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Unit of study_

INFC7000: Inventing the Future

This is an interdisciplinary unit, that would be jointly run by the faculties of Science, Engineering, Business, Architecture, Design and Planning. It is aimed at high achieving post-graduate students from these faculties, to provide them with high level skills in research translation, design and innovation. Student teams are a given a real product brief, of social and economic importance, and aligned with areas of university research. They must respond to this brief, producing a working prototype product and business case.


Academic unit Science Faculty
Unit code INFC7000
Unit name Inventing the Future
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

Students are expected to be experienced in their own discipline at a postgraduate level.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Maryanne Large,
Lecturer(s) Martin Tomitsch ,
Alexander John Orson Carpenter,
Maryanne Large,
Andrew Timothy Harris,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Mid semester presentation
Self reflective diary
15% Multiple weeks 3 x short video
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Response to the brief report
Individual response to the brief
30% Week 03 3-5 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Assignment group assignment Team market opportunity assessment and commercialisation plan and in class presentation
Market opportunity assessment, commercialisation plan and presentation
10% Week 06 5 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6
Assignment group assignment Group complex systems map and strategy logic and for proposed invention
Systems map of the problem
5% Week 10 1-2 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Presentation group assignment MVP funding pitch
Presentation of all elements of the project
25% Week 12 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment group assignment Brief information memorandum including technical specification of prototype
Brief information memorandum including technical specification of prototype
15% Week 12 5-10 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?

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.

For more information see

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.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, 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 dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

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

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Unit overview and technical brief introduction Lecture (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Grounding and user research Lecture (3 hr) LO2
Week 03 Presentations by experts in the areas of the project briefs and opportunity for students to ask questions/conduct expert interviews Lecture (3 hr) LO1
Week 04 Design thinking and ideation Lecture (3 hr) LO3
Week 05 Complex systems Lecture (3 hr) LO4
Week 06 Students presenting their ideas/responses to the brief Lecture (3 hr) LO8
Week 07 Business (part A) Lecture (3 hr) LO5 LO6
Week 08 Business (part B) Lecture (3 hr) LO5 LO6
Week 10 Engineering – standards and quality assurance Lecture (3 hr) LO6 LO7
Week 11 1. Presentation techniques; 2. Pitching your ideas Lecture (3 hr) LO8
Week 12 1. Each faculty representative to workshop with each group in a rotation; 2. Refinements of prototypes Lecture (3 hr) LO7

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. At the end of this unit students will understand how to work in an interdisciplinary team, and be able to project manage the work
  • LO2. Students will learn the techniques of ideation and be able to apply them to both identifying a problem, and developing a solution
  • LO3. Students will learn and be able to apply the principles of design thinking
  • LO4. Students will learn, and be able to apply, the basics of systems thinking, including developing a systems map for their project
  • LO5. Students will learn and be able to apply business principles, such as the business model canvas
  • LO6. Students will understand different types of intellectual property, and how they are relevant to innovation
  • LO7. Students will learn how to prototype and test their product or service. This could include low fidelity prototyping, or a basic working prototype. Depending on the product, this may involve different techniques, including 3D printing, virtual reality, physical computing, etc.
  • LO8. Students will learn presentation skills, and be able to apply them to a pitch (in person or video).

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
No changes in response to student feedback were made.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


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