Art - Service Design

What to expect
Our programme is designed to teach students the application of service design methods, tools, and thinking in real-world contexts. Through a series of live design projects, students will engage with complex economic, technological, political, and social issues, creating new service solutions that revolutionise everyday experiences.

One of the key strengths of our programme is the opportunity for students to learn from and be mentored by industry experts from across the public and private sectors. Our guest lecturers include designers from leading companies such as Snook, BNP Paribas, Verizon Connect, Fjord, Optum, Pfizer, Scottish Government, Novartis and many more.

You will develop a deep understanding of the Service Design process, from research and ideation to prototyping and implementation. You will learn how to apply design thinking to identify and solve complex problems, and how to communicate your solutions effectively to stakeholders.

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of industries and sectors, from healthcare and finance to transportation and education. They are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a real impact in their chosen fields and to drive positive change through service design.

If you are passionate about Service Design and want to take your skills to the next level, then look no further! We look forward to welcoming you to our community of talented and motivated designers.

Opportunities to engage
The part-time MA provides the opportunity for students to engage in an inter-disciplinary educational experience, working alongside postgraduate students from across the School of Design. We encourage our students to explore contemporary themes that connect all the design disciplines. Building on the knowledge and skills developed at undergraduate level and professional practice, students encounter new contexts in which to develop their skillsets and deepen their knowledge of design through a range of interdisciplinary projects, before undertaking a major project within their chosen design discipline.

A number of modules has been design specifically with the collaborations in mind,:

The Design Studio Major Project consists of a live studio project undertaken with a project partner. Following sign-off on the Major Project Proposal at the end of Year 1, students will complete a research phase, extract meaningful insights, create and visualise concepts, and develop & test service solutions.
During the one week breakout What’s the Mater? project students will be divided into teams and tasked with a live project brief from the Mater Hospital. Responses to the allocated brief must be grounded in human-centred research and insights.
In the Design Capstone module Learners will undertake a project with an external partner and reflect back on their experience.
For the Collaborative Design Studio module learners undertake a live industry project working with stakeholders to devise, prototype and text service design concepts and solutions in ‘the wild’

Work related project-based learning
MA students will have the opportunity to pursue a project of their choice for the Major Project in Trimester 6. This project could be related to a service design opportunity in a student's current place of work, a personal interest, or as a response to a brief negotiated with a mentor/project partner

Indicative Timetable
The MA is delivered in a blended format - this is to afford the student cohort the convenience of online learning, and the opportunity to also connect and collaborate together in-person.

The 24 month PT MA will require one day a week contact (one in-person day in NCAD per month, the other sessions are on-line). Trimester 1 Year 2 will contain one week-long in-person design sprint.

Entry requirements

Minmum Academic Qualifcation
All applicants are expected to present an approved Bachelor degree at minimum level of 2nd class honours (2.2)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed.

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer.

Checklist of Supporting Documents
A Statement of Interest - 500 words framing your reasons for applying to the programme. Please indicate a subject/discipline area that you believe can best advance your practice.

A recent CV

Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)*

Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

Some referees prefer to submit the reference directly to the college. If this is the case, please instruct your referee to email a standard reference to

Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee.

Portfolio/Evidence of previous work

This may not necessarily be design work but must demonstrate experience in a relevant field eg. customer service, service design, innovation, service industry eg. food service/tourism/public sector/healthcare/banking

For example: a 1 or 2 page case study outlining a project or approach you have undertaken in work, college or a personal project. Please describe any research undertaken, key insights/opportunities identified, and solutions/improvements created if applicable. A combination of either writing, images or diagrams/mapping is appropriate.

English Language Requirements
All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link

Application dates

Applications now open.

The priority deadline for receipt of applications to postgraduate programmes starting in Sept. 2024 is Friday 31st March 2024. Applications made by 31st March are guaranteed to be reviewed by NCAD. If you apply after this date, we may not be in a position to review your application.

There is an application fee of €55


90 ECTS credits / Taught Masters


1 year.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: Programme commences in September 2024.

Post Course Info

We encourage our students to experiment and take risks in order to carve new understandings of design and make technical innovations within, and across Service Design. Graduates have gone on to secure positions in the fields of Service Design, UX, Experience Design, CX and Strategic Design.

In challenging the purpose, methods and ambitions of contemporary service design practice and research, students will identify opportunities and develop their own creative careers.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider