Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Design Technology and Innovation

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Design Technology and Innovation

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • AL862

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

In today’s world, design and innovation play a huge role well beyond the creative industries – finding solutions to problems that impact upon every aspect of our lives. Given this rapid pace of change, the agile providers of products and services have to constantly blend design, technical, business and innovation skills to remain competitive. This exciting honours degree in Design Technology & Innovation is a new CAO offering.

It provides opportunities to learn how to design, develop and commercialise technology products and services.

This contemporary blended course offering is unique to AIT. Traditional offerings such as product design or Industrial Design generally operate within narrower boundaries. This programme offers the opportunity to synthesise creativity, knowledge and skills from these areas to facilitate innovation in both design thinking and practice.

What will I experience?

The overarching framework for the programme is the ‘Design Thinking’ process of Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. This is reflected in the programme’s four key pillars which include:

•Core Design Studies,

•User & Behavioural Studies,

•Technical Communications,

•Make Lab.

The Core Design Studies

This pillar develops the student’s ability to generate and translate ideas into designs. It develops creativity through idea generation, problem-solving, drawing and presentation techniques.

The User & Behavioural Studies

This pillar explores the core principles, methodologies, and applications of user research and behavioural studies. Observing users in their world will provide students with the opportunity to empathise with their experience, understand their context, uncover hidden needs, and hear their honest and unfettered feedback.

The Technical Communications

This pillar develops problem-solving and creative thinking through analysis and solution of problems in both two-dimension (2D) and three-dimension (3D) graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using a variety of media, including computer-aided design (CAD).

The Make Lab

This pillar provides opportunities to build interactive systems to solve problems in human-centred design and engineering. Students will specify, design, build and justify design solutions in terms of user experience and technical design choices.

Students will draw upon design-thinking processes and user-centered research techniques to better understand the user journey including pain points and unmet needs. They will also learn to experiment with and use innovative technologies and materials in the development and prototyping of product and process design experiences.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The future career opportunities for graduates from this programme are bright. Design has never been more valued as an economic force, nor has it been as culturally influential as it is now. Startup companies increasingly recognise the value of including designers in the early stages of business development. Design’s adaptability in continuously evolving environments is what makes its practices relevant in times of change. Financial companies and management consultancies now have their own design teams, and include “design” in their service portfolios. Large corporations are bolstering their in-house design capabilities, and appointing designers to executive roles.

Examples of recent vacancies advertised by leading companies in this field include:

•Visual Designer,

•Web Designer,

•Content Designer,

•Human-centered Designer,

•Environmental Designer,

•Creative Designer,

•Data Designer,

•Front End Developer,

•Design Consultant,

•Design Researcher,

•Business Designer,

•Service Designer,

•Service & Interaction Designer – UI/UX Designer,

•Designer for Social Innovation and Sustainability,

•Designer for Social Impact.

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
CAO Course Code:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Mechanical/Polymer Engineering
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Grade H5 in higher level in two subjects, plus Grade O6/H7 in four other subjects including a language (English or Irish). The mathematics requirement is grade O5/H6.

QQI: QQI applicants to this programme must possess a minimum of three distinctions as well as a pass with merit grade in maths or LC maths at O5/H6.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1 - Semester 1

Introduction to Visual Language and Design Studio,

Introduction to User Research,

Technical Communications,

Hello Lab.

Year 1 - Semester 2

Ideation & Visualisation,

Usability Research Techniques,

Electronics, Programming and Interfacing with Design,

Physical Computing.

Year 2

Year 2 - Semester 3

User Centred Design,

Electronics for Design,

Lab - Electronics for design.

Year 2 - Semester 4

Design Context & Professional Practice,

System and Services Design,

Mechanics for Design,

Lab - Mechanics for Design.

Year 3

Year 3 - Semester 5 and 6

Industry Placement.

Year 4

Year 4 - Semester 7

Design & Innovation – The Designer as Entrepreneur,

Theory/Thesis – Critical Writing 1,

Advanced CAD,

Capstone Project.

Year 4 Semester 8

Business for Designers,

Theory/Thesis – Critical Writing 2,

Capstone Project – Presentation of documentation.

Careers & Opportunities

Work Placement

One of the key features of this programme is that all of year 3 is devoted to acquiring work experience in relevant work settings. AIT is currently exploring those opportunities with potential employers.

Further Study

AIT is currently planning the development of a master’s degree programme to facilitate graduates from this programme who wish to progress to further study within Design. Our staff in the Design department or in the Careers Office can advise on the range of other opportunities available in AIT, in Ireland and abroad. Full details of all current postgraduate programmes at AIT are contained in the postgraduate prospectus.

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