Design Thinking

This course is currently offered in collaboration with Creative Futures Academy (CFA). CFA is a ground-breaking partnership between: The National College of Art and Design, University College Dublin, and the Institute of Art, Design + Technology. Our tailored programmes and micro courses offer access to expertise and networks across the three leading creative institutions and our industry partners. Learn with us as we experiment, innovate and respond to change.

What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking can transform the way organisations develop products, services, processes and strategy. Many companies now deploy design thinking methodologies to help them overcome key business challenges ever present in today’s fast-paced technology and data driven environment.

Design thinking can be used as an innovative approach:

for problem solving and management strategy;
to create customer-centric products and services;
to anticipate and respond to new trends and technologies;
to design experiences and interactions;
to develop systemised solutions.

Designing thinking combines what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. Design thinking has become a crucial business tool and mindset that enables companies (and their employees) to think creatively beyond traditional logical and analytical approaches helping them to be agile and responsive to change so they can maintain their competitiveness.

What will I do?
Students will learn through a series of on-campus lectures, workshops, exercises and projects. The course will incorporate practical methods for design research, brainstorming and idea generation, visualisation, mapping, charting, recording and documentation. Practical exercises and projects will provide students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking, creative problem solving, and visualisation methodologies.

Students will complete two practical and written assignments during the programme. The first assignment is a group assignment and the second is an individual assignment. Students will be required to work on project assignments with their assigned group and individually outside of the specified course dates.

Subjects taught

The programme may include a range of topics such as:
Origins of design thinking | Writing a design brief | Competitor analysis | Creative leadership, vision and values | Brainstorming and ideation | Audience/customer profiling | Customer journeys & empathy experiments | Synthesis and insights | Visualisation methodologies | Storytelling | Prototyping & iteration | Design metrics, evaluation, validation and testing.

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for professionals and graduates who have an Undergraduate qualification of 2nd Class Honours or higher at Honours Degree level. Applicants without a Level 8 qualification may be considered based on their prior experience and learning through our RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) process.

Portfolio: No

Application dates

2024 applications will open in spring 2024.

IADT operates a rolling admissions policy for graduate taught courses, with decisions issued in 4 weeks after a submitted and complete application is received. An application is incomplete until you provide all required items on the checklist (including the application fee, if applicable).

Generally, courses will remain open to applications until all places are filled.


5 days on blended format.

Post Course Info

Future careers
This course will enhance your career opportunities in any current or future role by providing you with vital design thinking skills in creative problem solving, visualisation techniques and innovation strategies.

For recent graduates, this course will provide a competitive edge for entering the workplace. For professionals, the course is ideal for anyone working in a team or project-driven environment that is customer-focused. The skills learnt on the course are applicable to product/service ideation, development or improvement, or for startups and R&D teams who may be developing new and innovative offerings.

Graduates and participants from the course have come from a wide range of private and public sector organisations and companies including:

ESB, Google, Deloitte, Accenture, Trinity College Dublin, Dell, UCD, Publicis, IBEC, Silvercloud Health, Dynamo Design, Dublin City Council, Epsilon, South County Dublin Partnership, Johnson Controls, Click n’ Go, AIB, Bulgari, RTÉ, NUI Galway, Group M, Aerlingus.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider