Design managers, their organisations and work-based learning

  • Caroline Norman, Robert Jerrard
  • Higher Education Skills and Work-based Learning, August 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/heswbl-07-2014-0028

Designers learning management in the workplace

What is it about?

Designers need business skills but there are limited opportunities for professional development when in design practice. This paper explores the value of master's level study accessed via 'work-based learning' which enables designers to study whilst remaining in full time practice.

Why is it important?

Designers’ careers can be compromised if they are unable to understand the business context they operate in and cannot communicate effectively across other disciplines. Where governments are calling for an increase in design management skills, design careers can limit the opportunities for the development of such skills. Universities have an opportunity to support designers’ professional development through work-based learning.


Ms Caroline Norman
Birmingham City University

A background in design consultancy has demonstrated that there is a cultural gap between many designers and their clients. This gap can inhibit the development of designer / client relationships and limit the scope of designers' careers. To contribute at a strategic level designers need to be able to understand and talk the language of their clients.

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The following have contributed to this page: Ms Caroline Norman