Certificate in Design Thinking

15 Sep 2023
 - 12 Apr 2024
Course Code


Apply to



Blended: 5 days


10 (Level 9 Award)





What is Design Thinking?


Learn valuable design methodologies and strategies that will transform your approach to problem solving and innovation.


Design thinking can transform the way organisations develop products, services, processes and strategy. Many companies now use 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.


Design 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. You will learn to drive innovation, and help companies become more agile and responsive to change so they can maintain their competitiveness.

What topics will I study?


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

What will I do on this course?


You 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 you with the opportunity to develop critical thinking, creative problem solving, and visualisation methodologies.


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

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 you will learn 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, Aer Lingus.

Dates + Times


The course will be delivered on a blended format as follows:


Day 1 on campus: Friday, 15th September 2023 | 10am – 5pm

Day 2 online: Friday, 3rd November 2023 | 10am – 5pm

Day 3 on campus: Friday, 8th December 2023 | 10am – 5pm

Day 4 online: Friday, 19th January 2024 | 10am – 5pm

Day 5 online: Friday, 12th April 2024 | 10am – 1pm


Please note there will be additional online tutorial support. Dates will be confirmed during the course.


What are the 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.


Rosemary Clancy
Engagement Strategy Director, Oracle EMEA.

“As part of my work on the course, I identified an opportunity for a new function within our organization and built a team to meet the needs of our internal customers.  I would highly recommend the course for leaders looking to innovate within their organization or careers.”


Lorraine Bowen
Head of Innovation & Impact, The Entrepreneurs Academy.

“The course proved to be an excellent way to increase the appetite for Innovation across our organisation. We collaboratively tackled a project that has been a challenge for our organisation for a couple of years using low risk ‘experiments’ that led to great solutions.”


Terri McCarthy
Head of Customer Experience, Insights and Analytics, Allianz

“A number of us at Allianz completed the Design Thinking course and I found it great to get a range of people from across the business, access the same framework. The focus on ensuring you are framing the problem correctly, ideating widely and ensuring you are testing your solutions with consumers can be applied across any part of the business. On top of that, it was great fun and also great to activate your more creative side with both group work and individual assignments.”


How do I apply?

Applications are now open. Apply HERE


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.



Fees + Scholarships

Fees for this course are €1,100.


CFA and Kilkenny Arts Office Bursaries:

Kilkenny Arts Office has joined forces with CFA to offer bursaries this Autumn to Kilkenny based artists seeking to gain new qualifications and skills to expand their practice. The bursaries range from €500 to a maximum of €2,000. Find out more HERE

CFA and CCI Skillnet Collaboration:

Creative Futures Academy is delighted to collaborate with Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet to offer a special partnership rate for a range of upcoming courses. This support means we can offer a partnership fee to successful applicants (employed / freelance / sole traders that are ROI residents)

Details and application information is available HERE

CFA Scholarship:

A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.


Find out if you are eligible to apply HERE 


Fill in the CFA@IADT scholarship application form HERE

Contact IADT

Please email any queries to Elena Somoza, IADT Creative Futures Academy Co-ordinator, at iadt@creativefutures.ie


CFA Scholarship

A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.

Find Out More
Register Interest