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 2021 is available in the Archives.

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

Requisite(s): 24 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04385 Master of Strategic Communication OR 24 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C06129 Graduate Diploma Strategic Communication
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Students are introduced to high-level creative and conceptual thinking, invention, and innovation. They think strategically using varied, multi-disciplinary theoretical lenses to solve communication problems. 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 creative practitioners and change agents in their roles as communication professionals.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Research the broader theoretical context of creative problem solving and its relevance to communication.
b. Develop the capacity to design creative communication problem solving strategies.
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.
g. Pitch creative solutions successfully.

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)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning takes place in a collaborative environment as well as through independent learning activities. Multiple theoretical approaches towards creative, strategic problem solving are explored through discussions and case study analysis in classes and online. 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 problem solving and innovation in the context of strategic communication. Using a range of interdisciplinary tools, it creates a bricolage of problem-solving techniques based on the principle of equifinality. Students learn how to examine, challenge, and solve every day and ‘wicked’ problems from the perspective of systemic barriers and opportunities, cultural contexts, social and cognitive psychology, and solution-centered communication theory, encompassing the visual and the verbal.


Assessment task 1: Exploring and designing creative methods


a, b, c, d and g

Weight: 40%

1500 words (and up to 5 visuals)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Convincing evidence of the relevance and value of the creative methods designed 20 b, c, d 1.1
Novelty of the proposed method including creative interpretations of possibilities 25 a, b, c 2.2
Clarity of concept expressed in written and visual forms 20 g 2.3
Depth and Scope of Research 25 a, d 2.2
Effectiveness of Presentation skills 10 g 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Portfolio of creativity exercises and reflections on practice


a, b, c, d, e and g

Weight: 60%

2500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Originality of strategic and creative approach to change-making 20 a 2.2
Persuasiveness: Relevance and value to potential stakeholder(s)Depth of insight into individual practice and the field 20 b, c, e 1.1
Engagement with theory & research 25 d, e 2.2
Writing and Referencing 15 g 2.3
Presentation ( visual packaging/presentation of data) 20 g 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).