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Play full: getting creative with design thinking in health and care


Anytime, self-guided

Free course
Four weeks

Do you want to problem solve using creativity? Would you like to explore alternatives to business-as-usual? Are you frustrated by habits and processes that hinder productivity and innovative practice in your work? Are you keen to explore new approaches that stimulate thinking and imagination? If so, you need design thinking. 

Design thinking is a strategic approach to creative problem-solving. Discover how design thinking can promote a more human-centred approach – encouraging fresh ideas, collaborative teamwork and rapid testing – and bring more creativity to your management and leadership. 

You can complete this course while carrying out a creative project in real time, as the course will guide you sequentially through the different stages of the design thinking approach. The course includes downloadable resources as well as case studies highlighting creativity and innovative practice from across the health and care system. It’s not just about learning—it’s about applying, creating and reflecting. Enrol today and try it out yourself.  

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for health and social care professionals, both on the front line and leading a team, who are looking to enhance their creativity and problem-solving abilities. The course is suitable for all levels, with a focus on managers and leaders in roles such as strategy, communications, clinical information, organisational development, and more. Whether you work in local government, the voluntary and community sector or the NHS, this introductory course will encourage you to embrace a creative mindset, leveraging qualities such as curiosity, collaboration, flexibility and open-mindedness – essential for innovative management, leadership and problem-solving practices. 

This course is not designed for individuals looking to delve into scientific innovation, medical innovation, or innovation and quality improvement methodologies. Instead, the focus is on providing a broad introduction to creativity in the health and care workplace. We explore its role in solving complex problems and enhancing health and care services, and its importance in effective management and leadership practices.  

What will you achieve?

Turning ideas into real-world solutions to everyday problems requires a process for organising and testing those ideas. In this free online course, we introduce the key aspects of design thinking, demonstrating how it can enhance current health care practices, management and innovation efforts.  

You will learn how to:

  • cultivate a creative mindset to tackle complex problems in health and care 

  • discover and properly define the problems you want to solve, and generate and prioritise ideas to solve them 

  • think creatively and generate ideas 

  • test and refine your ideas  

  • understand key factors for implementing your final design and how new ideas and innovative practices are adopted or not 

  • explore creative management and team leadership in nurturing creative cultures in health and care.  

How will you learn?

The course is playful and practical, with creative activities and reflective exercises to encourage you to work your creative muscles. It’s perhaps best done with a real-world workplace project or problem in mind. Are you trying to solve an ongoing service challenge or want to come up with a new way of doing something in your team? Are you in the exciting position of having to design a new pathway or service, or looking to spend some time imagining what an alternative to business-as-usual work practice could look like? Whatever your project, you will find plenty here to stimulate your thinking and imagination.  

We strongly recommend that you engage with the insights and reflections of fellow learners. Like you, they are a rich source of ideas, experience and understanding.    

Throughout the course we also offer some carefully chosen resources on different topics, enabling you to dive deeper into a particular area, if you wish. 

The course also includes short case studies in some steps. These examples of creativity in action have been chosen to bring certain ideas in the course to life, and are drawn from health and care globally as well as from other industries. 


Programme team


Join the course on Futurelearn

Uncover creativity in health care with design thinking strategies. Learn to innovate and solve problems effectively to create impactful projects in health and care with this free four-week online course.

Enrol now