Space and Service Design

International Postgraduate in the design of services and service environments 

Location: Belgium - Mechelen -Campus Lucas Faydherbe

Designing for change

  • Are you ready to use your design skills to create products, services and communication systems that have impact?
  • Many of today’s social, cultural and economic challenges can be solved with future-proof, inclusive services.
  • Build on your BA or MA in design (industrial, product, graphic, etc.) or architecture with this fully accredited (60 ECTS) international postgraduate programme.
  • Use your own, personal vision to add sustainable value to public spaces and improve the accessibility and user experience of the clients of public services.
  • Learn and apply research-led, user-centred design methodologies to create solutions to real, socially oriented design challenges.
  • Expand your professional network with weekly Master Classes from industry experts and challenge yourself through collaborations with design agencies on real-life design projects.
  • Make tangible differences as a proactive and socially aware agent of change in your community.

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Nansi Van Geetsom
Nansi Van Geetsom
Course Leader, Senior Lecturer and Head of Space & Service Design Research
For all your questions about the Postgraduate in Space & Service Design.
Guy Foulon
Guy Foulon
Unit Manager
For all your questions about the ID&A department.
Admissions
Admissions
Contact our admissions team.
Mon - Fri: 9.00-15.00 (BXL Time)
Paulina
student
Got a question? Ask one of our students!

Eyecatchers

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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,...

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Real needs, real-life projects

We involve real clients and users throughout the entire design process, working on site to understand the context, needs and dreams. Each year offers new opportunities and new real clients: City of Mechelen, NGO Join For Water, residential care centre De Lisdodde, Regional Landscape Riverland, national agency Nature & Forest, Flanders DC, Museum Dr. Guislain,...

 

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Master classes with service design industry

We organize SSD master classes with design professionals, service organizations and social enterprises. With topics such as business model canvas, pitching, prototyping and testing, participatory design, new technologies, ... you learn directly from the experts in the field and expand your own professional network.

Programme

  • Structure
  • Targeted students
  • Courses
  • 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
  • Structure

    • 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.
  • Targeted students

    You have a design degree (BA or MA in interior design or interior architecture, architecture, product or industrial design, furniture design, graphic design, interaction design, … design, …) but ...

    • you are convinced that designers are not only responsible for the shape of spaces and objects but also for the experiences and well-being of all users in order to achieve true change.
    • you share the idea that the future-proof designer has a role to play in tackling contemporary social, cultural and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design.
    • you want to learn even more how to apply designers’ skills, methods and user-centred approaches 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 specific and real contexts such as Design for Learning, Design for Health, Design for Ageing, Design for Sustainable Development, Design for Hospitality, Design for Nature Preservation and much more.
    • you are looking for a specialization course which can empower and complement your current design competences.
  • Courses

    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.
    Semester12
    Space & Service Design i 12
    Future Proof Designer i 1.5 1.5
    SSD Master Classses i 3 3
    Design & Research i 3
    Space & Service Design Final project i 24
    Semester12
    Professional Experience i 12
    TOTAL: 60 credits
    i
    Electives semester 1
    Design communication, Survival Dutch, Chinese, French, Autocad i 3 or 6
    Semester12
    Space & Service Design i 12
    Future Proof Designer i 1.5 1.5
    SSD Master Classses i 3 3
    Design & Research i 3
    Space & Service Design Final project i 24
    Professional Experience i 12
    TOTAL: 60 credits
    i
    Electives semester 1
    Design communication, Survival Dutch, Chinese, French, Autocad i 3 or 6

    Timetable

    Check out an example timetable for phase 1.

  • Admission requirements

    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, ... .

    Additional conditions

    • 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*: €1900/60credits
    • 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 (nansi.vangeetsom@thomasmore.be) 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 guy.foulon@thomasmore.be.

    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.

  • Professional bonus

    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!

  • Personal coaching

    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.

  • Go International

    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.

  • Real-life clients

    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.

    Examples:

  • 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.

After Graduation

  • Additional Studies
  • Working in Belgium
  • Additional Studies

    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.

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