IA20090 Design Your Purposeful Life

Academic Year 2022/2023


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 their 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 be introduced to a wide range of stories and testimonies that can inspire their own life-shaping choices. 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.


This module runs twice in the 2022-2023 academic year:

Autumn Trimester - In-person - September 5th to 9th
Spring Trimester - In-person - March 20th to 24th

All days are 09:30 to 16:30: in-person classes | on Thursday class will take place in the city centre (a location in Dublin 2)

Please visit module IA20200 Design Your Life for Online options in January (Autumn Trimester) and March (Spring Trimester).


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

Our teaching is grounded in academic rigour. Our focus is on ‘learning by doing’ in a real-world context. Classes include a combination of individual and team tasks and activities, along with discussions, presentations and reflection.

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

Class Size : We limit our class size to 36 students or less. We require a minimum of 16 participants to ensure enough people for teamwork and a dynamic classroom environment. On very rare occasions, if fewer than 16 registered students register, we will offer students the opportunity to join another class.

COVID-19 : Our courses will be run in accordance with good practice, University and Government guidelines around COVID-19. Please note we may need to change our delivery format in light of updated guidelines or circumstances.


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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
IA20200 - Design Your Life (OL), 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

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Facilitators will give verbal feedback on classroom-based continuous assessment activities such as presentations, presentation materials and other deliverables.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 0 Fri 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 0 Mon 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 0 Thurs 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 0 Tues 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 0 Wed 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 28 Fri 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 28 Mon 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 28 Thurs 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 28 Tues 09:00 - 16:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 28 Wed 09:00 - 16:50