Design

About the major

The major in Design introduces students to design and design thinking. Students will learn how to use design as an innovation method and how to apply design thinking to a range of contexts, including management and product design.

The suite is designed to gradually introduce students to the principles of designs, covering theory, approaches, and methods, as well as techniques for using design as an innovation method. This ensures that – taken in particular combinations – the units will add value to a complimentary major or undergraduate degrees.

Students can choose the appropriate number of units from the table below in order to complete a major, or minor. The units can also be taken as electives by students enrolled in other undergraduate programs.

The units of study taken as part of the Major of Design will lead to the following learning outcomes:

  • Making effective use of written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
  • Understand the value of design methods for identifying and evaluating human-centred solutions to discipline-specific problems.
  • Experience in working on design problems that require interdisciplinary expertise and skill sets.
  • Capability to work in cross-disciplinary teams, contributing discipline-specific knowledge and communicating this knowledge to other team members.
  • Knowledge of design as capability-enhancing set of methods for solving non-linear, complex problems and expertise in applying such methods across a range of design contexts.
  • Ability to balance convergent and divergent approaches, focussing on the details of a design solution while also applying higher-level thinking and critical reflection.
  • Proficiency in design methods, techniques and tools and how they relate within design movements and schools of thoughts.
Pathways through the major

To achieve a major in Design, students must complete 48 credit points comprising:

  • 12 credit points of 1000-level core units of study;
  • 6 credit points of 2000-level core unit of study;
  • 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units of study;
  • 6 credit points of 3000-level core unit of study;
  • 12 credit points of 3000-level major selective units.
Pathway through the minor

To achieve a minor in Design, students must complete 36 credit points comprising:

  • 12 credit points of 1000-level core units of study;
  • 6 credit points of 2000-level core unit of study;
  • 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units of study;
  • 12 credit points of 3000-level minor selective units.
Further information

For further information regarding study in the Design Major at the University of Sydney, please contact Program Director, Dr Karla Straker .

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Design will be able to:

  1. Express and apply design methods to identify and evaluate human-centred solutions to discipline-specific problems.
  2. Recognise and appraise the value and limitations of data and data source for design-led solutions.
  3. Synthesise and evaluate convergent and divergent approaches design solutions.
  4. Recognise and describe potential opportunities for design-led change and innovation in business and society.
  5. Devise innovative solutions through iteration that balances design needs including feasibility, viability and desirability.
  6. Assess and reflect on one's own design process as well as that of others.
  7. Express design as a capability-enhancing set of methods for solving non-linear, complex problems and demonstrate application of such methods across a range of contexts.
  8. Use written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
  9. Demonstrate cross-disciplinary teamwork.
  10. Recognise and demonstrate ethical and cultural competence as well as leadership roles and opportunities in design practice.