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  • Business Design
Specializing Master / XII edition

Service Design

The training course in Service Design is dedicated to the design of innovative and effective services and experiences in accordance with the transformations of business models.

15.500 €
27 Jan. 2025 - 31 Jan. 2026
Available seats : 35
Reductions :  Agevolazioni
Download: "Nurturing Service Designers"!
Sparks of Innovation – Service Design Masterclasses


The Specializing Master delivers an English teaching programme on service design employing a practical and learning-by-doing approach, based on modules 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 – 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.


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. The Teachers of the current edition are listed in the brochure.

Master Board

Stefano Maffei Director
Beatrice Villari Co-Director
Raffaela Scognamiglio External Relations Manager
Bryan Sabin Didactic Coordinator


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Renae Elkassih

Marta Alves

Adriana Matiz

Background in International Relations, Innovation Consulting

I first discovered service design while trying to figure out why people wouldn’t use the digital marketplace I was working on. Once I realized the depth and power of the service design tools for creating and adding value to the user’s experiences, I quickly fell in love with the possibility of understanding better how service systems work and how we can improve them to deliver a better experience. Once I decided that this was the path I wanted to follow I encountered the Service Design Master at, which caught my attention because of the way the program was structured with enough flexibility to let me explore my own interests and a practical approach to the learning process. Up until now I can say that the experience has been worthy, I have seen myself grow by learning not only the theoretical and methodological aspects of service design, but also the way in which a team of service designers can approach issues and provide solutions in a quick and practical way.

Christina Sadek

Background in Marketing, Innovation, and Telecom

As a design thinker, innovation management practitioner, and seasoned marketing professional I’m passionate about bringing to market meaningful products, services, and experiences. With this aim in mind, I’m extremely happy with my decision to pursue the Service Design Specializing Masters at The course has provided me with a holistic view and formal understanding of service design principles and methods while enhancing my creative problem-solving skills and level of critical reflection in business, design, and life in general. The structure fosters a deep, collaborative approach to active learning, underpinned by integrated subject matter, each project building upon the existing knowledge and concepts of the previous one. I’ve particularly benefited from high caliber lecturers from various disciplines with contrasting styles and points of view, reflective of true work situations. As paradigms shift, I always seek new ways to engage clients in the cultural transitions that help them enact relevant change and deliver on the needs of both the consumer and the business. Having the skill-set of a service designer helps me do so by transforming both user and stakeholder relationships and experiences for the better.


3 December 2021

Service Design Masterclasses 2022

1 December 2021




Training objectives

The Specializing 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.

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 professionals,
  • user research, concept generation & development, 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.

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 Design Masterclasses, Service Design Workshops – each one led by a different faculty member and focusing on a different topic.

Didactic Modules

The Master is now starting its twelfth edition with a renewed program that includes more than thirty learning modules, clustered into the following categories:

  • Service Design Basics & Tools
  • Emerging Service Culture
  • Service Business & Management
  • Future Studies, Systems Thinking & Sustainable Design
  • Human-Centered Innovation & Participatory Futures
  • Emerging Technologies & Digital Services


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.

And the FIELD EXPERIENCE, which can be:

  • CURRICULAR INTERNSHIP: 475 hours of training experience in a partner company or other companies suggested by participants; or
  • PROFESSIONALIZING PROJECT: a scientific research activity that involves the in-depth study of issues shared between the Student and the Master Board.

Employment Opportunities

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.

Potential roles include:

  • service designer as a specialized consultant at a design agency;
  • service designer as a consultant or employee of public-sector organizations, research centres, enterprises and authorities;
  • service designer as a consultant or employee of private-sector organizations, research centres, companies and organizations;
  • service designer as a freelance or self-employed professional.



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.


To take part to the selection process, the application form must be completed online within the following deadlines:

  • EU/non-EU who graduated in Italy / EU citizens with qualification gained abroad within November 27, 2024,
  • Non-EU citizens who graduated abroad within October 27, 2024.


The cost of the Specializing Master is 15.500 € (15.000 € participation fee + 500 € registration fee at Politecnico di Milano). Exempt from VAT under Article 10 of DPR 633/72.


Send your application within April 30, 2024 to take advantage of the reduction -10%! Limited Places Available. Deadline for sending the signed contract and payment of the deposit of the participation fee: no later than May 15, 2024. offers the community of Politecnico di Milano a 50% discount to be applied to the participation fee for a I and II level Specializing Master or Higher Education Course / Post Graduate Program / Continuing Education Course which manages and provides. The discount is for internal staff (i.e., structured teachers and technical and administrative staff) with active contracts at Politecnico di Milano and members of their household.


To benefit from the discount you will need to:

  • send the selection application to the chosen course with the relevant required documents;
  • successfully pass the selections;
  • send a copy of the applicant’s family status.


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. The Teachers of the current edition are listed in the brochure.

Current edition

Master Board

Stefano Maffei Director
Beatrice Villari Co-Director
Raffaela Scognamiglio External Relations Manager
Bryan Sabin Didactic Coordinator


Current edition


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