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Master of Design for Services

Master of Design 

Quick Facts 
Qualification: Master of Design for Services
Course Length: 1 Year
Start date: September


*Please note that this course will not run in 2014/15

Design for Services is a new masters programme which brings creative people from around the world together for 12 months to work with business, public and non-profit organisations to use service design methods to tackle complex challenges.

Whether ordering a book online or visiting the dentist, service design is the glue that holds the whole experience together. Services are experienced from the moment your dental appointment reminder lands on your doormat, to waiting in the dentist's waiting room, to the outcome of your treatment and all the bits that happen in between.

In this one year masters programme, you will use traditional design skills: observation, visualisation, creative thinking, prototyping and importantly, risk taking. You will work together with people who use and provide services to do three things

  • develop empathy and a shared understanding of how things are currently
  • enable everyone to think creatively about how things could work better
  • make the ideas visible

Visualisation tools like sketching, photography and storyboarding help make sense of complex contexts and develop a shared understanding of common goals. You will share creative techniques to enable non-designers to explore new ways of thinking. We want you to find new ways of doing things or adding, removing or re-shaping parts of a business. You could develop a new smart card that enables cheap travel, or a mobile app that prevents unnecessary emergency room visits, or a pop-up retail outlet on your high street.

This short video which was created by DJCAD Master of Design for Services students for NILE explains what the value of service design is

What is the Value of Service Design? from Nile HQ on Vimeo.

Example Student Projects

The FastID Forensic Jewellery Identification System developed for use by international police forces to identify disaster victims

RIP + MIX, a toolkit of design methods developed with Deutsche Telekom, Berlin to engage everyone involved in bringing products to market, in the initial design stages of product development.

iGiveadam, a service system which connects blood donors and services using a mobile app and web based interface to encourage blood donation through social networking

Spoonful of Movies, an educational tool to teach children storytelling through film editing techniques.

re-tent a system to encourage music festival goers to re-use their tents

Keeping Graduates Green, a project that looks at how we can nudge students and graduates to maintain sustainable transport habits

Collaborative Spaces, a project that asks if design tools can promote collaboration through the thoughtful design of education spaces

Service Translation for Healthcare, a service which examines how international students can access health care easily

Our students come from a variety of different discipline backgrounds from around the world and leave to design for public and private companies, run commercial and social enterprises, study for PhDs and become lecturers around the world.

The Master of Design for Services course is twelve months of intensive study, research and design practice.

Creativity can be used to design products, to visualise design solutions and to tackle social issues. Our students work individually and in teams to share expertise and knowledge. Design industry professionals and leading academics introduce a wide range of methods, tools and strategies to help students position themselves as design leaders. Students initially work on set project briefs to explore new methods of working and thinking, before focusing on an individual project proposal. Each student is appointed a personal advisor from DJCAD's Research Community to support their individual aspirations and guide them in the realisation and communication of their Masters Project.

We draw upon the diverse, unique and internationally acclaimed research conducted at DJCAD. In the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design was rated as the top institution in Scotland for research in art and design, and one of the best in the whole of the UK.

We have been described as "the outstanding Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, regarded as one of the top colleges in Britain." (Sunday Times University Guide, 2008).

The website will give you an introduction to student projects, staff and graduates - if you want to know more, give us a call or drop us an email: +44 (0) 1382 388219