Singapore University of Social Sciences

Social Innovation and Design

Social Innovation and Design (COS373)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


This course examines the role of social workers in designing and implementing novel solutions to social needs and problems. The course will highlight recent developments on social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility and corporate social innovation – exploring how social workers can engage with a range of players to develop robust and relevant “social innovation” initiatives. The first part of the course is focused on some of the key social innovation concepts and discussions on various notable social innovation initiatives. For the second part of the course, students will focus on using the design thinking framework to develop a business proposal plan to solve a specific social need or problem.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: -


  • Social innovation and social work practice.
  • Social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, corporate social
  • Collaboration and partnership – roles of partners in social innovation.
  • Models and methodologies of social innovation.
  • Social impact and evaluating social innovation projects.
  • Design thinking I: Empathy and defining the problems.
  • Design thinking II: Brainstorming, analysis and selecting solutions.
  • Design thinking III: Developing prototypes, testing and refining.
  • Design thinking IV: Evaluating and assessing prototypes.
  • Reflect and review design thinking processes I-IV.
  • Beyond design thinking, prototypes and innovations.
  • Developments in social innovation.

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the role of social innovation in social work practice.
  • Appraise the various approaches or models of social innovation designs.
  • Examine the design-thinking framework and its processes.
  • Discuss the strengths and limitations of the design-thinking framework in social innovation
  • Examine social problems and social issues through a human-centered approach.
  • Propose collaborative approaches or solutions for identified social problems.
  • Design prototypes of solutions.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the prototypes.
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