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Service Design masterclass

Use the principles and tools of service design to rethink the journey your customers take and transform your customer experience, delivered live online.

Key details


  • Course fee: £1,200


  • Online

    4 sessions over 2 weeks

    Week 1: Thursday 1 – Friday 2 February 2024

    Week 2: Monday 5 – Tuesday 6 February 2024

    9am – 12.30pm GMT per session

Services represent around 80 per cent of the economy. Service design applies human-centred design principles to make services that are sustainable and desirable for changing consumer needs. It delivers better customer experiences, successful innovation and business value. It can be applied to and transform services in all sectors ranging from retail and banking to transportation, health and education.

The Royal College of Art is a global pioneer in the teaching of MA-level service design and has successfully trained a new generation of practitioners who are delivering transformational ideas across business and government. Graduates have gone on to work for firms that include IDEO, Fjord, Engine, EY-Seren, Public Health England, Government Digital Services, Jaguar Land Rover, McKinsey.

In an age where product-based value is insufficient to satisfy customers, service design is a powerful discipline. This introductory executive masterclass will teach you the theory of service design and how to apply practical tools for effective service design.

This executive course is developed and led by Professor Clive Grinyer, Head of Service Design 2019-23.

Learn more:

Watch this IN SESSION talk with Clive Grinyer and Sir Geoff Mulgan here about sustainability, social innovation, policy and the role of creativity and design in building imaginative futures.

About the course

Module 1: Introduction to Service Design and its impact

  • Introduction to service design with examples of the impact of innovative services.
  • Overview of service design methodology and approach.
  • On-line service design tools – white boards, digital post-its and social media.

Module 2: Discovery

  • Setting a challenge – define a challenge and opportunity to bring service design to life.
  • Who are you designing for? Customers, employees and stakeholders.
  • Gaining user insight – human-centred research methods, service safaris, jobs to be done, and other experiential research methods. 
  • Customer journey mapping – understanding end-to-end experiences and the systems that create them, using ‘design thinking’ methodology and the double diamond framework.
  • Analysis of pain points – frame the brief.

Module 3: Definition and Design

  • Learn creative design techniques – co-creation, brainstorming and concept creation     
  • Visualising concepts and rapid prototyping – bringing concepts to life, storyboarding, sketching, role play and mock ups to visualise ideas and be ready to test with ourselves and end users.

Module 4: Concept Delivery and Measuring Success

  • Service blue-printing and delivering change across your organisation 
  • Experimentation, prototyping and piloting for deployment
  • System thinking and cultural change
  • Presentation of design concepts, delivery plan and metrics for success.

At the heart of our Service Design Masterclass is the opportunity to apply service design thinking to the challenges and opportunities of people taking part in the course. We want the learning to be as relevant as possible so that you can take inspiration and practical tools back to your workplace and share them with your colleagues. To do this we invite each participant to consider an opportunity and a challenge in their organisation that they would be willing to share with a team of people to solve. The course team then develops a set of group challenge briefs that capture the shared issues and topics for teams to work on, with the chance to refine the brief with your team at the start of the course.

Previous challenge briefs have covered sustainability, net zero, travel, the future of work, retail and the high street, transport experience and ageing.

Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described course as circumstances dictate.

The benefits to you and your organisation include:

  • access to global best practice in service design
  • learn empathic understanding of users/customers
  • return to your organisation with new techniques and strategies to put into practice
  • experience critical, creative and insightful thinking
  • interact and network with peers from different backgrounds and functions
  • a certificate of online attendance.

You will learn:

  • how to apply service design methodology and frameworks to create better customer experiences
  • real-world applications of service design and how it is transforming organisations
  • creative design techniques.

This interactive online course is divided into four sessions taken over a two-week period.

Learning will take place in sessions of three-and-a-half hours each.

You will learn through live lectures, interactive workshops and homework.

Participants are expected to work in small groups.

The course is organised in synchronous sessions in a live virtual environment that combines various digital platforms and tools.

Using the videoconferencing service Zoom, the RCA's esteemed academics and facilitators deliver a mix of:

  • live lectures
  • case studies
  • guided assessments
  • presentations

Participants interact with the faculty and peers in breakout rooms in real time.


Participants engage in cross-functional team work with the use of visual collaboration tools.

Through the online whiteboard platform Miro, participants get to:

  • interact with various formats and templates
  • plan and brainstorm ideas
  • create processes and workshop activities in the digital workspace.


The College's learning platform Moodle is personalised according to the course's requirements to provide participants with a secure integrated system where they can access the course content.

The hub hosts a range of useful resources to enable the learning experience, including comprehensive timetables, pre-reading materials, course slides, curated videos, tutorials and session recordings.


Participants stay connected and communicate via the channel-based messaging platform Slack throughout the whole duration of the course.

In this space, the academics, facilitators and delegates get to network, plan the course activities, share documents and files during the live sessions or offline.

Anyone interested in transforming their organisation through the application of service design, including:

  • service delivery teams wanting to improve customer experience
  • private and public sector executives and senior managers wanting to reframe and solve their issues and deliver opportunities
  • designers want to be more strategic and learn new tools
  • entrepreneurs who want to deliver their ideas
  • innovation teams who want to deliver effective innovation
  • customer experience and service commissioners wanting to deliver better services.

It would be helpful to:

  • have a basic understanding of human-centred design principles and design thinking
  • be comfortable with new digital tools.


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
Short Courses team photo 2023