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Service Design

About This Masters Degree

Course Description

Service Design involves the design of the spaces and places in which services are delivered. The programme includes communications design, product design, interaction design and the exploitation of digital technologies that support those services. The design of TfL’s Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme and the Oyster Card are examples of this, and there are many other examples in the private and public sector including healthcare, hospitality, telecommunications and media sectors.

The RCA is uniquely placed to provide an interdisciplinary design experience where students of this programme can learn to design services while immersed in an exciting design education environment. Students benefit not only from the design-led education provided by the programme, but also a broader interdisciplinary educational environment.

A highly integrated approach to the design of service experiences and systems is required, involving the combination of multiple design disciplines to create a systems-based solution. It also demands an implicit understanding of the technological, commercial and organisational context to assure the successful conception, development and deployment of service innovation.

Building on Design London’s collaboration between the RCA and Imperial College London, the core design-based courses is complemented by Imperial College’s Department of Computing and Business School, who will provide an introduction to – or enhance – students' technical skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as well as business skills such as strategy, organisational behaviour and innovation management. This enables graduating students to engage at a strategic as well as an operations level in the design of services, potentially leading interdisciplinary design teams in the design and deployment of innovative services.

The course and the project assignments maintain a special focus on the themes of society, health and wellbeing, energy and the environment. Students examine services that are delivered in a business to consumer, business to business and a public sector context, exploring business models that include social enterprise, not for profit and private enterprise. This involves working with private and public sector organisation to tackle service projects in these thematic areas and demonstrating that design can transform the nature, experience and value of their service offerings, making them more compelling to the users and other stakeholders, and efficient and profitable for the organisations that deliver them.

Entry Requirements


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