Design, Innovation & Technology

Design, Innovation & Technology

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.

Few educational providers seem to be offering blended offerings like this programme. Traditional offerings such as Product Design or Industrial Design generally operate within narrower boundaries. This programme offers space for synthesising knowledge, skills from these disparate 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 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 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 pillar develops problem-solving and creative thinking through analysis and solution of problems in both two-dimension and three-dimension graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using a variety of media including computer-aided design (CAD).

The Make Lab pillar provides opportunities to build interactive systems to solve problems in human-centred design and engineering. Learners 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 user journeys, 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 recognize 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.

The above companies are seeking graduates with the blend of skill sets which graduates from this programme will possess. Examples of recent vacancies advertised by companies such as Fjord (Accenture) Design consulting included:

• 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

• Human-centered Designer

• Designer for Social Innovation and Sustainability

• Designer for Social Impact

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Years
CAO Course Code:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Design
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate applicants to this programme are required to have Grade H5 in two higher-level subjects, plus Grade O6 in four other subjects. One of these six subjects must include Maths at Grade H6 or O5. One of the six subjects must be a language, English or Irish.

QQI applicants must possess distinctions in three modules. Applicants are required to have a merit in the module Mathematics (5N1833) included in their award or alternatively have Leaving Certificate Mathematics at H6 or O5.

Mature applicants are not required to meet these minimum entry requirements. However, an interview may form part of the selection process.

Course Structure

Year 1

Semester 1

Introduction to Visual Language and Design Studio

Introduction to User Research

Technical Communications

Hello Lab

Semester 2

Ideation & Visualisation

Usability Research Techniques

Electronics, Programming and Interfacing with Design

Physical Computing

Year 2

Semester 3

User Centred Design

Electronics for Design

Lab - Electronics for design

Semester 4

Design Context & Professional Practice

System and Services Design

Mechanics for Design

Lab - Mechanics for Design

Year 3

Semester 5 and 6

Industry Placement

Year 4

Semester 7

Design & Innovation – The Designer as Entrepreneur

Theory/Thesis – Critical Writing 1

Advanced CAD

Capstone Project

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 Masters’ 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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