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Course content

The Design Management course provides the opportunity for you to develop an advanced understanding of the practical application of design thinking and design strategy applied within an organisational, business and global context.

In the corporate world design managers oversee the development of products and services and manage the innovation process workflow. However, they also have a significant strategic role in managing the articulation of a business strategy, product and service values, requiring continuous improvement of the customer experience and often involving the management of external specialists. Additionally, they may be engaged in broader organisational development issues.

Students studying Design Management Innovation will focus on design thinking, research methods and the development of management, leadership and change management skills. In addition to operational management they will also focus on design thinking approaches to organisational change, behavioural change and transformation programmes.

The MDes Design Management Innovation draws on current Ravensbourne research. This includes rapid prototyping (an increasingly important operational aspect of the design process); business start up; team building and team dynamics; and the more strategic area of new business model development.

You will work regularly with peers from different disciplines to develop interdisciplinary skills and develop your own approach to design leadership, management and innovation. Major emphasis is placed on developing your own specialist subject in order to create original solutions to social challenges, consumer behaviour, organisational and leadership issues. You will be encouraged to engage proactively in the wide range of activities and events and in the opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning offered at Ravensbourne. Of particular importance is industry engagement through live project briefs and work placements.

Course aims

- To understand the role of design management as a business discipline balancing both leadership roles in terms of innovation, the creation of vision and future directions and management roles in terms of using specific tools, methods and techniques.
- To approach leadership, organisational and enterprise development from the perspective of design thinking and creative innovation.

Study units

Stage One: developing a knowledge base and new reference points - introduces you to a range of theories and practices in the strategic use of design and innovation, with a particular focus on the method of design thinking in the global context and how it relates to design management.

- Unit 1: Cultural and Contextual Design Studies
- Unit 2: Practical Application of Design Thinking in Design Management
- Unit 3: Managing Design in a Global Society and Economy

Stage Two: putting new learning into a professional context – develops the practical application of design thinking with a focus on innovation and industry-oriented professional practice based on design management. It also extends your innovation and leadership toolkit.

- Unit 4: Professional Practice in Management and Consulting
- Unit 5: Strategic Design and Innovation
- Unit 6: Studio Practice

Stage Three: evaluating and advancing existing knowledge

Unit 7: Major Project.

Programme Aims of the Master of Design

The Master of Design programme aims to provide the opportunity for you to develop creative thinking and innovative strategies through an advanced understanding of the practical application of design thinking and design strategy to management and organisational leadership, in order to equip you with the knowledge and skills to apply your learning in a global context. In particular, this programme aims:

- To equip you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the contextual background to, and developments in design thinking and to reflect on that learning in order to advance your own practice and subject area and to innovate.

- To develop effective managers and leaders with effective design management skills who through creativity and global awareness are able to influence and create positive change in their organisations whether at an operational or a strategic level.

- To equip you with independent study skills that support research, practice and professional development and allow you to continue developing as life-long learners throughout their professional lives maintaining contact with emerging practice from a variety of fields.

- To provide a stimulating environment, which is supportive, flexible and collaborative and allows you to develop your potential.

- To develop a high level of professionalism and confidence to initiate and lead complex design projects involving diverse disciplines and business functions.

Visit the Design Management Innovation (MDes) page on the Ravensbourne website for more details!

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