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Service Design MA




What will I learn?

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 students 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.

The aim of the Service Design programme is 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.

Which department am I in?

Royal College of Art

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
£33,600.00 (US$ 40,533) per year
This is a fixed fee
Start date

4 September 2023


Royal College of Art

Kensington Gore,

Kensington and Chelsea,


SW7 2EU, England

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Candidates are selected entirely on merit and applications are welcomed from all over the world. The selection process considers creativity, imagination and innovation as demonstrated in your portfolio, as well as your potential to benefit from the programme and to achieve high MA standards overall. Candidates are generally expected to have a good BA degree from a fine art course. You should be able to demonstrate an original and critical approach to fine art as well as an ability to engage with current theories of art and culture that inform their practice. Visit the RCA website for full entry requirements.

For international students

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need the equivalent of an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a 6.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE) and at least 5.5 in other skills. Students achieving a grade of at least 6.0, with a grade of 5.5 in the Test of Written English, may be eligible to take the College’s English for Academic Purposes course to enable them to reach the required standard. IELTS of 6.5. TOEFL - 92

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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