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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, 2022
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 ,
Guy William Ford,
Melinda Gaughwin,
Andrew Timothy Harris,
Maryanne Large,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Assessment 1: Video journal
Monthly individual video journals to record the progress of your project
15% Multiple weeks 3 x videos 1 minute each
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Assessment 2: Individual response
Individual discipline-based response to your chosen topic
25% Week 03
Due date: 21 Aug 2022 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Assignment group assignment Assessment 3: Team plan
Team plan report, including complex systems map
10% Week 10 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO1
Presentation group assignment Assessment 4: Research insights and market plan
Team market opportunity and commercialisation plan presented in class
20% Week 10 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO8 LO6
Presentation group assignment Assessment 5: Final pitch
Minimum viable product funding pitch
30% Week 13 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
group assignment = group assignment ?
Group assignment with individually assessed component = group assignment with individually assessed component ?

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 (2 hr) LO1
Circular economy, service flip Workshop (3 hr) LO2
Week 02 Grounding and user research Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Students to discuss their individual responses and team preferences Workshop (3 hr) LO1
Week 03 Grounding and user research – problem identification Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Mentoring session- user research, systems mapping Workshop (3 hr) LO2
Week 04 Design thinking and ideation Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Optional bookable in-person mentoring Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 05 Introduction to business and marketing principles Lecture (2 hr) LO5
Initial presentation and feedback Workshop (3 hr) LO1 LO8
Week 06 Business models Lecture (2 hr) LO5
Optional bookable in-person mentoring Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 07 Introduction to intellectual property Lecture (2 hr) LO6
Group work on business plan Workshop (3 hr) LO5 LO6
Week 08 Presentation skills- principles Lecture (2 hr) LO8
Optional bookable in-person mentoring Workshop (3 hr)  
Week 10 Taking a product to market-testing and quality Lecture (2 hr) LO6 LO7
Presentation skills workshop Workshop (3 hr) LO8
Week 11 Extension lecture Lecture (2 hr)  
Practice pitch session Workshop (3 hr) LO8
Week 12 Practice pitch session Rehearsal (2 hr) LO8
Week 13 Final presentations Presentation (3 hr)  

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
Several changes to the schedule and assessment tasks were made in response to student feedback and to better cater for hybrid delivery of classes.

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.


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

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