Service Design Academy

short course • online

Practical service design

(Formerly known as Service Design for Innovation & Impact)

Who is it for?

The beauty of Service Design is that it’s for everyone.  It takes the tools and methods in a designer’s kit and makes them accessible. Service Design has stimulated huge change in industries that aren’t typically associated with creativity. The Service Design Academy has worked with leaders, teams and individuals in national & local government, finance, education, insurance, health care, charities, manufacturing, and many other sectors, empowering them to adopt a human centred perspective.

If you’re looking for a new approach to business challenges this course offers a hands-on, learn by doing insight into the process of service design. You’ll learn how it drives success and learn stories from innovative organisations who have used service design and design thinking to gain a competitive advantage in their industries.


This online and interactive course gives you tools and methods which can help tackle organisational problems and provides the skills to drive change. One day a week you will join other delegates in a learn-by-doing environment to learn and experience the service design process together.
graphic with light blue background

Workshop 1

Day one will begin with a solid introduction to the Service Design approach and mindset. We will cover Principles of Good Services and participants will consider them in the context of current service delivery.

The design challenge will be presented to the group and themes will be created from a knowledge capture and affinity mapping activity. Teams will be formed from these themes. After an introduction to user research each team will create a user research plan and have an opportunity to practice open user interviews before going away to complete a ‘gap task’ before day two.

Gap Task: Each team will complete a short gap task which will be based on their team user research plan. Each person is expected to do a small piece of research taking between 30-40mins to bring back to day two.

Workshop 2

The teams will reconnect sharing the data that they have captured in the ‘gap task’.

Service design tools will be utilised to make sense of the data that has been captured and understand the theme further.

Workshop 3

After identifying themes/problems from their research data all the information gathered by each team will be formed into opportunity statements.

These opportunity statements will feed into ideation where the teams will generate multiple ideas to solve their identified problems.

Workshop 4

Day four will begin with an introduction to Prototyping; it’s uses in the design process and examples of methods that can be used.

Each team will prototype their chosen ideas and gather critical feedback to iterate/improve on them.

Workshop 5

In the Deliver phase on day five we will begin to explore how each of the team’s final ideas could be delivered and implemented.

Teams will use service design tools and methods that can support them to share service stories which can enable buy-in for new projects, ideas and the service design process.


Knowledge capture, Affinity mapping, Open user interviews, Observations, Design walkabout, Empathy mapping, Personas, Journey mapping, Desktop research, Problem framing, Opportunity statement, Ideation tools, Prototyping, Critical feedback, Service Blueprinting, Value proposition, Storytelling

You’ll leave with SDA’s unique Service Design Toolkit.

How will I benefit?

You will walk away with skills and confidence in service design. The ‘learn by doing’ approach will equip you with the ability to:

The Details

5 weekly online sessions – 6 hours each

10:00 – 16:00 GMT

Next Courses

5 June – 3 July 2024

24 October – 21 November 2024

Anywhere! Online course via Microsoft Teams and Miro

A 45 minute Miro session is offered for anyone who needs to learn the basics



Within 14 days of completing this form, you will receive an email from Dundee & Angus College with a link to complete your registration.

A quote from a delegate from the 5 day course
girl in black t-shirt
A quote from a delegate from the 5 day course
woman with glasses


I want to book multiple places/pay by Invoice

Please contact us and we can arrange this for you.

If you’re booking a lot of spaces, you may want to talk to us about tailoring a course especially for your business.


SME’s and Levy Payers in Scotland can apply for funding for Service Design training through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund at Dundee & Angus College. Successful SME’s get £5,000 and Levy Payers have £15,000 to spend. To apply, contact the Business Partnerships team, email business@dundeeandangus.ac.uk or phone 01382 834874 

ITA Funding is available for this course

ITA funding is available to those who are over 16 and earn less than £22,000 per annum to allow them to access learning. If you have not already applied for ITA funding and for more information regarding ITA funding please go to MyWorldOfWork.

Will I be charged VAT?

As a provider of education, we do not charge, and you do not pay VAT for training with the Service Design Academy.

How do SDA Online Courses work?

Equipment: You need a computer with fast and reliable connection to the internet, webcam and a microphone and speakers or a headset.

Tools: access is easy and universal using industry-standard and web-based tools. We use Zoom with a secure educators account, exercises take place on Miro. Both tools are available through Chrome browser and we recommend using Chrome for the best experience.

Teaching: this is a live course, taught in real-time. It is not a self-paced, online tutorial but a highly interactive and fast paced course delivered by experts in the field of service design.


The Service Design Academy is the only organisation in the world accredited by the Service Design Network which means our courses are accredited by them and our Consultants are accredited to Master or Practitioner level. Your course certificate is accredited by SDA and the Service Design Network, a driver of global growth, development and innovation within the practice of service design.

Is the course taught in different languages?

All courses are taught in English and we recommend you have good basic English skills to get the most out of your course.

How can I contact you?

Call us on +44 (0)1382 448868 or email info@sda.ac.uk to find out how we can help you.