Start Date

Evergreen: 19th Sept 2022




In this course we look at ways to clarify your ideas. We look at where ideas come from, then we look at the processes used to help refine the ideas themselves. By the end of the course you will walk away with a commercially viable idea to build a business around.

Course Duration

Self-Study (6 Month Access)




30 Hours

The Accreditations

The Accreditations

The Course pathway is one of only a few programs run by academics, for industry, outside of higher-education. We provide a practical approach to helping you equip your workforce with skills needed to sustain in industry. Moreover, all AEE courses are accredited by CPD -ensuring credibility and confidence, and providing a trusted space both for personal development and practical, impactful training.

The Core Value

Design thinking skills, user analytics, marketing insights, strategy techniques, critical thinking, project management and problem-solving. –

The Design Thinking Course

Design Thinking is a unique way for small businesses to approach wicked problem solving and the development of innovative ideas. It’s what the likes of BMW, Apple and Google use and can be best understood as a set of tools, a process, and a mindset. Inspired by the methods of designers, industries such as the healthcare sector, transport, airlines have all turned to design thinking techniques to gain insights into their users and/or solve wicked problems. In terms of outcomes, small businesses can not only expect innovative solutions, but evidence academic research suggests that firms achieve greater customer insights and projects are faster in delivering tangible results. While the method’s impact differs for each industry, it systematically helps brands stay ahead of their game. Combining individual skill sets, extraordinary minds, perspective, and background help harvesting the fruits of creativity. What SME doesn’t want that, right?

The Ideal Student

This pathway is designed for businesses looking for creative ways to solve meaty problems, find a new perspective, or identify a new approach to tackle change. During the course, you will explore a rich combination innovative solutions, success and business growth strategies. It will help you and your teams conceptualize and devise products and services while giving a voice to the end-users. More than that, we provide a practical toolkit, with the understanding of how to use design thinking, where to use it and how to start, with someone to show you the way.

ECA Outline

Key Outcomes

What You’ll Get

What Makes This Different

At AEE, we are focused on maximising the tangible benefits that our comprehensive programs and courses provide. We will help you to leverage the skills and strategies gained from your course to grow a sustainable, profitable business. Upon completion of the course, you’ll walk away with:

Course Curriculum Pathway Breakdown

Topic 1: Introduction To Design Thinking

Topic 2: Defining The problem

Topic 3: Synthesis & Ideation

Topic 4: Prototping

Topic 5: Testing Phase

Topic 6: Validation Phase


Our Clients

Julie is a passionate and supportive lecturer who truly cares about her students and their projects. She was very supportive and always happy to answer any questions. Her course, entrepreneurship, theory and practice, was an interesting and practical course which encouraged creativity and innovation throughout.

Emma O'Neil BA Economics and Marketing

    Programme Director

    The Design Thinking course was designed to help small businesses looking for creative ways to solve meaty problems, find a new perspective, or identify a new approach to tackle change. As an academic in entrepreneurship, Dr McFarlane has spent over 15 years developing higher education programs in enterprise for students all over the world. During that time, she has witnessed the need, for a more practical approach to helping people get clear on the commercial viability of their ideas, that still benefits from the research of leading academics.

    Dr Julie McFarlane

    Director of Learning, Academy of Enterprise Education

    Course Enquiry

    Course Enquiry

    To enquire about Design Thinking please fill out the form and one of
    our course advisors will be in contact.

    The Accreditations

    Getting Certified

    Students completing the 30-hour Course pathways, which include all taught content as well as assessment will meet the requisite training hours necessary to be awarded CPD Certification.

    More Questions

    The Academy of Enterprise Education (AEE) is an online enterprise re-education provider developing high-quality, fully accredited programs benefitting from the research experience of world-class academic staff from some of the world’s leading universities. AEE aims to be the bridge between theory and practice by providing, promoting, and supporting enterprise education for clients and students from across the world. Through a market-driven approach, we analyse future skills gaps in the small business sector so that all our accredited/certified academies, schools, and courses address this need. Our longstanding academic expertise in the design, development, and delivery of high quality education programs, along with insightful market research, data analysis, and cutting-edge industry insights, ensures that AEE provides highly relevant pathways optimized to fit individual needs. At AEE, we use the same materials as those taught in many of the world’s leading institutions, academically tried and tested approaches that add value in the coaching context. Only our team of have collated them to make the journey even more practical for you. That’s why we’re different – all our experts have worked in academia and industry, and are fully qualified to offer our insights, support, and expertise to help you get the best out of the learning journey. AEE offers working professionals the skills, knowledge and strategies they need to re-educate themselves in a number of different ways. All our academies, schools and courses are certified by globally recognized bodies – ensuring credibility and confidence, and providing a trusted space both for personal development and practical, impactful training. AEE aims to provide a fast-track route to a new career, business or skill set.

    AEE fees can be paid before prior to the commencement of the selected pathway, or you may opt for a three-part payment plan for courses 12 weeks and longer. To find out more about payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page, or contact us, to find out which option you qualify for. In addition, AEE is also pleased to offer a 20% discount on all pathways to former NHS workers, public servants, military or police. For more information, contact us

    AEE is designed to fit around your life as a working professional, add to your knowledge, improve your skills and provide you with strategies without compromising on your work-life balance. Each of the pathways offers three varied and flexible learning options. The materials are all online and downloadable, course work is broken up into manageable bite-sized modules, with practical exercises and incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace the learning journey to suit your needs. With our expert guidance on how to master these techniques, drawn from a rich combination of specialist fields, you will have the ability to craft a role in the coaching industry that both fits your needs, and your lifestyle. Each pathway has a detailed student handbook to guide you through the learning journey and you will have access to your student advisor who will support you with any administrative or technical queries you might have.

    It is critical to business success that employees continually look for ways to improve their skill set and industry knowledge. In fact, a number of organisations encourage it, often funding professional development programs in the hope of the impacts it generates. So it may be worthwhile reaching out to ask what policies are in place for this, if it’s going to have an impact on the way you do business and you can outline this, what have you got to loose? Worse case scenario, your boss realises you are looking to develop. Make sure you; 1. Do your research on training programs 2. Identify the BEST fit for you and the business 3. Highlight the cost-benefit of the program 4. Articulate the value of this program and the impact it will have on the business to your boss. Here is a guide to show you how to request financial assistance from your employer.
    If you are a Learning & Development (L&D) manager, or involved in training and upskilling for an organization, you can request information regarding our upskilling courses page Course Pathway – AEE (

    Adult learners can also apply for grants and bursaries to help pay for courses and training. Usually, you do not have to pay this money back. For most grants and bursaries you apply directly to the organisation that gives them out. They’ll have an application form and will be able to tell you if you qualify. If you’re a parent, you might also be able to get help with childcare costs while you study. In the UK there are also a number of routes to funding further-education. Contact Us – Gov Grants Hub UK/ Scotland’s national skills agency | Skills Development Scotland/ Grants and bursaries for adult learners – GOV.UK (

    As part of our commitment to your professional development, AEE offer a 14 day period to change your pathway, start date or request your money back.
    To qualify for a deferral of your course start date, or to cancel your enrolment please contact For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

    The AEE Platform will be your Virtual Campus for the duration of your time with us. Through its user-friendly interface you’ll have access to all pathway materials from: in-person sessions (not for Course Pathway), video presentations, module notes, workbooks, toolkits practice quizzes, assignment briefs, and additional reading materials. On the Virtual Campus, you’ll be able to interact with your peers, ask questions as well as track your progress.