Course Title: Interpret and respond to a design brief

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2020

Course Code: BUSM5879C

Course Title: Interpret and respond to a design brief

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact: Penny Johnson

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Astrid Edwards

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

 There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course

Course Description

Writing business or technical documents may involve responding to a specific brief. In this course you gain the skills and knowledge needed to interpret and respond effectively to a brief. Through the process of interpretation, you also analyse the elements of a successful brief and learn, in the process, how to write one.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES402A Interpret and respond to a design brief


1. Interpret design brief 

Performance Criteria:

1.1   Correctly  interpret the specifications of the design brief

1.2    Establish and clarify user or client for the proposed product/service to inform design decisions

1.3    Identify and clarify specifications, parameters or constraints of the design brief in consultation with relevant colleagues

1.4   Source and evaluate information pertinent to design brief


2. Explore and develop design concept

Performance Criteria:

2.1   Generate ideas for design concept through research, exploration  and experimentation

2.2   Develop initial design concept consistent with design brief parameters

2.3    Evaluate and explore options for refining the concept to best meet design brief parameters

2.4   Refine options and select the approach which best meets design brief requirements


3. Liaise with client

Performance Criteria:

3.1    Agree on communication process and frequency of communication with the client

3.2    Present concepts for work at appropriate stages during design process as required

3.3    Present and explore different options and creative ideas with client when appropriate

3.4    Pro-actively seek and act on client feedback

3.5    Reach agreement on concept for work which complies with design brief


4. Plan production of work

Performance Criteria:

4.1     Assess specific design production risks

4.2    Identify all components required to produce a prototype

4.3   Assess technical requirements for production against specified guidelines

4.4    Identify and consult with support services required for production

4.5    Produce a prototype and evaluate against design brief requirements.

4.6   Analyse prototype and determine any further adjustments to production requirements

4.7    Finalise production specifications supported by accurate and complete documentation


5. Complete production of work

Performance Criteria:

5.1    Collect and/or organise required components for the work

5.2    Produce or monitor the production of work ensuring all parameters of design brief are met

5.3   Accurately document work progress in a format appropriate to the nature of the design and requirements of design brief

5.4    Seek client approval for work where appropriate

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to develop and respond effectively to a written brief.

Details of Learning Activities

In-class activities may include:

  • Lectures and guest lectures
  • Class presentations
  • Group discussions
  • Teacher directed group activities/projects
  • Class exercises to review discussions/lectures
  • Workshopping of student projects
  • Analysis/critique of relevant reading material.

Out of class activities may include:

  • Online research
  • Independent project based work.

Teaching Schedule








What is a brief 

Introductions and explanation of  course structure and assessments.

Definitions of briefs

Types of briefs: policy, research, design, writing, decision        

The value of a brief in project management

The risks in a poorly written brief

The risks in a poorly followed brief

Explore the differences between an effective and an ineffective brief

Format of a brief

Interpret a business/design brief

Scope/parameters of the brief

Activity: Exploring course schedules and discussion

Assessment: Assessment 1 Assigned

Assessment 1

Due in Class 2




Writing a brief

Activity: Outlining your needs and setting. Explore and develop creative/design brief concept. Generate ideas to respond to a brief.Creative thinking and problem solving. Managing intellectual property. 




Interpreting a brief

Liaising with clients

Activity: Identifying and addressing potential risks and issues in a brief. Managing professional relationships. Executing the brief


Assessment 2

Due after class 3


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



RMIT's Writing, Editing and Publishing library guide

Other Resources

Your teacher will supply all readings and class materials in class.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • participation in written exercises, in clss and online
  • oral presentations
  • the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training qualifications are assessed for Competency. To be assessed as Competent means you have consistently demonstrated the required knowledge and skills at a standard expected in the workplace. To be assessed as Competent in this course, you will need to complete each assessment task to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task.

You should refer to the assessment brief which is available through Canvas for full assessment criteria.

Assessment Task : Write a Design Brief (due Wednesday 19 February)

You will write a clear and thorough brief to a service provider based on one of the supplied scenarios. You will then share your brief with a colleague and provide and receive critical feedback on your brief.

Assessment Task 2: Interpret and Respond to a Design Brief (due Sunday 1 March)

You will respond to a supplied design brief by:

  • summarising your understanding of the client’s requirements
  • producing an initial production timeline
  • preparing an initial budget
  • gathering some sample images
  • listing services required
  • writing sample text
  • preparing a list of questions you have for the client.

Results that apply to courses that are delivered and assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment are:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration.

Other Information


Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.


Information about your studies

You can access My Studies through the RMIT website for information about timetables, important dates, assessment dates, results and progress, Canvas etc.



Information on assessment including Special consideration, Adjustments to assessment, (eg. applying for an extension of time):


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.


Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.  

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer or RPL for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview

Course Overview: Access Course Overview