|Degree:||Master of Arts (MA)|
|University website:||Service Design|
A new frontier for designer. Transform customer and citizen experiences.
Service Design is the application of human centred design methods to complex systems in order to create pragmatic and visionary services that improve and transform human experiences and outcomes.
The Service Design programme equips you with the tools to provide human insight, create and prototype new futures and an understanding of complex systems to become an effective changemaker in the modern world. You will develop your practice through exploration of service design theory, intellectual critique and experience of working in the real contexts of live projects.
We aim to inspire and equip students from a broad range of design and innovation backgrounds to apply design thinking methodologies in order to answer the challenges of technological, social and environmental futures in commercial, social and public contexts. Using a human centric approach to systems, technology and societal trends, the programme delivers the practical tools, the intellectual frameworks and the professional practice required to deliver transformational change.
The programme is built on an academic foundation of design methodologies and principles that is applied to real scenarios through partner organisations working in enterprise, social and public roles who bring real issues and opportunities that respond to current and future disruption or innovation. Working in collaborative teams you will move through the design process of deep research, issue reframing, creative concept generation, prototyping and user testing you will understand and experience how design tools enable you to imagine and then deliver sustainable solutions.
Please note all applications must be submitted by 12 noon on the given deadline.
The first two terms will take you from a foundation of the tools and methodologies through to advanced techniques and management skills which are applied through projects leading to the Independent Research Project in the third term.
Service Design Foundation Methods and Materials encompasses the whole term and consists of a series of lectures on the methods and materials of service design accompanied by 3 project sprints in which these methods are applied.
You will develop an understanding of core design processes and skills and demonstrate learning from the taught aspect of the programme through practical exercises that are applied to a live student project. The initial project develops a theoretical and practical understanding of the ecosystems of services, develops skills in research, design sprints and the interaction between human, technology and systems.
Across Terms 1 and 2, you will participate in AcrossRCA, the College-wide unit. See below for more details.
The second term will deliver teaching in Advanced Service Design Methods, looking at the role of the service designer in developing transformational programmes to reframe projects. You will develop an understanding of organisational cultures, how to think at a strategic level, specify metrics and create a Minimum Viable Experience. You will explore delivery across channels including the human and ethical issues of emerging technology platforms such as AI.
You will also have an Elective choice in term 2.
In term 2 all School of Design students will participate in the Grand Challenge, School-wide unit. The aim of this unit is to connect and challenge all students in the School through the introduction of a ‘wicked’ design problem that requires a cross disciplinary approach to problem solving involving an external international scientific or industry partner (or both). This unit and lecture series has been hugely successful in connecting and disrupting disciplines, people, philosophies and approaches to design thinking whilst providing our student body with very unique networking opportunities.
You'll work on an Independent Research Project in one of several Challenge Labs, collaborating with external organisations who bring active projects and challenges. You will develop strategic visions with practical deliverable design interventions to create new services and systems. This project will be the core of the public output of the programme and contribute powerfully to public discourse on the value and suitability of the services and interactions we experience.
The School of Design is based across our Battersea and Kensington sites.
Students have access to the College’s workshops, with traditional facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and resins, including bookable bench spaces. Computer-driven subtractive milling equipment is available, as well as additive rapid prototyping.
To provide prospective students with opportunities to find out about the RCA experience and programmes we run a number of on-campus and online open days as well as events in various countries around the world. You can find out about upcoming events or watch replays of past open days on the RCA website.