TY2DTS-Design thinking

Module Provider: Typography
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: TY2IAS Integrated design methods 2A and TY2IBS Integrated design methods 2B TY2SA Study Abroad and TY2PRP Professional Practice 1
Modules excluded: TY2DT Design thinking and TY2IB Integrated design methods 2B
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Rick Poynor

Email: r.e.poynor@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

An introduction to the ideas and discussions that surround and underpin contemporary design practice, for students following the Study Abroad option in Part 2.


This module aims to introduce students to contemporary issues in design by encouraging critical reading and discussion, and to inform their designing by broadening their view of what constitutes design as a professional activity. The module reinforces the Department's view of design as a rational, evidence-based activity and aims to educate typographic designers to be literate and able to think for themselves.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

- identify and describe key concepts in design theory and history

- respond critically to texts on design

- evaluate the relevance and validity of research studies and other writing

- make connections between theory, history, and practice

- assemble and organise material and articulate clearly and concisely in oral and written forms

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Each delivery of the module will typically contain two themes. Example themes include:


  • frameworks for analysing design

  • history for graphic designers

  • the development of the role of the designer

  • understanding and accommodating the user

  • critical writing for designers

  • sustainability in design

  • inclusive design 

  • graphic design theory and reflective practice 

  • design and society

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is divided into topics, typically two. Each topic typically consists of a combination of plenary sessions, workshops and tasks to explore topics in more depth and student-led seminar presentations of short seminar papers.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6
Seminars 24
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write one essay of approximately 2500 words (100% of the module mark). 

Formative assessment methods:

A series of tasks within taught sessions form a foundation to inform the essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Any individual item of coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of not less than 40%, otherwise it must be resubmitted by an August/September date to be notified.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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