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Unit of study_

DECO2015: Design for Innovation

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study introduces students to design strategies and techniques for developing alternative points of view and exploring multiple solutions iteratively. Through the analysis of real-world case studies students will develop an understanding for how to use design-thinking methods to tackle complex problems. The unit will discuss how design can be used as a method and as a way of thinking to drive innovation for products, services and processes. In the tutorial component, students will apply design strategies and techniques through small group exercises and develop a deeper understanding of them through the assessment items, which capture theory, analytical reflection and the practical application of methods.

Unit details and rules

Unit code DECO2015
Academic unit Design Lab
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Joel Fredericks,
Lecturer(s) Joel Fredericks,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz Quiz
6 short quizzes at start of sessions (5% each)
30% Multiple weeks 10 minutes each
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment group assignment Research Report
Research Report
30% Week 07 20-25 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
Assignment group assignment Design Project
Design Project
30% Week 12 20-25 Pages
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment group assignment Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion
10% Week 13 10mins
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Quiz: The quiz will test knowledge and understanding of topics related to the unit.
  • Analysis report: This report requires the analysis and reflection of design methods used to innovate, within a group’s chosen design brief. In groups, students will identify a problem scenario or context for the design project. Each team member will then collect information about the chosen context and users, using the techniques introduced in the lectures and tutorials.
  • Project work: This assessment involves the development of concept using ideation techniques from the unit, and a presentation of a new product, service and business using techniques from the unit. Students will present this development of this solution in a documentation report and also via a pitch.

 Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of outstanding quality, demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes
assessed. The work shows significant innovation, experimentation, critical
analysis, synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or exceptional skill.


75 - 84

Work of excellent quality, demonstrating a sound grasp of the learning outcomes
assessed. The work shows innovation, experimentation, critical analysis,
synthesis, insight, creativity, and/or superior skill.


65 - 74

Work of good quality, demonstrating more than satisfactory achievement of the
learning outcomes assessed, or work of excellent quality for a majority of the
learning outcomes assessed.


50 - 64

Work demonstrating satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Lecture 1 Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Tutorial 1 Tutorial (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Lecture 2 Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Tutorial 2 Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Lecture 3 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Tutorial 3 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 04 Lecture 4 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Tutorial 4 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Lecture 5 Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Tutorial 5 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Lecture 6 Lecture (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Tutorial 6 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Lecture 7 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial 7 Tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Lecture 8 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial 8 Tutorial (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 09 Lecture 9 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial 9 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Lecture 10 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial 10 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Lecture 11 Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial 11 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Lecture 12 Lecture (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Tutorial 12 Tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Presentation Week 13 Presentation (3 hr) LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Please refer to the Resolutions of the University School:

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of the theory and practice of design innovation
  • LO2. understand strategies and techniques for assessing and innovating products, services or processes
  • LO3. apply design-thinking methods to develop innovative solutions
  • LO4. communicate non-straightforward solutions to complex problems
  • LO5. demonstrate cross-disciplinary teamwork.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This unit is adapted for delivery in blended mode. Considering the changed teaching mode and based on USS feedback from 2019, the unit will consider how to strike a better balance between amount of content and guidance provided to students in the lead-up to assessments.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.