IA20090 Design Your Purposeful Life

Academic Year 2021/2022

***All UCD Innovation Academy modules are delivered online in the 2020/21 Academic Year. Classes will run from 9.30am –4.30pm each day with a combination of live online classes, self-directed learning and group activities. See https://www.innovators.ie/undergraduate-electives/ for more info and testimonials from our students.***

The aim of this module is to enable students to plan and reflect upon their learning, career and life goals using a Design Thinking approach.

Design Thinking is a human-centric creative problem-solving process. It offers a proven methodology and repeatable approach that can be used to identify new opportunities, solve problems, and develop innovative solutions. While it has usually been applied to the development of products and services, in this module, participants will apply the approach to design their own career and life goals.

Over the course of the module, participants will reflect on their life so far, their values and sense of purpose. Using a combination of creative and analytical tools they will work to develop insights into themselves and to map out their way ahead, acquiring a toolkit that can be used at any point in life to identify, evaluate and make informed career and life choices. Along with this, participants will meet guest speakers from a wide range of sectors who will share their own journeys and lessons learnt. Participants will also develop a community of peers in which to share ideas and hear how others are thinking about their own life and career questions.

Our team of Entrepreneurial Specialists will introduce the students to the processes and tools that will enable the students to make creative and informed life and career choices for themselves.

UCD Innovation Academy

At the UCD Innovation Academy, we are a group of Educator Practitioners with extensive real-world experience as academics, business and social entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, creative professionals and design thinking practitioners.

We take an action-oriented approach to learning, with a combination of individual, group and class tasks and activities, including discussions, presentations and reflection. All of our teaching is grounded in academic rigor, but our focus is on ‘learning by doing’ in a real-world context.

**Enrolment in an Innovation Academy module means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at all scheduled classes.**


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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module students should be able to:

• Develop an understanding their philosophies for career and professional life
• Plot a path to defining personal meaning and success
• Generate ideas for evaluating diverse career paths and multiple careers
• Demonstrate practical skills through exercises for investigating career alternatives and prototypes
• Demonstrate a basic understanding of the fundamentals of design thinking as they apply to Designing Your Life and other aspects of your life
• Communicate and network with peers to effectively share ideas and exchange perspectives on career choices

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group


Conversation Class






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
All Innovation Academy modules take a ‘learning by doing’ approach, combining individual, group and often team activities, tasks and projects including presentations, discussions and reflection.

• Activity/Task-based Work
• Group Work and Peer Discussion
• Reflective Writing
• Student Presentations
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
IA40460 - Design Your Life

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: This module requires active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at ALL scheduled classes (80% attendance is required to pass this component). Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Continuous Assessment: A combination of online and off-line tasks and activities Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Presentation: Participants will present their plan and options to their class Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Assignment: Reflection Report: 2-4 pages of reflection or a video or creative component equivalent Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given to students upon request. This will include feedback on their participation during the module and their deliverables.