Design Thinking and Innovation (Part of Temasek Polytechnic's Specialist Diploma in Business Development in Technology)

Programme Code: SSG Course Code : CRS-N-0046255


This course introduces design thinking and its application to developing new products, services and the organization of businesses.

Design thinking is a human-centric, interdisciplinary approach towards innovation. Design thinking is a hot area which has the aim to help companies large and small (e.g. start-ups) to change and innovate. Design thinking, as practiced in this course, partly follows from the IDEO approach (see for example,, which blends creative thinking and logical or rational thinking; and involves a process consisting of empathizing, ideating, and prototyping. Students will learn design principles, methodologies and frameworks, and apply them through exercises and projects. The course is divided into four main aspects,They are: (1) design methodologies (e.g. the design process, ethnographic research, brainstorming, integrative thinking, design roles, team composition), (2) the “thing” to be designed (i.e., products, services, or the business itself, e.g. the business model), (3) human attitudes and behaviours (towards the designs), and (4) design contexts. (i.e. the broader emerging context for designs and business, specifically, society (including different cultures and the poor), and the physical environment. Learning will be primarily experiential in nature – through case analyses, group exercises, and a team project.

Do note that this course is useful for students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a Management elective as well as a T&E elective. The project component may have a real client, so it is possible to expect considerable use of time for projects in this course as well as to have a serious nature to the project. Students will spend substantial time in the field performing observations and prototyping solutions.

Next Course Starts On20 Jun 2019 (Thu) See Full Schedule
Fee SGD2782.00* (as low as SGD314.60* after maximum funding) Learn more

Duration (36 hours)

  • 2 classroom sessions
  • 2 weekday evenings and a full Saturday per classroom session
  • 5-6 hours of blended learning outside classroom time


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply design methodologies to create designs (i.e. “things” such as products and services).
  • Develop an understanding of how businesses can be “designed” using the same design methodologies in order to implement the designed “things”.
  • Develop an appreciation of how to create designs for broader and varying contexts, that is, to be sensitive to human, societal needs and the physical environment


Pre-requisites for ELP enrolment

The student must be enrolled in with Temasek Polytechnic in the ELP-Specialist Diploma in Business Development in Technology offered jointly by TP and SMU.

This Specialist Diploma in Business Development in Technology offered under TP's  SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme (ELP) for the Digital Marketing sector, is a 12-month work-study programme targeted primarily at local fresh Polytechnic graduates from relevant full time courses of study. 


Pre-requisites for SMU course application :

All Diploma holders are welcome to apply.



This module constitutes part of ELP-Specialist Diploma in Business Development in Technology. You will also need to complete Digital Marketing and 2 more TP modules (Strategy in Technology Business, Business Development and Implementation) to be awarded Specialist Diploma in Business Development in Technology


Assessment: Course work assessment

Fees and Funding

Self-Sponsored Individual / Non-SME Company Sponsored Individual

$2782 (Full fees);

$834.60 (Singapore Citizen/PR below 40 years old);

$314.60 (Singapore Citizens above 40 years old)


SME Company Sponsored Individual:

$2782 (Full fees);

$314.60 (Singapore Citizen/PR)



Course fee grant of 70% of course fees (excluding GST) for participants who are successfully enrolled by SMU into approved courses under the Programme. Participants must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents.


SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy ("MCES")

Up to 90% of course fees for Singapore Citizens aged 40 years and above.


Enhanced Training Support for SMEs ("ETSS")

Up to 90% of course fees for Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents; and 80% of basic hourly salary capped at $7.50/hr for local employees of SMEs.

SkillsFuture Credit

Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above and self-funding may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to $500) to defray part of the course fee. Please click User Guide on how to submit your claim. SkillsFuture claims may be submitted by logging in via

  • SkillsFuture Course Code*  : CRS-N-0046255
  • SkillsFuture Course Name* : Design Thinking and Innovation

* Important Note: Participants claiming SkillsFuture credits should locate the course in Training Exchange using the Course Code/Name above


Start Date(s)
Intake Information

2019 Intakes and Dates

Course Duration :

Each run is conducted over 2 sessions; each session comprising of 2 weekday evenings (7pm to 10.15pm) and a full Saturday (9am to 6.30pm).


Run 1: (Each run is conducted over 2 sessions)[REGISTRATION OPEN]

Session 1: 20 - 22 June 2019

Session 2: 27 - 29 June 2019

Speaker/Trainer Bio

Koh Zhixiu

Adjunct Faculty (Design Thinking and Innovation), Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Sean is the Managing Director of D-Catalyst, an innovation consultancy firm that helps clients discover new ways to transform their businesses for growth, identify new opportunities by study of human behaviour and uncovering latent needs; create business models that translates into products, services and experiences as well as redesign organisations to build cultures of innovation.

He holds a MSc (Management Science and Engineering), (Stanford University, United States; BSc (Electrical Engineering), (University of illinois, United States).

His areas of focus include design thinking consulting / thinking, experience design, business model innovation, organisation design and social innovation.

Additional Details

ELP Application:

For all ELP course application, please email


SMU Course Application :

For SMU course application, please email




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