Service Systems Design

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 14.6 k / Year(s) Deadline: Apr 1, 2025
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:5443 Duration:24 months

Photos of university / #aaustudieliv

At Service Systems Design you will learn about planning and organisation of people, infrastructure, communication, media and components of a service, in order to improve its quality, the interaction between service provider and customers and the customers experience

In the private sector, service design is increasingly considered an important competitive factor in existing services and a support to the introduction of new services. Service design consultants are often required in the sectors of travel, healthcare, information services, bank and financial services and retail services. Also the public sector has recently emphasized the importance of service design in creating new citizens services and increasing the quality of existing public services. Service designers are increasingly requested by public authorities to reorganize healthcare services, tourist services, traffic and parking services, and public administration.

Notwithstanding the emerging demand there are no specific education programmes for this professional profile. The Master's programme in Service Systems Design is the first programme that specifically addresses the demand for this professional competence. For this reason, several companies and public organisations have expressed an interest in this new programme.

The master's programme in Service Systems Design consists of four semesters, a total of two years (120 ECTS). The following pages describe the programme content in order for you to gain an overview. Each semester consists of a project and courses, except for the 4th semester which is dedicated to working on your master’s thesis. Some courses are mandatory, others are elective.

In the following, you may read descriptions of each semester.

1st semester; the system around the product

In your 1st semester project, you and your fellow students will conduct an analysis of a product or service, focusing on the interaction aspects between users and the service, human and technology as well as machine to machine. The project work will introduce you to time and interaction related issues in service cases, and you will learn how to apply appropriate methods and tools to organise sequences of events and interactions in service solutions that take into consideration people’s cultural and behavioural backgrounds.

User experience design for multi-modal interaction

This course trains you to research, analyse, prototype and conceptualise design considering all system aspects including the social and cultural contexts of use. You will gain comprehensive knowledge about user involvement in the design process, going beyond traditional methods such as usability lab testing. The course introduces you to the application of multi-modal methods and interaction design within contemporary fields such as surface computing, pervasive computing, social and mobile computing, and/or mundane computing.

Designing product service systems

You will be introduced to service design and gain knowledge and methodological tools to analyse existing services and to develop new services. The course will provide you with an overview of analytical methods to understand and integrate users’ needs, design methods to control and organise time and interaction-based elements of a services and representation techniques that can be used to communicate with the various actors involved in a service system.


There are two elective courses on the 1st semester, and you may choose one of them so that you have three courses in total.

Procedural programming

The objective of this course is to integrate existing knowledge about programming to an advanced level required to understand programming languages and, to a certain extent, to work with the most used applications in interaction design and digital devices used for service platforms.

Designing the value

The aim of this elective course is to give students an overview of design theories, tools and methods required in the pre-product development phase. This is indeed the phase in which products / services are defined at the conceptual level in relation to technical, esthetical, strategic and philosophical considerations.

2nd semester; design of a distributed product service system

On the 2nd semester, we take your learning a step further by adding hands-on experience on the design of a complex service on basis of a modular platform in which actors and competences are clearly identified, organisational and interaction aspects are planned and user participation is planned and supported. Through this project module, you will learn about the nature and structure of a distributed system, and you will become familiar with techniques that support the participation of actors with different backgrounds, skills and culture while integrating technical and human components on a service platform.

Distributed systems

This course supports the project work by introducing you to the concept of distributed systems. This concept will be illustrated according to two main perspectives, referring to studies in Industrial Production and IT-systems development. The objective of the course is for you to develop an understanding of all the technical and non-technical elements needed to provide successful services and operate a service architecture.

User participation and social innovation

This course provides you with advanced knowledge and methods to interact with users and involve them in a process of co-design and participation. You will learn to use methods and techniques from different disciplinary contexts and adapt them in order to stimulate and support users’ participation and the interpretation of their needs, behaviour and attitudes in relation to their social and cultural context.

Designing the experience

Through this course module, you will learn how to use narrative, visual and multimodal techniques to communicate the nature and characteristics of a service and to support the users’ participation with knowledge about the most complex aspects of the service.

3rd semester; internship or theoretical project

As indicated by the semester title, you may choose to take an internship as part of your ECTS credits on the 3rd semester. You can go abroad or stay in Denmark – it is entirely up to you, and we will assist you in finding a company or an institution where you may take your internship.

Regarding internship, you may choose between two options. If you wish to attend the courses offered on the 3rd semester, you may do an internship of 20 ECTS. On the other hand, if you wish for your internship to take up the entire semester, you may choose to do an internship of 30 ECTS.

If you stay at AAU for your project work on the 3rd semester, you will also have to choose among two of the following electives:

System organisation and industrialisation of services

The purpose of this course is to provide you with strategic insights for the organisation of complex service systems based on modularisation, distribution of work and competences as well as economy of scale and scope.

Strategies and business in services

This course will give you advanced knowledge on theories and methodological tools to analyse and suggest appropriate and innovative business models for service companies. Focus is on theories of entrepreneurship with emphasis on innovative business models for product-service systems. In the course, theories and methodological tools will be applied to specific cases.

Other electives

You also have the opportunity to choose a course from another programme which may add to the profile you wish to obtain. At, you can take a browse through the programmes offered. If you choose this option of having an elective course from another programme, it must be approved by the Study Board of Media Technology.

4th semester; master's thesis

There are no courses offered on the 4th semester; this is entirely devoted to working on your master’s thesis. The work is carried out alone or in small groups.

Once you have finished your master’s thesis, you are Master of Science (MSc) in Service Systems Design.

Bachelor degrees from different disciplinary areas give access to the Master's programme in Service Systems Design, such as: Medialogy, Experience Design, Industrial Design, Global Business Informatics as well as bachelor programmes within IT-communication, digital media, software development and economics.Please make sure you send your application form and further documentation via post to the International Office by the required deadline. Furthermore please note the official language requirements for international students applying to Aalborg University are:IELTS (academic test): 6.5TOEFL (paper-based): 550TOEFL (computer-based): 230TOEFL (internet-based): 80Cambridge ESOL: C1 English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 80
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