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Service Systems Design

Master degree

Service Systems Design

Ready to become a catalyst for change and create a positive impact in the world? Our service design master's is designed to empower you with the skills, knowledge, and mindset that are in high demand in the job market and that can make the difference when working within businesses, design consultancies, government bodies, and non-profit organizations. Through our programmes you'll learn to cultivate the critical thinking and creativity needed to challenge the status quo and envision innovative service experiences, that enhance people's lives and relationships with the world around them.

Reasons you should choose this programme

You want to create high-quality service experiences through user participation, and social innovation
You want to immerse yourself in all parts of the process – from idea development and strategy to business development, and future scenarios
You want to learn and use the latest methods in service systems, UX design, prototyping, and visual thinking

Copenhagen

2-year educationEnglish

Master degree

Service Systems Design

Ready to become a catalyst for change and create a positive impact in the world? Our service design master's is designed to empower you with the skills, knowledge, and mindset that are in high demand in the job market and that can make the difference when working within businesses, design consultancies, government bodies, and non-profit organizations. Through our programmes you'll learn to cultivate the critical thinking and creativity needed to challenge the status quo and envision innovative service experiences, that enhance people's lives and relationships with the world around them.

Reasons you should choose this programme

You want to create high-quality service experiences through user participation, and social innovation
You want to immerse yourself in all parts of the process – from idea development and strategy to business development, and future scenarios
You want to learn and use the latest methods in service systems, UX design, prototyping, and visual thinking

Copenhagen

2-year educationEnglish

At the heart of our programme lies the belief that sustainable change can only be achieved through a deep understanding of the complex systems in which services operate.

Our curriculum is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of how people, technology, business components, and the environment interact. You will learn to use this knowledge to design services that not only meet the needs of the present but also contribute to shaping desirable futures.

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

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Why do we need service designers?

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?

From healthcare and education to transportation and urban planning, service designers play a crucial role in creating meaningful and effective experiences for service users. Services like Spotify, Too Good To Go, and Airbnb are just a few of the mainstream types of services that impact the lives of many people in the world, directly or indirectly.

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 solutions.

Because of this, the demand for service designers is increasing. Service Design is a relatively new design discipline concerned with finding creative solutions to intangible problems. Generally leveraging a human-centered, co-creative approach, Service Design is now a recognised design discipline with its own toolkit, skillset, and mindset.

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

Why service ‘systems’ design?

Looking ahead, we see that cities, governments, and businesses face new challenges and set ambitious objectives, such as circular economy, sustainable living, data handling and large social and cultural shifts. The services supporting these objectives are becoming more digital and interconnected, and more complex to design and handle.

To navigate the uncertainty of these challenges, we will increasingly rely on creative minds capable of working in multidisciplinary ways, blending technical expertise with creative skills.

This is what we prepare you for.

The master's degree in Service Systems Design is uniquely shaped to provide you with the insights to analyse multifaceted challenges and 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 different types of services. These skills will support you in thinking through real-life challenges and creating services that truly matter.

If you want to create something that brings a positive impact for the future of society you should join the Service Systems Design master.

Kamila Dzierzak - Alumnus from SSD

10

years of activity and hundreds of projects created by our students have resulted in high social, economic, cultural, environmental impact

100+

active collaborations with leading companies and public organisations

300+

students who graduated with us

A career oriented study programme

Our programme balances theoretical knowledge and practical experience. During the master, you will constantly apply the knowledge of Service Design theories and methodologies to real life cases.

Professional hands-on experience is an essential part of our curriculum.

From the first semester, you will be addressing cases provided by Danish companies for your semester projects.

In the third semester you will have the opportunity to join one of the vibrant communities of entrepreneurs and social innovators in Denmark or abroad during an internship followed by a master thesis in the fourth semester.

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

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

Living in Copenhagen - a city of design

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.

Besides being known for its happiness and cosiness (translated by the Danes as ‘hygge’), Copenhagen stands as one of the flagship cities of this approach.

Our master’s programme – and the related events such as open talks, workshops, and hackathons – will put you at the heart of this vibrant service design scene, and you will experience how these values are embraced in everyday life and working culture.

Academic content

The master's programme in Service Systems Design comprises four semesters, a total of two years (120 ECTS).

Each semester consists of a project and three courses, except for the 4th semester which is dedicated to your master’s thesis.

Semester descriptions

Compulsory for all non-AAU bachelors

All bachelors enrolled in the programme who have not obtained their bachelor's degree from Aalborg University must take part in a course on problem based learning (PBL) as part of the 1st semester project.

In case non-AAU bachelors get credit transfer for the 1st semester, they will be asked to take part in a course ensuring that they are trained in working according to the PBL-model.

A stay abroad helps your career

If you choose a stay abroad during your education, it may further your job-seeking upon graduation. The industry seeks people with international experience and therefore, AAU focuses on stays abroad. We want to give you the best start possible when you have finished your studies.

At the master’s level, we give you the opportunity to do and an internship (in Denmark or abroad) or spend a semester abroad. We will assist you in finding the best place for you. AAU co-operates with many universities across the globe, and we have solid contacts and co-operations with industry with regard to both student projects and internships. Our students go to the US, Australia, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Sweden, France, etc.

More information

Admission and requirements

Job and career

As a service designer, you will become a practitioner that collaborates with public and private companies in designing new services or redesigning existing services.

Your expertise will be required in understanding, and addressing user requirements, communicating user experience, promoting users’ participation and supporting the internal organisation of services.

Your cross-disciplinary competences, covering IT, design-related, engineering and management skills will allow you to cover strategic roles in service organisations.

Get help at AAU to start your career in Denmark

AAU Career helps you on your way from student life to job life in Denmark by giving you the tools to examine your options and find out what to do.

While studying at AAU, you can participate in career and job-related events, find help on our website, and book a personal career counselling session to talk about e.g.:

  • Finding your way in your career
  • Danish working culture
  • Application and CV the Danish way
  • What you can offer an employer
  • How to go about job search in Denmark – both student job, internship and full-time job

Read more about AAU Career here

Student counsellors, Media Technology Copenhagen

Atle Søeborg Nyhus
Sofie Julsgaard Nielsen
Atle Søeborg Nyhus
Sofie Julsgaard Nielsen

You can contact your student counsellors by:

Opening hours: Wednesdays, 12-13

Who is in charge of the organisation of this Master program?

The Service Design Lab is a research group comprising researchers, professors, PhD students and Postdocs. Visit the Service Design Lab website to learn more about the people behind the master as well as the projects they are involved with outside the education.

As a student at AAU you meet …