Taught course

Service Design MA

Royal College of Art · School of Design

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Entry requirements

The Service Design MA is designed for students with the following characteristics:

  • Experienced designers, especially communications and product designers seeking to significantly expand their capabilities with services and service systems design and engage higher up the value chain in terms of strategic design and delivery. This may include the coordination and leadership of a project involving several other design disciplines.
  • Recent high-performing graduates from design disciplines as well as from computing and other technical disciplines, seeking to develop their design capabilities and create higher value added services for their clients. It is also designed for budding designer entrepreneurs interested in launching new service led business ventures through the multiple award winning RCA business incubator.
  • Mid and senior professionals from industry and the public sector, with evidence of their creative talents as demonstrated by leadership of innovative projects, who are seeking to enhance their capabilities and apply a design led approach to the transformation of consumer, business to business, and public sector services e.g. health service or home office professionals, service designers from telecommunications and hospitality sector.

Applications for the 2021 are open npw. Visit the RCA website from this date for details.

Months of entry


Course content

Study at the World's number one ranked art and design university for five consecutive years (2015-2019) in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

Service Design involves an integrated approach to the design of human experiences and the socio-cultural, economic and technological systems in which the services are experienced. Service designers needs to be able to integrate multiple design disciplines to create a systems-based solution that resolves the often complex needs of many different stakeholders in addition to the human experience of receiving or delivering a service. It has the power to transform public services and communities, to enable companies to deliver new levels of value to their customers, and innovators to unlock the potential of new technologies that create value for society. From social enterprise to new business ventures, from social innovation to creating new service paradigms, the service designer will call on a wide range of technical, creative design and management skills. And at the RCA we aim to help you develop all of those skills.

The programme reflects upon and provides a deep understanding of the technological, commercial and organisational context in the conception and execution of innovative services as well as the tools, techniques and methods required in the practice of service design. Its overarching goal is to enable 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 in the business, consumer and public sector. Building on Design London’s collaboration between the RCA and Imperial College London, the core design-based courses at the RCA is complemented by faculty from 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.

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.

Alumni Webinar - 21 January 2021 - online

Join us for this an exciting webinar with Vidhi Mehta - School of Design graduate and Senior User Experience Designer at LinkedIn. Vidhi will discuss her time at the RCA and her experience as an international student, as well as her experience exhibiting at the annual Work-in-Progress (WIP) show (online in 2021 from 29 January). Register now

Fees and funding

Learn more at the fees and funding page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Recruitment