MA Service Design welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. Applicants may have an Honours degree in a field relevant to design or may have other, equivalent qualifications.
The course also welcomes students with good degrees from social science, business and other backgrounds, those who have previously worked in the industry, or those with relevant experience in non-traditional backgrounds, as well as those already within employment.
Your educational level may be demonstrated by:
- Honours degree (named above);
- Possession of equivalent qualifications;
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
- Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.
APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)
Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:
- Related academic or work experience
- The quality of the personal statement
- A strong academic or other professional reference
- OR a combination of these factors
Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four skills.
- If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.
The MA Service Design team is looking for open-minded applicants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds from across the world.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will decide on your suitability to join the course. They will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results), your personal statement, portfolio, major project proposal, and any previous work experience
Academic or professional references are not required for this course.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria:
- You understand the field of service design, or similar areas such as experience design or innovation.
- You are open-minded and motivated to explore service design at a high level, and enthusiastic for the subject.
- You are willing to work across disciplines and professional boundaries, and in mixed teams, to explore the future of the subject.
- You are ready to study at postgraduate level and to engage critically with your work and the work and research of others.
- You demonstrate skills in one or more of the following areas: design (any design field), research (in particular user research or other research with people), project management, innovation, social entrepreneurship, or other relevant field.
Personal Statement (300-500 words)
Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course.
You can use the following questions as a guide: What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally and personally? Why do you want to study MA Service Design? Why do you think you are a suitable candidate? What previous experiences could you describe, that would meet the Selection Criteria above?
Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score (if available).
Portfolio (Maximum 6 projects)
All applicants will be expected to submit a digital portfolio. This should include a maximum of six projects and supporting materials showing your process. These should be clearly annotated and organised.
If you are applying with work experience in design, you can include projects you worked on as part of your employment as well as speculative projects or student projects. Where relevant, please annotate the portfolio items with a description of your role within the project or team.
If you are applying directly from a BA course without experience of professional practice you must be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of design practice, supported by a good degree and portfolio work. Demonstrating some engagement with professional experiences, for example through internships, freelance work, voluntary work or participation in outside activities such as service jams, would be to your advantage.
For those applying from non-design backgrounds, your portfolio could include professional projects, or research based around a relevant topic, as well as any professional engagement with multidisciplinary projects. Where relevant, please annotate the portfolio items with a descriptions of your role within the project or research team.
Speculative projects related to service design or other relevant design fields are also great to include in the portfolio, including projects you may have initiated yourself, or worked on as part of a short courses or events (Global Service Jam, OpenIDEO, are good places to get some hands-on service design experience).
In all instances, enthusiasm for the subject is paramount.
Major Project Proposal (maximum 1000 words)
All applicants will be expected to outline a proposal for a possible Major Project in their application (you will not have to use this as your major project on the course, it is just an exercise).
The Major Project Proposal should describe your area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of your intended work and should include a rationale to show why this is a valuable service design project for you to undertake. The proposal should include an overview of the methodology, how you intend to go about producing the project, and an indication of what the outcomes could possibly be (but not a fully developed outcome).
We want to know that you are passionate about a project, able to identify a suitable project topic, and can put together a plan for how you would go about working on this project.
You can (but don’t have to) use the following headings for guidance:
- Project Summary
- Research Question (What do you want to find out)
- Research Background, Field of Study, Context
- Rationale (why is this a valuable project in this discipline)
- Project Stakeholders (who is affected by the project)
- Proposed Approaches, Methods and Methodologies (how you would carry out this project and why you think this is appropriate)
- Possible Outcomes of the Project (not a fully developed outcome, just an indication of what the outcome might be)
- References and Bibliography (only a few key ones)
If you require more advice on your application, please email the course leader or any of the lecturers.
For some students the material submitted in the application is enough for the course team to make a decision, without interviewing.
When the course team requires a more in-depth conversation, applicants are interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered.
- Interviews will take place in person at LCC for local students, or via Skype/telephone for those who live farther away.