Professional Certificate in Service Design - AD431PC

This six-week blended programme co-created with Design Skillnet introduces learners to the fundamental principles of service design. This Professional Certificate in Service Design will be delivered across 6 weeks (17th April - 22nd May), at a rate of 5 credits. This course will require 6 x 3-hour weekly sessions, held on Wednesday mornings starting on April 17th until May 22nd.

Service Design is a new and rapidly expanding discipline. This module aims to improve awareness of the issues that determine the usability of a designed service through the lenses of People, Data and Systems. Learners will analyse how Service Design has evolved, and establish where the current ‘state of the art’ lies in relation to their own area of interest within the discipline. They will be introduced to the fundamental principles and processes of the discipline, including Human Centred Design, enabling them to integrate Service Design practices in their own work outside the course. Industry speakers will address topics and challenges faced by service design practitioners in the real world, such as integrating Service Design within organisations, operating within constraints, and identifying cutting edge approaches and opportunities within Service Design.

Service designers craft solutions for intricate systemic and societal challenges, crafting experiences tailored to meet the diverse needs of multiple users and stakeholders. 

Our Professional Certificate equips students with the core principles of Service Design, offering both theoretical insights and practical experience with service design methodologies and tools.


  • Introduce fundamental principles, methods, skills, and theories of service design
  • Cover key aspects of professional practice, including historical, theoretical, cultural, and professional contexts
  • Present various design methodologies and techniques for professional development, presentation, and documentation

The programme seeks to empower students from fields such as design, business, sociology, systems thinking, education, banking, technology and the public sector to shape the services of the future through design thinking and doing.

6 weeks, 50% online and 50% in person

The programme will be delivered in a blended format – this is to afford the student cohort the convenience of online learning, and the opportunity to also connect and collaborate together in-person.  Classes are on campus every 2 to 3 weeks. 

Educational Standard

All applicants are expected to present an approved Bachelor degree at minimum level of 2nd class honours (2.2)

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed. 

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer. Please note that those currently completing their Undergraduate Degree are not eligible for Design Skillnet funding. 

Applicants who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the Academic Version) or an equivalent score in another accepted test.

  • As part of your application, you will be asked to upload the following supporting documentation:
  • A statement framing your reasons for applying to the programme, i.e. how attending the above selected course will benefit you and your practice  (500 words) 
  • A recent CV
  • Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed
  • Certified copies of degree / certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.
  • English Language Proficiency certificate. This is only required if English is not your first language. You can see the full list of the English Language Qualifications NCAD recognises 

at this link

Who Should Apply

  • Recent BA graduate
  • Early career practitioner 
  • Early-mid career professional with background or interest in design 
  • Mature, experienced independent practitioner, for opportunity for development.
  • Practitioner looking for a new direction.
  • Mid-career professional (non practitioner) working in project management, business transformation etc, interested in a social impact that design can have

NCAD Service Design graduates have gone on to secure positions within the public and private sectors in the fields of consultancy, healthcare, innovation, and information technology. Graduates are well placed to take up employment in the following roles: Service Design, UX, Experience Design, CX and Strategic Design.

The programme actively facilitates mobility within the college and across Creative Futures Academy and provides articulation into a variety of postgraduate programmes and career pathways.

Jennifer Groarke

Jennifer Groarke works as a lecturer in both Interaction and Product Design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

“I am interested in people, technology and design! Throughout my career I have designed a number of products from tables and lamps, to websites, mobile apps and chatbots!”

Joanna Crawley

Joanna Crawley will answer any questions relating to your application.

Visiting industry speakers will include: 

Anne Dhir, Lead Creative Strategist, Sparck

Aidan O’Boyle, Principle Service Designer, Genomics England





Applications are open until Friday the 12th of April. 

CFA and Design Skillnet Collaboration:

This Certificate has been co-created in partnership between Design Skillnet and CFA@NCAD. Co-funding of 34% of the programme fee (€205)* is available via Design Skillnet to successful, eligible applicants*.

*To be eligible for this co-funding you must be a current member of IDI, ICAD, IAPI or 100 Archive and be successful in your application to NCAD for a place on the programme.

Not a member? Email info@idi-design to find out how to join.

If you have graduated within the past 3 years you may be eligible for IDI graduate membership at the special graduate price of €30. Standard/Full (non-graduate) membership of IDI costs €197 per annum plus a one-off €50 application fee.

CFA Scholarship

A CFA scholarship encourages the participation of learners from sections of society that are significantly under-represented in higher education by offering one free place on all of our CFA short courses.

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