Specializing Master in Service Design

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Specializing Master in Service Design
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Master universitario
Ufficiale / Omologato
In aula e on line
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The training course dedicated to the design of innovative and effective services and experiences in accordance with the transformations of business models.

The Specializing Master delivers an English teaching programme on service design employing a practical and learning-by-doing approach, based on lectures that underline the design discipline, and on applied and cutting-edge contents. Students will acquire the fundamental competencies to understand people's needs and behaviors, interpret changes within contemporary society, and design effective and efficient solutions, processes, and experiences.
The Master is supported by outstanding partners belonging both to the public and the private sector.

The last few years have challenged the world as never before, making us touch with our own hands what we previously had the chance to experience only through sci-fi movies; and disrupting, all of a sudden, our values, our habits, our vision of the future. But such turmoil has also proved that rapid, and sometimes even radical, innovation is possible, for both individuals and organizations. New standards of service are quickly taking over, paying attention to serious global-level problems, with more and more emphasis put on impacts they could generate on the planet in the long term.
In the wake of the acknowledgment received in the last decade, service design is going to be confirmed as the crucial discipline of our times, thanks to an approach that has improved and evolved following the challenges and the needs of the economy and the society. From design thinking to critical design, from a systemic to an ecosystemic perspective, from a human-centered point of view to behavioral transformation, a new service design era is arising, exploring new complexities and embedding into theory and practice further cross-disciplinary contaminations.
Created ten years ago in response to the growing demand for professionals capable of handling the complexity of services, the Specializing Master in Service Design by POLI.design – Politecnico di Milano is maintaining the pace with the evolution of the discipline.
Following the changes that invest in business and the society, the Master program, since its birth, is endowed with the mission of training professionals in the fascinating process of conceiving, developing, and delivering a service, fostering at the same time innovation culture, creative thinking, and cultural exchange.

Didactic Plan
The Specializing Master programme grants 60 CFU (Formative University Credits) equivalent to 60 ECTS.

The capability to manage complexity and act upon different design levels, and the capacity for creativity and vision are the main features of a service design professional.

These skills will be acquired through a highly experimental approach based on learning modules divided into lectures and design activities – called Service Design Pills, Service Masterclasses, Service Design Workshops – each one led by a different faculty member and focusing on a different topic.

Extracurricular activities

Service Design Tools
The Service Design Tools is an on-going project bridging academic research and professional practices. It's an open collection of tools and tutorials that helps dealing with complex design challenges. Founded in 2009 by Roberta Tassi, since 2020 started an increasing involvement and participation of POLI.design (in collaboration with the Master in Service Design and the Service Innovation Academy of POLI.design – Politecnico di Milano) to further develop the platform and evolve the project, with additional content and initiatives.
The students of the Master can actively contribute to the service design tools collection by finding interesting case studies and proposing them to the platform, to support and bring new points of view on the existing collection.



The didactic path is composed by different kinds of learning modules:
– Lectures: theoretical lessons aimed at providing the disciplinary background and introducing extra-disciplinary knowledge;
– Service Design Pills: short design sessions aimed at putting into practice methods and tools on a simulated design challenge;
– Service Design Masterclasses: advanced lectures provided by renown experts on cutting-edge topics emerging in the service design community;
– Service Design Workshops: biweekly design labs that cover all the phases of the service design process, from research to prototyping, experimenting on a real brief proposed by a partner company;
– Internship: 475 hours of training experience in a partner company or other companies suggested by participants.


The Specializing Master invites applications from candidates with a degree, master's degree, or university-level diploma in design, architecture or engineering. Candidates may also be specialized in non-polytechnic disciplines for whom polytechnic skills can significantly enhance their prior professional training.
Selection is based on assessment of the candidate's skills, aptitude, and experience, as well as his/her goals and expectations toward the programme. The assessment is made by the Master Board on the basis of the candidate's:
  • academic records;
  • professional curriculum;
  • online interview.
Significant professional experience is also considered as a criterion for admission.
With regard to aptitude, the programme prioritizes highly-motivated candidates with creative and relational skills, curiosity, critical awareness, and a pragmatic mentality.
Conditional admission to the programme may be granted to:
  • students enrolled at Italian universities whose final degree examination is scheduled for a date subsequent to the beginning of the Specializing Master;
  • students with foreign degrees whose validation is not yet complete.
Admission to the Specializing Master may also be granted to students possessing Italian university diplomas or three-year degrees (awarded under the previous university regulations) or qualifications acquired in foreign countries, provided that they are accredited, submitted in the original format, translated, and certified by the Italian consular authorities in the country in which they have been awarded, and accompanied by a declaration of legal validity.

Lingue in cui è impartito



Duration 22 jan. 2024 - 31 jan. 2025


Training objectives
The Master in Service Design is an international training programme focused on a user-centred approach, and the development of service ideas from contextual research to prototyping.

Thanks to a proven and sound methodology that mixes theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences that are renovated every year, and that are enriched by always new lectures on topics at the forefront, each Master edition awards a new generation of designers that soon go feeding the ranks of renown design agencies, consultancies, companies, as well as public organizations and research centers.
Extracurricular activities

In order to strengthen the student's abilities, the Master program relies on an educational model that merges the acquisition of broad and multifaceted methodological knowledge and a learning-by-doing approach through:
multidisciplinary modules,
experimental projects with real companies coordinated by international academics and professional,
service prototyping.
The objectives of the Specializing Master are:
to provide the specific training required to refine the design skills of students who have already acquired experience in the design sector;
to enhance the basic skills of students with a background in other disciplines by furnishing them with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in service design;
to furnish the means necessary to enhance the professional experience of students already in employment.

Titolo ottenuto

Prospettive di lavoro

The Specializing Master in Service Design trains specialists in the design of services for firms and public sector organizations. The programme's overall objectives are to produce experts and consultants with a solid design culture, vision, and the ability to design, manage, and organize the conception and implementation of a service. It also aims to develop innovation and entrepreneurship. On conclusion of the programme, the participants will be able to: Devise systemic innovation models for services Deploy theoretical skills to operate with complex system Use specific service design tools and manage redesign Observe & Analyse user experience to construct a user-centred vision of complex interactions Manage service conception, design and development Foster entrepreneurship Numerous employment opportunities are available to graduates from the Specializing Master in Service Design.


The Specializing Master programme is taught by an outstanding Italian and international faculty, belonging to Italian and foreign universities, but also drawing on the expertise of design professionals and entrepreneurs working in Italy and abroad. It is supervised by an Advisory Board whose members represent Italian and international excellence in service design and innovation.

Luogo in cui si tiene il corso

A Milano
Specializing Master in Service Design
Campus e sedi: POLI.design
Via Don Giovanni Verità, 25 20158 Milano
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