Course Title: Design Practicum

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design Practicum

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Simon Lockrey

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


You must have satisfactorily completed all of your first-year core courses before enrolling in Design Practicum.

Design Practicum is a brokered work experience course with mentoring from academic staff and industry mentors. It focuses on linking students with small design businesses and other organizations that fall outside of the remit of other work placement and internship schemes offered by RMIT that tend to be oriented toward large companies. Enrolment and eligibility is contingent on submitting an expression of interest the semester prior, consultation with the Course Coordinator, and confirmation from the host / industry mentor as to the appropriateness of the individual student for their organization, particular needs and opportunities.

Course Description

As a component of the School of Design's approach to work integrated learning and preparing work ready graduates, Design Practicum provides students with an opportunity to engage in a work placement with design oriented businesses and organizations from semester 3 through 8. As a brokered relationship between the academic program and an industry mentor you will gain a valuable experience of how particular design practices function in the business, research and community contexts. This course may be undertaken in a variety of modes; spread out over the duration of the semester, or as an intensive immersion into a particular design business setting in Australia and abroad; and offered to students of varying levels of experience in ways that are appropriate to that experience. You will learn about professional practice and the pragmatics of design as a commercial concern by working alongside experienced designers within a host enterprise.

Design students in the final year of their program, and if applicable, may undertake this course in conjunction with Honours projects where a brokered placement may offer the capacity for a longer and more intensive experience in ways that support Honours year capstone courses.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a capacity to apply design knowledge and skills in a professional context with criticality and creativity.
  • Work effectively in collaboration with,and under direction from, industry mentors and demonstrate initiative in the execution of design tasks.
  • Locate your approaches to design within ethical and operational protocols of the design profession.
  • Reflect deeply on own conduct and experience in view of continuing professional and intellectual development.

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply analytical, critical, creative and strategic thinking to industrial design problems and research within complex and unfamiliar contexts and concerns.
  • Collaborate with other specialists and key stakeholders on design problems on multi-disciplinary projects in diverse settings.
  • Generate innovative approaches to design problems and solutions, with a criticality and openness to the perspectives and needs of others in a situation.
  • Initiate, plan, manage and execute research and design projects with independence and in an objective and ethical manner. 
  • Reflect on own learning and the efficacy of design decisions made, adapting to needs and issues as they arise, and continuously seeking improvement. 


Overview of Learning Activities

Delivered in negotiation with industry mentors in a host organisation you will be actively engaged in learning that involves tackling design activities within a professional work context. These experiences are supported by a range of face-to-face and online forums, meetings and consultations with academic staff to assist your learning in the practicum setting.

Learning activities in the work experience period will include design development and documentation as well as learning about the various operational process and ethical protocols of a commercial design studio or design oriented business or organisation.

Additionally you will undertake a process of reflecting on your experience of working in a professional context and presenting that experience to a community of peers.

Overview of Learning Resources

As the course requires a placement into an organisation and ongoing mentoring from academic staff you will have access resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Upon the brokering of an appropriate practicum, a list of recommended learning resources will be provided by the course coordinator, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course is concerned with your ability to confidently and appropriately develop, apply and demonstrate a synthesis of theoretical and practical learning through design activities undertaken within a professional work placement.

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reports, visualisations, design prototypes, design project documentation and conduct, and presentations. Assessment tasks may be undertaken either individually or in teams.

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in negotiation with industry academic mentors. And assessment and feedback will be through a combination of industry and academic mentors and appraisal of your own conduct within the course.

Summative feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and may be delivered in a variety of forms including critique panels, audio or video recordings and written reports. Additionally you will receive ongoing formative feedback as you progress through the course from your industry mentor, your lecturer and from peers in the organisation you undertake the practicum with, in view of continuous improvement and greater degrees of reflection on your own learning.

Equitable Learning Services • 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 coordinator or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.   Assessment Policy • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures: