6 Design Thinking Courses to become an ace problem solver

(If you’re a school or organisation with great design thinking courses we’ve yet to mention, do get in touch!)


Design Thinking has been around for quite some time, now, with more and more organizations seeing the value it brings to the table. It’s now taught in classrooms and boardrooms all around the world.

Design Thinking in a nutshell

Why is Design Thinking so Popular Today?

Firstly, design-thinking entails creative problem-solving from a user-centered perspective. It helps reduce preconceived notions that can block imagination, while possibly uncovering both unmet and hidden needs that users have been unable to express. The resultant product or solution offered will then get closer to what customers and clients truly need, lowering risks and uncertainties. The process also helps to give innovators and designers much-needed structure, keeping everybody on track.

Now that we’ve shared the benefits of design thinking (there’s more to be discovered!), here’s a few courses that will guide you in the right direction!

Course List*

*All course fees are accurate as of Oct 2019 and are subject to changes depending on the school/centre. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated. This is neither an exhaustive list nor an endorsement of the courses listed; please do conduct sufficient research to make sure a course fits your needs!

1. Singapore Management University – Innovating Through Design Thinking

Catering to senior executives and senior managers as well as team leaders and managers, SMU’s course is interactive and is delivered by OCBC Bank’s Vice President of Group Customer Experience (Jin Kang Moller). The course assess participants through classroom exercises, case studies and project presentations, and you are required to submit a short essay sharing about your design thinking experience and motivation for joining the course.

Curriculum: Foundation to Human Centered Design, Meeting Consumers and Mapping the Journey, Prototyping Ideas and Good Design Principles, Foundation of Change Management and Effective Storytelling to Successfully Drive Change, Bringing Agility to Human Centered Design and lastly, Putting it All Together

Fees: 4280.00 (as low as 484.00 after maximum funding). The course is SkillsFuture claimable.

Duration: 5 days long in 2 parts

2. National University of Singapore – Design Thinking Bootcamp

The NUS Design Thinking Bootcamp is delivered by Mr. Dennis Ng, who has vast experience in executive coaching as well as customised organisation change management and human resource development intervention. It is also delivered by Dr. Guo Lei, an NUS Faculty member who is an active educator and researcher in data science, behavioural study and design thinking.

Curriculum: Why Design Thinking matters, Core principles of Design Thinking and innovation, How to start a Design Challenge, User insight research methods, User data collection and analytics, Identifying latent need and innovation opportunities, as well as Developing, testing and communicating concept prototyping.

Fees: 272.85 for Singaporeans 39 years or younger and PRs, 102.85 for Singaporeans aged 40 and above, 909.50 for international participants. The course is SkillsFuture claimable and UTAP funding eligible. SME sponsored employees receiving enhanced support training for SMEs pay 102.85 per individual.

Duration: 1 day (9am-5:30pm)

3. Singapore Polytechnic – Design Thinking for Business Innovation

Suitable for entrepreneurs, leaders and senior executives, as well as managers and execs, Singapore Polytechnic’s Design Thinking for Business Innovation course aims to introduce to participants design thinking tools and methods, ethnographic tools, brainstorming and ideation techniques as well as strategies, and the power of innovation.

Curriculum: Introduction to Design Thinking and core principles for user-centered design, Defining the Design Challenge, Understanding Users and their Pain Points, Identifying Insights and Needs, Persona Development, Current User Journey, Brainstorm Idea and Strategies, Solution Prioritization, Ideal User Journey, Rapid Prototyping, Presentation of Ideal User Journey with Prototypes, Co-creation and User   Feedback, as well as Introduction to Business

Fees: 288.90 for Singaporeans aged 40 and below and PRs, 108.90 for Singaporeans aged 40 and above, 963.00 for others. Singaporeans sponsored by SMEs, or are aged 35 and above with an income of less than 2,000 per month, stand to pay reduced fees. The course is SkillsFuture claimable.

Duration: 2 days, 14 hours total (9am-5pm)

4. Marketing Institute of Singapore – Design Thinking – A Creative Approach to Problem Solving

Aiming to teach creative problem-solving through design thinking, this workshop uses a set of tools derived well-loved fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. The process and methodology was developed by one of the workshop trainers, Ngee Ann Polytechnic adjunct lecturer and published writer-designer Dr. Christopher Long. The other trainer, Earl, has experience in law and digital marketing, as well as the art of building agile team structures.

Curriculum: Introduction to design thinking, the Beanstalk Creative ActionsTM 10 Steps Approach (example of steps covered include developing the right mindset and learning how to cost cut/value-engineer)

Fees: 1,100. The course is SkillsFuture claimable and MIS members are entitled to 20% discount. Register for 5 or more participants to enjoy a 5% group discount.

Duration: 2 days (9am-5pm)

5. Emerge Creatives – Advanced Design Thinking Certification Masterclass

Emerge Creatives is a  design thinking training consultancy founded by Daniel Ling, the author of Complete Design Thinking Guide for Successful Professionals and Head of Experience Design for Income. Emerge Creatives counts Singapore government agencies such as Mindef and the NAVY, schools such as RP and NUS, and MNCs such as DBS as clients. Their Advanced Design Thinking Certification Masterclass welcomes participants across different levels and industries, and will provide them with learning materials such as a copy of Daniel’s book and a Design Thinking Template File.

Curriculum: Introduction to Design Thinking, Action Plan (the stages are Empathizing, Defining, Ideating, Prototyping, Testing)

Fees: 500 after SkillsFuture (UP 1480). Group and Corporate discounts are available.

Duration: 3 days

6. MIT – Mastering Design Thinking

Offered by MIT Sloan Executive Education, whose non-degree executive programs are led by senior MIT Sloan faculty, the Mastering Design Thinking workshop

Participants will receive a verified digital certificate of completion from MIT Sloan School of Management via email.

Curriculum: 10 modules on Design Thinking, Identifying Customer Needs, Product Specifications, Applied Creativity, Prototyping, Designing for Services, Product Architecture, Financial Analysis, Designing for Environment, as well as Product Development Services

Fees: USD 3,300 (approx SGD 4555)

Duration: 3 months online, 6-8 hours weekly

Now that you have a better idea of what design thinking is and where you can learn the ropes, why not go out and expand the possibilities?



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