Course Title: Business Background

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Business Background

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


620H Business IT and Logistics


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Paul R. Cerotti

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5785

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The ‘design revolution’ is well established in the marketplace with design-driven enterprises such as Apple, Amazon, Dyson and Lego leading the way in their industries. Design thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be, and to create outcomes that connect business with people. A design mindset is not problem-focused it is solution focused, and action oriented.

During this course you will explore the concepts of strategic design in business and learn practical tools to facilitate the process in your own business. Concepts of design thinking will include branding, digital experiences, and business design and prototype development. These tools and skills are essential in a global digital market where innovation is a strong competitive advantage. Throughout the semester you will design a business or create a proposal for an enterprise transformation initiative from initial concept through to the business pitch.



Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Specific learning objectives for the course include:

Apply a critical appreciation of the relationship between design thinking and business.

The ability to undertake and critically evaluate business practice in a global setting and develop global business capabilities.

Work effectively within a team setting as a global business specialist with professional management skills (analytical and problem solving skills, communication skills and leadership and design skills).

Decision making and problem solving in the classroom in relation to real life case studies and industry scenarios.

Manage effective relationships while working in a team environment:

Managing people, time resources, self and time effectively

Utilising the underlying principles of managing in a global environment which incorporates: the importance of continuing to research, develop and commercialise creativity, innovation and achievement for the sustainable growth of business and design.

Ability to utilise skills in making an effective verbal presentation in a business setting

Creating global awareness and solutions for business

Designing and developing systems for managing all scales of businesses

Dealing with interdependent relationships and managing multiple stakeholders


Initiating organisational action through the application of research and planning processes and the critical reflection and evaluation of performance


Working effectively in small teams which requires responsive and responsible practice


Applying a variety of analytical tools to solve business problems


Further outcomes

Knowledgeable - in the area of design thinking

Creative - this course demands that students be innovative in their thinking, as well as problem solvers.  The major assignment calls for the students to display their entrepreneurial skills in all facets of business, so as to add value to the business world and to take some risks in a volatile marketplace.

Critical - throughout the semester students will become more analytical and aware of the need to have a quality focus at all times.  An international perspective and being capable of strategic thinking and of informed decision making will form part of the overall learning experience.

Responsible - the world of business demands that one have a socio-economic awareness, a sense of personal integrity, display ethical behaviour and investigate social value creation. 

Employable - all modules in the course encourage students to be self motivated, adaptable, hard working and confidant to face the job market.  All areas of study try to instil excellent communication skills and a commitment to life long learning. 

Leaders - the study of this course requires all students to demonstrate vision in a business context, as well as the capacity to build, work and encourage business teams to reach their goals.  The international flavour of the various classes with international students encourages strong interpersonal and cross cultural skills.  A systems approach to analysing various problems is favoured so that students can maximise their output.


 At the completion of this course you will be able to utilise the knowledge of design thinking in a global context with practical tools to take back to the workplace. You will also be able to work effectively within a team setting.

Overview of Learning Activities

A range of learning experiences are planned for you including lectures, and group problem solving exercises. The problem solving exercises in particular develop your analytical skills drawing on knowledge and frameworks offered in the lectures. A structured tutorial program is provided to give you the opportunity to explore business issues in greater depth through active participation in small discussion groups.
Your inputs as learners: Your active and constructive participation in group discussions is expected in addition to weekly reading, group and individual exercises and careful planning and completion of assessment tasks.

What opportunities does the course provide for me to learn?  What will I be expected to do?
•Linking the process of Business Background to the content and context of the disciplines of the student’ academic programs
•Strategic use of design in business;
•Both oral and written communications skills in developing and producing assignments;
•Providing feedback to peers and reflective practice;
•Building teams which may be cross cultural, cross disciplinary and cross programs

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT University will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.
You have access to extensive course materials on myRMIT Studies, including digitised readings, lecture notes and a detailed study program, external internet links and access to RMIT Library online and hardcopy resources.



Overview of Assessment

This course may consist of individual and group work. You may be required to submit written assignments and presentations.  Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program director or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to the RMIT university assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document Assessment Policies and Procedures manual. The 1.2.4 Assessment Charter section of this document summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.