Services are an integral part of the 21st century. Globalisation, digital technologies and social changes create opportunities for designers to drive innovations in services.
Ravensbourne’s MDes Service Design aims to develop designers who can apply design methods strategically to create better services.
Service designers create useful, usable, efficient, effective and desirable services through exploring, visualising and prototyping solutions that are not yet available.
Understanding and interpreting user needs and behaviours is critical. Ravensbourne’s MDes Service Design focuses on a holistic design thinking approach that gives you a detailed understanding of developing design and innovative solutions for service organisations and service-based products.
You will gain this knowledge through an exploratory and open learning environment, and be introduced to a range of emerging concepts in service design such as co-design, user-driven innovation and social innovation. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the role of design in the management and innovation of services and user experiences. Working with other MDes students in Design Management and Luxury Brand Management, you will have the opportunity to develop a collaborative attitude and the ability to problem solve in complex project situations.
The course benefits from staff research interests in design methodology, user-experience design, rapid prototyping and social media. In addition, you can participate in live industry development projects that have a strong service design dimension.
This course is one of three that form Ravensbourne’s MDes (Master of Design) programme. Each course has been developed in response to industry demand for professionals with strategic design knowledge and business and management acumen who can lead and manage specialist design teams.
You will gain industry-focused knowledge, practical multi-disciplinary skills and in-depth intellectual capability allowing you to think openly and creatively as you progress towards a leadership career in the creative industries.
A particular emphasis will be placed on developing your collaborative skills required for business success. Our globally-focused case studies will also broaden your perspectives and increase your understanding of international design and business practices.
Core to the MDes programme is design thinking, the essence of design practice, but now also being adopted by leading business organisations in the world as an innovative approach to problem solving. The programme will challenge students to experiment with ideas in order to develop innovative solutions.
Who is it for?
- Service designers looking to progress their careers to senior level or wishing to start their own consultancy.
- Qualified individuals with a non-design background who are already working in the creative or service industries or plan to do so.
- Professionals who have a vested business interest in service design and who are looking to develop their knowledge in this area.
Where will it take me?
MDes Service Design graduates will go on to work as project managers and service designers in design and creative companies. You might be employed as managers of design and innovation in service organisations. Some graduates will set up their own consultancy businesses.
You will also benefit from Ravensbourne’s reputation for creative and technical innovation, and our very strong industry connections.
“In the competitive world of business, what separates an industry’s players is often the service that comes with the product offering – the customer experience.”
What will I study?
- Cultural and Contextual Design Studies
This unit provides an introduction into the course and subject area to develop a learning foundation for further development of specialist knowledge and research skills.
- Practical Application of Design Thinking
Focusing on developing practical methods and tools to be able to carry out projects using the Design Thinking Method, this unit will explore the range of different frameworks available to designers and managers to use in different contexts. The knowledge of how to carry out design thinking in a practical situation is crucial in identifying and assigning accountable value to the practice of design thinking.
- Managing Design in a Global Society and Economy
This unit runs concurrently with the two design units and explores different perspectives in analysing global, social and economic issues. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of communicating and analysing current politics, economic and business issues, social and environmental issues. It is taught with a wide-lens perspective and aims to broaden the scope of thinking.
- Professional Practice in Management and Consulting
This intensive unit in the practice of management and consulting covers three core management areas: Project Management, Knowledge Management and Change Management. The unit also covers professional standards and best practice in consulting. You will develop your own methods in management and consulting as you learn through practical projects in specifically designed real life situations. The aim is that by the end of this unit you will have the confidence to apply your knowledge and skills in live, commercial projects.
- Studio Practice
This unit is designed to allow you to focus and practice your chosen specialism and is developed with three possible options: you can participate in a work-based learning option, involving a placement; or collaborate with the wider Ravensbourne community in a prototyping option; or develop yourspecialism into an enterprise. The aim of the unit is to allow for personal development through experimentation in a controlled and structured environment designed to challenge the your thinking and methods.
- Strategic Design and Innovation
This unit connects design thinking with business strategy, through project-based learning. You will develop expertise in business strategy, strategic planning and learn to integrate this with your previous knowledge in design thinking and management.
- Major project
This unit concludes the MDes programme and enables the student to use knowledge and skills acquired on the course to execute a substantial independent project that demonstrates an advanced understanding of their practice.
The units are delivered using a range of innovative teaching methods that reflect current industry practice.
Design education is combined with a design-based approach to business and management. Learning is facilitated by permanent teaching staff and by expert sessional staff with strong industry connections.
Whilst some learning is more formally delivered through lectures, seminars and case studies followed by written essays, the main emphasis is on experiential learning in the form of workshops, boot camps and project-based learning. This simulates the business environment and helps you develop advanced skills in management and business issues.
You are required to own or have access to a laptop from the beginning of your studies. Laptops are an essential tool to support personalised learning and give you access, when and where you want it, to many of the creative tools and educational resources you will encounter during your studies.
Laptops are used extensively in all of our courses. You will need one to access our network, and to research, communicate and collaborate during your studies.
Click here for the full programme specification.