University of Technology Sydney

57216 Creativity and Innovation in Communication

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Public Communication
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Students are introduced to high-level creative and conceptual thinking, invention, and innovation using approaches such as design thinking, future scenario building, and working in a multidisciplinary collaborative environment. Students are encouraged to engage with complexity in problem solving and to undertake processes of discovery and exploration to generate solutions to everyday and 'wicked' problems. This subject expands students' capacities to be innovators, entrepreneurs, creative practitioners, and change agents in a communication role. This subject is taught in collaboration with the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Research the broader theoretical context of creativity and its relevance to communication.
b. Develop criteria for assessing creativity in the field of creative strategic communication
c. Develop a reflective practice for understanding and modelling creativity and its role in strategic communication.
d. Apply a range of appropriate media, tools, techniques and methods creatively and critically to solve communication challenges.
e. Design an original method for creative thinking and / or problem solving.
f. Speculate on possible futures and design strategic approaches to creating positive organisational and social change.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Apply an advanced body of practice-oriented knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate innovative solutions to real-world communication challenges with a high level of personal autonomy, leadership and accountability (1.1)
  • Critically and creatively rethink and reflect on public relations, advertising and organisational change models and practices for the 21st century beyond dominant models and approaches and seek innovative approaches (2.2)
  • Locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to guide their mastery of contemporary communication issues and challenges (2.3)
  • Graduates have high-level knowledge and skills to engage with diverse audiences through both written and oral communication strategies, across a range of media formats, with consideration of others' needs and views (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning takes place in a collaborative, immersive, experiential, studio-based environment as well as through independent learning activities. Current issues in creativity theory and communication practice are explored through discussions and case study analysis, whilst skills are learned through demonstrations and collaborative / individual creative practice. This subject is enquiry-based: students conduct individual preparatory research and exploration, which form the basis for collaborative discovery and interactive learning activities in class. Assessments in this subject evaluate students’ evolving conceptual and creative understanding through authentic tasks that are relevant across creative industries. Students receive formative feedback continually through class activities.

Content (topics)

This subject explores theoretical and practical applications of creative intelligence and innovation in the context of strategic communication. It covers relevant, cutting edge notions of change-making, innovation diffusion, futures thinking, creative thinking and problem-solving methodologies – as well as exploring current models and frameworks for understanding societal change and innovation


Assessment task 1: Exploring and designing creative methods


a, b, c, d and e

Weight: 30%

1000 words (and up to 5 visuals)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Convincing evidence of the relevance and value of the creative methods designed 30 b, c, d 1.1
Novelty of the proposed method including creative interpretations of possibilities 40 a, b, c, e 2.2
Clarity of concept expressed in written and visual forms 30 a 2.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Change-making challenge


a, d, e and f

Weight: 30%

To be negotiated with subject coordinator (depending on media selected for submission) – but no more than the equivalent of 2,000 words for the report and no more than 20 slides for the presentation.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Originality of strategic and creative approach to change-making 40 d, e 1.1
Relevance and value to potential stakeholder(s) 30 a, f 1.1
Convincing, logical communication of ideas 30 a, f 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Portfolio of creativity exercises and reflections on practice


a, b, c and d

Weight: 40%

No more than 2500 words (digital submission – a portfolio with images, reflections, interpretation of readings, etc)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Scope of research (from academic and media sources, as well as data from the field) 30 a 2.2
Depth of insight into individual practice and the field 30 b, c 2.2
Originality and potential impact of ideas 40 d 2.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Submission of assessment tasks

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for students to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.


Attendance at classes is essential in this subject because it is based on a collaborative approach which involves workshopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. An attendance roll will be taken at each class. Where possible, students should advise the tutor in a timely manner if they are unable to attend. Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused final assessment (see Rule 3.8).