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Service Design

Course Description

The master’s degree program grants 60 credits

The program strives to build specialist skills and to enable innovation and entrepreneurship, students will be able to:
- define systemic innovation models for services
- use theoretical and critical skills to identify design fields suited to orienting and defining the project’s prerequisites
- use observation and analysis of user experience to determine a user-centered vision of complex interaction processes
- use specialist service design tools and know how to manage their adaptation or redesign
- manage all the phases of conceiving, designing, developing, and implementing a service in an advanced perspective

Visit the Service Design page on the POLI.design, Società consortile a responsabilità limitata website for more details!

(Student Profile)


Deciding to pursue the field of Service Design, seemed like a leap of faith a year ago. Not only is Service Design still an emerging field in India, but coming from a management and retail background, made me apprehensive about how I would acquire creative and multidisciplinary skills. The Master’s exceeded my expectations. The approach to teaching was practical and workshop based, allowing me to apply my past work experience within a service design framework to solve real business challenges. The environment was collaborative and stimulating and I cherish the network I created with a diverse and talented set of students and professors. I encountered Logotel, a Milan based service design agency through the Master’s course. We found a synergistic fit and after completing my internship with them, I now work there as a Project Designer. Its quite amazing for me to get this international exposure and strengthen my identity as a designer!

(Student Profile)


During my master, I learned the User Centered Design approach that is the key factor for designing successful products and services that can improve people’s life quality. Because of that first experience, my interest in service design has grown a lot and, after few years of working, I decided I wanted to deep my knowledge in services, and that’s how I got in contact with the Master in Service Design at Polimi.
The master has given me the opportunity to empower my skills, be stimulated by new design challenges in practical workshops and be actively part of the network. Having interesting discussion with the professors and professionals in the fields, have helped us understanding we are now part of a broader system that has not been totally explored yet: the service design world. We have so the possibility to shape it and to enrich it according to our approach and with our personal contribution.

(Student Profile)


I first discovered service design while trying to figure out why people wouldn’t use the digital marketplace I was working on. Once I realized the depth and power of the service design tools for creating and adding value to the user’s experiences, I quickly fell in love with the possibility of understanding better how service systems work and how we can improve them to deliver a better experience. Once I decided that this was the path I wanted to follow I encounter the Service Design Master at PoliDesign, which caught my attention because of the way the program was structured with enough flexibility to let me explore my own interests and a practical approach to the learning process. Up until know I can say that the experience has been worthy, I have seen myself grow by learning not only the theoretical and methodological aspects of service design, but also the way in which a team of service designers can approach issues and provide solutions in a quick and practical way.

(Student Profile)


I heard about the master while looking at Poli.Design’s masters offer and I felt very interested since it gathered everything I was looking for to further develop my career as a designer, since products and services, nowadays, are inherent assets. I decided to become a service designer because it has so many things to do with innovation in the public sector (health, transportation, social innovation) and also, because it seemed to me the most natural way to follow if I wanted to broaden my view and my career as a designer who wanted to deliver holistic life-changing experiences.
What I have learned from the master, besides processes, tools and how to carry efficient and effective design thinking (that for sure will help me deliver better products and services), is that it definitely helped me shape my career into a more precise and inclusive interpretation, from a design perspective, on how we as service designers can really change the world we live in and deliver well-thought and well-designed product-service systems, that will have an impact in a whole society

(Student Profile)


I got to know about Service Design working at the Royal College of Art in London and investigating around the field of Design for Social Innovation. Looking for solutions and best practices for sustainable social projects I realised that service design could have a great role in dealing with all aspects of these challenges. This is the reason why I decided to get to know more about it and to shape my design thinking attitude towards its ways to approach people needs.
The master program increased my certainty about the importance of keeping in mind the people’s perspective in all design projects. I feel like I now have more tools to deal with this fundamental aspect.

(Student Profile)


After gaining my bachelors in Communication Design and practicing graphic design for a year, I chose to practice design strategy and started working as a Design Manager. My job involved applying design thinking and business strategy in the field of branding. It was on one such project which resolved in creating a service offer to the end user, that I realized my love for service design and took it upon myself to pursue it. This masters program has been a steep learning curve. In a matter of a year, I have learnt new methods and tools for thought and it’s expression. I have learnt that whole is more than the sum of it’s parts. On our live projects with clients, I have witnessed and learnt to practice the application of varied design disciplines outside the world of ‘design’ - to fields more than just branding, products and communication. I can see service design applied to benefit society and I now feel ready to take the next step to express my desire to do more with Service Design and make a difference.

(Student Profile)


The Master in Service Design helped me look deeply into UX reaserch. After the degree, I got the opportunity to work for international clients, travelling abroad, getting the chance to see other cultures and services.
My internship place became my workplace. At Experientia I learnt how to interview people, how to get the right insights out of the findings, how to design a workshop and personas in details.
I discovered passion for research through the channel I like the most: video-ethnography. I spent 1 month in Singapore doing my first field research on healthcare and the experience was highly rewarded.

(Student Profile)


The strength of this master is in its focus on project based learning. Having done client workshops, activities and jams helped me understand how to develop a service design project from start to finish, using a variety of methods and strategies.
Right now I am working in the field of healthcare innovation and these experiences has given me the confidence and ability to be able to speak to patients, plan client workshops and develop and prototype a variety of multi-stakeholder service solutions.

(Student Profile)


Coming from a multidisciplinary design path, the Master is Service Design has helped me focus on what I was really into. I managed to funnel towards one direction all the varied knowledge and skills developed in the different cultural contexts I have lived, studied and worked in. That has represented a turning point to my career, because I was finally able to be part of a specific design field, where flexibility and multidisciplinarity represent an important value. I currently work as design researcher at frog, where I’m constantly involved in international projects that require high system thinking skills. That’s the most exciting aspect of my job.


Entry Requirements

Selection is based on the assessment of the candidate’s skills, aptitude, and experience, as well as on objectives and expectations. The master’s board, takes into account candidates’: - transcript and degrees;- professional résumés; - introductory and/or telephone interviews. To be admitted to the program, candidates should hold a university degree in design, architecture, or engineering, or have majored in a non-polytechnical field but need to integrate polytechnical training into ongoing professional experience or qualifications. A significant record of professional performance can also be given consideration. A maximum of thirty students can be enrolled in the program.

Last Updated

02 February 2017

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