Service Design Academy

The new Service Design Academy is the UK’s first comprehensive accredited training provider for service design. It is a partnership between Dundee & Angus College and Open Change and offers unique professionally focused qualifications in service design, delivered online by a world-class team.

We believe that Service Design has the power to transform public services and communities, to enable companies to deliver new levels of value to their customers, and innovators to unlock the potential of new technologies that create value for society. From social enterprise to new business ventures, from social innovation to creating new service models, the Service Designer will call on a wide range of skills. Service design is vital to our economy and to our public services in meeting the challenges facing us.

Professional Development Award

The Service Design Academy is initially offering a Professional Development Award (PDA) in Service Design. Backed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s world-renowned expertise in developing and quality-assuring qualifications, PDAs are principally designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base.

The PDA will equip practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to initiate and lead service design projects. Our training will help you:

  • feel equipped to apply service design methods and tools in your own professional domain
  • increase your creative confidence as a service designer
  • improve your career prospects as more employers are increasing their service design capacity
  • share experience with others in the field, as you network in the world of service design

Study units

User research
This unit enables learners to develop fundamental skills in user research, understanding the methods that enable us to identify the needs of service users. It provides an essential grounding in the skills and knowledge of user research, representing a foundation for user-centred service design.

Service design tools & methods
Learners will acquire an understanding and practice in using the key tools and methods of service design. They will develop the knowledge of how these methods can be applied at various stages in the service design process. The unit is relevant for those who wish to develop service design skills and explore how they can be applied across public and private sector services.

Developing an understanding of approaches to co-design, in which users become participants in the design process. Learners will acquire essential skills in developing the relationships, trust and creative confidence that successful co-design demands, and gain an understanding of relevant co-design methods.

Project module
Taking the form of a self-directed project, this unit can be workplace based and will apply the understanding and skills acquired to designing and prototyping an innovation within the learner’s workplace or within an organisation or group that they are familiar with. Learners will also develop skills in communicating service design outcomes using a range of media.

Unique training partnership

“It’s time we really put some thought into designing services around the interests of the people who use them. I’m really pleased that Dundee and Angus College is involved in the process, it’s a really fresh and exciting way to go about service redesign. We want all our services to be slick, quick and easy for our communities to access.” Grant Ritchie, Principal, Dundee and Angus College.

With 23,000 students and offering 1,000 courses from introductory level to degree and post graduate studies, Dundee & Angus College is one of Scotland’s largest and most innovative colleges. It is committed to using service design itself to make the experience of its students and staff the best it can be. This strategic commitment led the College to collaborate with Open Change, and this collaboration has evolved swiftly into the Service Design Academy.

Open Change brings our experience of directing a Masters course in Design for Services, delivering the only postgraduate study in service design specifically for social workers and health professionals, and providing the Change by Design programme for the Queen’s Young Leaders for the University of Cambridge.

What’s next?

The Academy is currently putting its programme together and two recent appointments will enable it to offer the PDA from this autumn. We have consulted widely, and used the insights gained to help shape this offer. We anticipate that the online PDA will be delivered alongside masterclasses and other events delivered at locations in the UK and elsewhere. The Academy is also working on tailored training packages for organisations. If you want to know more, then please leave your details here.