LUBS3990 Innovation; Thinking and Practice

Reading List

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

Innovation is challenging, but it is also an imperative for a successful business. All organisations, small and big, young and established from multiple industrial sectors face a challenge to develop new products and services. Students enrolled in this module will develop analytical and practical skills, which go beyond their core degree disciplines and make them competent contributors to innovation initiatives in corporate environment.
Emphasis has been placed on a range of areas which employers have indicated graduates need in order to make a fast and successful start to their careers, in particular in the context of innovation related activities.
To ensure sufficient industry insight, the module content is being developed and delivered with significant input from a Visiting Professor with a senior client facing day job related to innovation management in IBM. Content will take input from IBM expertise and a wider range of industry sources and delivery will include use of guest speakers from industry.
Student learning of the skill areas covered will primarily be gained through development and delivery of an interdisciplinary-team based innovation project.
Specific skill areas will include:

  • - Innovation - from identifying new ideas to address business or client challenges, capability and business case development to commercialisation and delivery
  • - Design thinking - use of tools, techniques and approaches to drive successful end user centric design of new solutions
  • - Commercial awareness and value proposition development - understanding of key business and technical challenges, alignment of business and client needs with resources and capabilities, development of differentiation and "wow" factor
  • - Collaboration - working in, and with, diverse multi-discipline teams and clients
  • - Communication - effective communication using multiple methods with different target audiences from peers to senior business executives and clients

Students will work in small project teams, each with representatives from different faculties and schools to simulate real-life industry situations but assessment will be made on an individual basis.


This module provides the opportunity for students from different disciplinary backgrounds to gain analytical and practical skills, which employers have identified as needed by graduates to make a fast start in their careers and to contribute to innovation and wider internal and client projects. The module will increase student attractiveness to potential employers and enable students to make a faster impact in their careers once employed.


The module will be based around eleven interactive workshop sessions. These will be focused on a matrixed approach, including development of a team innovation project, and practical learning and application of the range of skills covered. Some skill areas will be focused on in specific sessions, for example Design Thinking. Others, for example collaboration, will be woven into every session.
The module design also includes a level of iteration, both to simulate a realistic industry context and to enable reinforcement of the skills learned.
The module will address topics such as:
Introduction to key innovation concepts and why innovation matters. Identification of a client for the project and introduction to the innovation challenge. Students will learn about the importance of collaborative and open innovation and practical use of design thinking and creativity techniques to understand the client, the challenge and idea identification, prioritisation and selection. The module covers techniques such as written & visual communications of a selected idea, rapid build of prototype solutions, how much is enough and use of digital innovation platforms, business case development, differentiation and "wow factor". The module concludes with final team client presentations and learning review.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • - Critically assess different types of innovation and different phases of product or service development processes - from idea development through to commercialisation and delivery.
  • - Apply a number of design thinking approaches and techniques to drive successful end user centric design of new solutions and innovations.
  • - Demonstrate commercial awareness and synthesise different business and technological considerations into value proposition development.
  • - Design and deliver a professional client facing presentation.
  • - Work in diverse multi-discipline teams.
  • - Apply a range of communication methods.

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching


Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Portfolio 3,500 words 100
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 100

Private Study

The 78 hours of private study will largely be spent in two ways; the majority will be spent in group working to develop the team’s assigned innovation project. This will need to be completed in stages during the module to achieve the learning outcomes. Teams will be put together, and briefed, in class, but will be expected to continue the work outside class, as this will involve research and development of requested specific deliverables.
The student will also document reflections of the learning from each session and create an individual report on their part in the teamwork project, the researching and writing of which will take some of the private study time.

Progress Monitoring

Formative feedback will be provided during the sessions (including two sessions that involve the preparation for group presentations). Students who complete three of their weekly reflective reports within the first five weeks will receive written comments on their writing. In the tenth session, students will receive feedback on their project and presentation performance from industry leaders.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Workshop 11 2 22
Private Study Hours 78
Total Contact Hours 22
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 100

Reading List

Reading List
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