 4.5hrs

Private study 141

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others


Reading list

4004 – Design Project T.Brown (2009) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Business T.Kelly (2016) The Art Of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm. Harper Collins Business J.Knapp 2016) Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. Simon & Schuster B.Hannington (2012) Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions K.Best. (2006) Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation. AVA Publishing D.Norman (2013) The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. The MIT Press J.O’Grady (2017) A Designer's Research Manual: 2nd edition Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need (Design Field Guide). Rockport

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: