Space and Service Design
International Postgraduate in the design of services and service environments
- Are you ready to create services, service environments, products and communication systems which have impact?
- Do you know we can solve many of today’s social, cultural and economic challenges with future-proof, inclusive services?
- Do you want to make tangible differences as a proactive and socially aware agent of change in your community?
- Do you want to design for real-life projects and co-create with real clients and real users?
- Do you want to transform your career or business aspirations to new heights via this one-year programme in service design within the Department of Interior, Design & Architecture?
... then ...
- We can use your personal vision to add sustainable value to public spaces and improve user experience of the clients of public services.
- We teach you to apply research-led design methodologies and to organize participatory workshops with real clients and users in order to create good solutions together.
- You will be able to expand your professional network with weekly Master Classes from industry experts and challenge yourself through collaborations with design agencies and real-life design projects.
- You will build on your BA or MA in design (industrial, product, graphic, service etc.), architecture, UX-UI, management, social sciences, tourism,…, with this fully accredited (60 ECTS) international postgraduate programme.
Making the future sustainable
Space & service designers focus on making the future sustainable. Designers are key players in shaping solutions that support the UN sustainable development goals. You will work on emerging challenges such as sustainable food production and consumption, health and wellbeing, future cities, circular economy, design for inclusion,…
Master classes with service design industry
Our partners in education are Achilles Design, Archipelago, Bold Media, Gelotology, Inter Flanders, Knight Moves, Flanders DC, Peel, Switchrs, Ovam, Quest Studio, Real Space Agency, Studio Dott, The Green Eyl, iO, Namahn, Deepak Mehta, Createlli, LDV, Inter Flanders, RE-ST, Springbok, …
Real needs, real-life projects
We involve real clients and users, organize co-creation workshops and work on site to understand the context, needs and dreams. Some previous clients: City of Mechelen, Care Centre De Lisdodde, Regional Landscape Riverland, Nature & Forest, Museum Dr. Guislain, Province of Antwerp.
- Targeted students
- Admission requirements
- Financial information | Tuition fee
- Professional bonus
- Personal coaching
- Go International
- Real-life clients
- Designing for change, design with impact
- Add value to the labour market
Goals and structure | A service designer is a professional who designs the experience of users and employees by improving interactions between the users and the organization, they purchase or use products or services from. A space and service designer does not only design the services but also the spaces, objects and communication system that make the service system really work. And that is exactly what you can learn with us!
- First semester | Your first semester provides you with knowledge and skills in researching and designing services and experiences. The methodologies and tools presented support you in developing innovative design ideas and delivering relevant solutions to real-world design problems presented by our client-organisations.
You collaborate in international, multidisciplinary design teams and take up individual designer roles (the designer-researcher, designer-sustainability coordinator, designer-manager, designer-entrepreneur, designer-social media guru,…). As part of the team, you will apply and share your previous knowledge and interact directly with our clients and users. The SSD Master Classes bring in professional experts from creative industries that will share their knowledge, approaches and experiences.
- Second semester | The second semester offers the opportunity to focus on your own strengths by working on a challenging real-life project and take part in an (international) internship, taking a client project to production or contribute to a service design research project. You expand your professional network.
- Major Project | In the major project you will demonstrate your research skills and your ability to define the tangible and intangible context and needs related to the project. Your end work will be the creation of a relevant user-centred space and service design solution that you effectively document and present.
You have a degree (BA or MA in interior design or interior architecture, architecture, product or industrial design, furniture design, graphic design, interaction design, … design, …, social sciences, business, tourism,…) but ...
- you are convinced that we can not only design the shape of spaces and objects but also improve the experience and well-being of users.
- you share the idea that the future-proof designer can take up a role in tackling contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges, in contributing to achieve the UN Sustainable Development goals.
- you want to learn more on how to apply evidence-based and user-centred methods to improve spaces, objects, communication and services so they become more effective and closer to day-to-day lives.
- you want to exchange knowledge and skills and collaborate in a cross-disciplinary way in challenging design projects in real contexts such as Design for Learning, Design for Health, Design for Ageing, Design for Sustainable Development, Design for Hospitality, Design for Nature Preservation, Design for the circular economy, Design for inclusive societies, and much more.
- you are looking for a specialization course which can empower and complement your current (design) competences.
Below you can find an overview of the courses (under reservation of changes), with the number of credits per phase. Credits express how many hours you need on average to process the subject matter (incl. lessons). Count about 25 to 30 hours for 1 study credit.
- We have explained the most important courses in a blue tooltip.
Semester 1 2 Space & Service Design i 15 SSD Master Classses i 5 Future Proof Designer i 5 Design & Research i 5 Semester 1 2 Final project Space & Service Design i 15 Professional Experience i 10 Professional Development and Design Management Master Classes i 5 Semester 1 2 Space & Service Design i 15 SSD Master Classses i 5 Future Proof Designer i 5 Design & Research i 5 Final project Space & Service Design i 15 Professional Experience i 10 Professional Development and Design Management Master Classes i 5
Electives: Survival Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, German, Dutch | 3 or 6.
You can expand your programme with these electives, depending on your interest and course schedule.
Check out an example timetable for phase 1.
In addition to the general admission requirements for an English programme at Thomas More: Students who already obtained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Design or Architecture in Belgium, in other EEA-members and non EEA-members states can apply for the Postgraduate in Space & Service Design programme, for example:
- Ba/Ma Interior Design
- Ba/Ma Service Design
- Ba/Ma Interior Architecture
- Ba/Ma Environmental Design
- Ba/Ma Architecture/ Urban Planning...
- Ba/Ma Multimedia/Cross-media/Visual communication/Graphic Design/Digital Design...
- Ba/Ma Product Design / Industrial Design / Product development...
- Ba/ Banaba/ Ma Furniture Design
- Ba/Ma Design
- Ba/Ma UX/UI Design
- Ba/Ma Innovation Management ...
Besides students with a background in design or architecture we also welcome candidates with a different educational/professional background. If you have a strong interest or are already experienced in design thinking, design management, service design, social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, circular design, user-centered design, universal design, ... do not hesitate to sent in your application. For example: students with a Ba/Ma in Social Sciences, Business, Computer Sciences, Cultural Studies, ... .
- Digital portfolio
- Motivation letter (stating why you would like to join the postgraduate programme) which will be assessed by the study counselors committee.
- cv (resume)
The digital portfolio (or Instagram/website/blog) is illustrating your experience in design or architecture OR/AND any other materials that illustrate your previous experiences/skills/knowledge. The portfolio should contain at least 5 pieces of your work and is to be submitted in digital format. The portfolio should enable the study counselors committee to assess your current competences and potential for success in the program. Digital formats that are considered acceptable include .jpegs of images/work or .pdfs of compilations of work. Furthermore, the portfolio enables the study counselors to compose a balanced, multidisciplinary, motivated class group.
In addition to the portfolio/cv/motivation assessment, the study counsellors committee can request an extra (Skype) interview.
Financial information | Tuition fee
- EEA with scholarship*: €1900 / 60 credits
- EEA without scholarship €2900 / 60 credits
*If you are a Belgian student interested in the Space & Service Design Programme but are not sure if you'll receive a Thomas More scholarship, reach out to Nansi Van Geetsom (email@example.com) ASAP to confirm your tuition fee. EEA nationals are also strongly encouraged to reach out regarding scholarship opportunities.
- NON EEA without scholarship*: €3800 / 60 credits
*The Interior, Design & Architecture department offers an ID&A assistant job of 20 days (8 hours)/year (=+- € 1900) to two postgraduate students in Space & Service Design. Only students who are residents of a VLIRUOS-country are eligible for this offer. Apply with a convincing motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the year, postgraduates in Space & Service design visit clients and design agencies in Flanders in the light of the Master Classes or real-life projects. We aim at travelling in a sustainable and cost-efficient way. Furthermore, design students usually purchase materials for making models, print posters, .... We stimulate sustainable purchasing.
More information about tuition fees, study & livings costs, laptops & software.
- Blocked account
Thomas More requires a blocked account procedure to prove your financial solvency when applying for (the extension of) a student visa (sufficient means of subsistence). You make an advance payment of your monthly living expenses (13 months for FALL semester, 8 months for SPRING semester) into a blocked account managed by Thomas More. When you arrive in Belgium you open a Belgian bank account in your name into which you receive monthly payments during your studies. You will receive a double payment (€1700) the first month to cover all extra costs such as rent deposit etc.. At the end of the academic year you are fully reimbursed, apart from €250 administrative fee. The minimum amount to cover your living expenses is €850 per month and is set by the Belgian government.
- Blocked account Fall 23/24: €850 x 13 months + 250€ administrative fee = €11300
You will receive detailed information on the procedure as soon as your application has been approved. Be aware that the monthly amount is set by the Belgian Government and is subject to change at any given time. If any changes should occur we will notify our students.
Sponsorship (annexe 32) is only allowed if the sponsor is a first degree relative (proven by birth certificate).
Should your visa be refused, the blocked account will be fully refunded (€-250 administrative fee 23/24) onto the account where the money originally was transferred from.
Postgraduate programmes aim to build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in a bachelor's or a master's degree programme. A postgraduate largely focuses on developing your professional skills in a way that can be immediately useful in a work environment, while simultaneously helping you develop your professional network. A postgraduate programme is a specialisation for students who already have a degree in design or architecture (bachelor's and master's).
Why do a postgraduate? A postgraduate from Thomas More will give your CV and portfolio added value on the labour market, transforming you into a future-proof designer!
Throughout the design process, student teams are coached by a team of design professionals, lecturers and researchers. They collaborate with stakeholders, users and experts from the project field through desk research and first-person participatory, co-creation or feedback research sessions.
Postgraduate students are further supported by ID&A services such as Whats’on (the Design Learning Centre and Fab-Lab) and the ID&A Workshop Facilities (wood/metal/plastic workshop) and by Thomas More’ s Admissions and International support service.
Fostering international and intercultural collaboration is vital for a society-oriented design course. Besides welcoming Belgian students, we welcome international students with their specific design knowledge and specific cultural background that creates a dynamic international class-setting.
Student learning is facilitated through a range of workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials by both national and international professionals and experts which allows for the exchange with other service design schools and networks.
Over the past decade the ID&A unit has collaborated with various professional, national and international design firms looking for talented interns. Continuing this tradition, in the second semester, postgraduate students work within a professional design context through an (international) internship or service project.
Our programme is demand-driven. Each year offers new opportunities and new real clients: City of Leuven, NGO Join For Water, House of Entrepreneurs Mechelen, elderly care De Lisdodde, Regional Landscape Riverland, national agency Nature & Forest, Flanders DC, Samenlevingsopbouw vzw, Ekisande vzw, several public services and NGOs.
- Take a look at the projects for Circular Economy
- Take a look at the projects for Join For Water
- Take a look at the project we realized for Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent.
- Take a look at the elderly community in Stabroek (Antwerp) we designed new services and service locations for.
- Take a look on how we design for the Un Sustainable development goal: Design for sustainable societies, design for sustainable food production and consumption.
Designing for change, design with impact
Our postgraduates offer clients research-driven solutions: spaces, objects, communication and services that effectively change people’s day-to-day life. Our future-proof designers can play a significant role in tackling contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design. For the Mama Sabina Health Care Centre in Bwera Uganda, students converted an existing school building into inviting and vital spaces and service experiences. Supported by Ekisande, Medics Without Vacation, the TM nursery department and Aquafin, feasible and desirable solutions were designed. The project is executed.
Add value to the labour market
The postgraduate programme is a specialisation course which aims at widening or deepening existing design competences with service design knowledge and skills in a cross-disciplinary educational setting. Professional experts share their insights about service design and design methodologies and approaches in our SSD Master Classes.
Our partners in education also offer internships, site visits, guest lectures and workshops in design agencies and service organizations. With this you are not only focussing on developing professional skills but also on expanding your personal network. The acquired knowledge can be used immediately in a working environment.
- Additional Studies
- Working in Belgium
Once you have completed your postgraduate, there is the opportunity to extend this to a Master’s of Design in Service & Experience Design.
Space and Service Design graduates can enrol in a short-track master's programme in English at our partner university Jiangnan University in China.
Working in Belgium
After graduation, you have the skills as a service designer to identify and satisfy unmet needs in a wide range of sectors — such as health care, education, hospitality, culture and retail. From roles in service organizations in the private and public sectors, to multidisicplinary design agencies.
Launch your career as a professional:
- service designer
- user experience (UX-) designer
- design researcher
- project manager
- public service architect
- public space architect
- customer experience designer
- retail designer
- interaction designer
- sustainability coordinator
- design facilitator
- change coach
- workshop facilitator
- service design consultant
- consumer expert
- digital service designer
International students who have studied in the programme are now able to apply for a new residence permit so that they can extend their stay for up to a year in order to find work and launch their career here in Europe.