Service Systems Design, Master

Service Systems Design

Service Systems Design

At Service Systems Design, you will learn how to plan and organise people, infrastructure, communication, media and components of a service, in order to improve its quality, the interaction between service provider and users and the users' experience.

From our campus in beautiful Copenhagen, we offer an exciting, hands-on Service Design education. Our 2-year program gives students a solid foundation in design methodology, grounded in practical experience and real-world assignments.


Have you ever experienced a long queue in a post office? How much time have you spent at an airport? Or what do you think a hospital could improve for its patients?

Services like Spotify, Too Good To Go, or Airbnb are just the mainstream type of services that right now affect directly or indirectly the life of a lot of people in the world. More and more companies, governmental institutions, and other organisations are realising that the way we experience services is a matter of vital importance, and can be improved with more considered design.

Because of this, service designers are increasingly in demand. Service Design, as the name implies, is a relatively new design discipline concerned with finding creative solutions to intangible problems. Generally leveraging a human-centred, co-creative approach, Service Design has developed into a progressive design discipline with its toolkits, skillset, and mindset.

At our master’s program in Service Systems Design, students gain a solid understanding, actionable knowledge, and practical experience in this growing discipline.


When looking ahead, we see that cities, governments and firms are facing new challenges and setting ambitious objectives, such as circular economy, sustainable living, data handling and large social and cultural shifts. In the future, we will need more creative people that can think and work in multidisciplinary ways, combining technical and creative skill sets and that can navigate the uncertainty of tomorrow's challenges. Services are becoming digital, interconnected and more complex to design and handle. This is what we prepare you for. Our program is uniquely shaped as to provide you with the insights to analyse multifaceted challenges and to design services as complex systems. You will acquire not only solid ownership of design tools and methods but also an array of complementary skills in strategy, entrepreneurship, innovation and the technological aspects of services. These skills will support you in thinking through real-life challenges and creating services that truly matter.


Our program balances theoretical and practical content. During the master, you will constantly apply the knowledge on Service Design theories and methodologies to real cases.

Professional hands-on experience is an essential part of our curriculum. Since the first semester, you will be connected to the Danish companies for your semester projects and in the second year will have the opportunity to join one of the vibrant comunities of entrepreneurs and social innovators in Denmark or abroad during an internship and a master thesis. 

In addition, other extra-curricular activities like the SDTalks or the participation in international conferences, are great opportunities for you to discover the state-of-the-art scene of Service Design and enlarge your network of pioneers and social innovators.

We are proud to see how our alumni are contributing as Service Designers, Design Researchers, UX Designers, System Designers, or consultants, to generate impactful and meaningful changes for companies like Designit, Roche, Bosch, Lego, Volkswagen, IBM and public institutions like the Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster, or Københavns Politi. 


Participatory Design, Co-Design, and co-creation are deeply embedded in the Scandinavian culture. Designing with people - and not just for them - is a recurrent value in the Nordic countries, influencing the way design is adopted and studied.

Copenhagen, besides being known for its happiness (translated by the Danes as ‘hygge’), stands as one of the flagship cities of such approach. Our master’s program – and the related events such as open talks, workshops, and hackathons - will put you at the heart of this vibrant service design scene, so you will experience how these values are embraced in the everyday life and working culture.


Like all other AAU-programmes, the MSc in Service Systems Design is based on a combination of academic, problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approaches. It is organised in lectures, project work, workshops, expert supervision and other work and evaluation methods that combine skills and reflection.

The programme will give you professional competences within the following disciplines:


  • products, services, evidences and environments in which back office and front offices are physically placed
  • aesthetics, emotion and communication, especially in relation to interactions
  • user involvement and participation in value creation


  • interaction between users and service providers
  • information and communication support to the service


  • functional and organisational structure that support the service in the back office as well as in the front office
  • service strategy and business

Below is an outline of the four semesters:

For a detailed description of the subjects, please check the programme curriculum.

The first part of the semester (September – October) contains more lectures than the second part (November – December), where the students spend most of their time working on their semester projects.

For a full description of the programme’s academic content, please visit our studyguide.

Discover more on our social media

Check out news on service design, have a peak behind the scenes on the programme and get news and events concerning Service Systems Design and AAU-CPH. Facebook for Service Systems Design.

You can also get additional information on You can also get additional information about the Research Lab in the SD Lab's own website.


Facts About the Programme




Admission Requirements

See the Curriculum

See Related Programmes with the subjects

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau