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PDA in Service Design

Course Content:

Service Design enables employers to improve existing services. It encourages the use of techniques such as prototyping to encourage creative thinking and thereby deliver new ideas and systems more effectively. Implementing service design processes will deliver an improved and ever-evolving customer experience. In this high-tech world, customers expect more and companies which consider customers the most and cater for their demands will win the market share. This award focusses heavily on designing for the customer experience. It takes learners through the tools and methods of service design to support research and collaboration with users, through to developing co-design projects which would create valuable improvement within the learner’s workplace.

Our courses are designed for you to learn how to design around your customers. Trying out proven tools on real-life challenges, you’ll develop practical skills you can apply tomorrow in your work place.  You’ll leave with the know-how and confidence to run service design projects and drive change in your workplace.

Learners must complete the four mandatory units to achieve the PDA in Service Design.

Service Design : Tools & Methods https://www.sqa.org.uk/files/hn/J18634.pdf

Service Design : User Research https://www.sqa.org.uk/files/hn/J18534.pdf

Service Design : Co-Design https://www.sqa.org.uk/files/hn/J18734.pdf

Service Design : Project https://www.sqa.org.uk/files/hn/J1BA34.pdf

Each Unit equates to 40 hours of study.

You will:

  • Develop a knowledge of the fundamental tools and methods used throughout the service design process and the ability to apply these in their own professional domain
  • Develop skills in user research by implementing methods to identify the needs of service users and undertaking a small-scale user research project
  • Explore how co-design can be developed as an approach that involves service users collaboratively in the service design process
  • Understand and apply the techniques of prototyping, increasing confidence in service design
  • Demonstrate an ability to design, plan and deliver a co-design project
  • Describe and explain how various user research and service design tools are selected and used in the project
  • Communicate and reflect on the project process and outcomes

Study Options:

There are two study options:

Blended Learning:

Study online and attend three, two-day, on-campus boot camps. The boot camps run on:

  January Cohort March Cohort
Service Design : Tools & Methods 15 & 16 January 19 & 20 March
User Research 19 & 20 February 23 & 24 April
Co-Design 26 & 27 March 28 & 29 May
  • The boot camps are delivered on site at Dundee & Angus College
  • The boot camps run from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, refreshments and lunch are provided
  • Attendance at the boot camp (14 hours) is included in the 40 hours’ nominal study to complete each Unit
  • You will receive a course workbook and access to an online resource including videos (with optional English subtitles)
  • You can join the Service Design Academy online community offering support from tutors and peers

Online:

Our online learning courses allow you to experience the Service Design Academy wherever you are in the world and include:

  • Options to meet with your tutor online at times to suit you both
  • Options to meet with your peers online
  • Access to an online workbook and resources including videos (with optional English subtitles)
  • Working to a live brief set and supported by your tutor
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • You can join the Service Design Academy online community offering support from tutors and peers.

Target Audience

This PDA is aimed at several client groups, particularly those already in employment who are looking at change and change management within their organisation, and those who are interested in performance improvement and enhancement with both public and private sectors. It is also aimed as a top-up to those graduates who have a qualification in a specialist subject, as service design methodology can be applied to any sector.

This course will suit non-designers working in service industries as well as professionals interested in creative problem-solving approaches. This is relevant for those who wish to engage service users and communities in decision making through creative processes, and is most appropriate for those who already work professionally with such groups.

Entry Requirements

Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the Academy. However, it is recommended that the candidate has a standard of communication skills in English equivalent to SCQF level 5.   Each learner will be assessed on an individual basis to ensure they have a realistic chance of achievement.

Future Prospects

There are currently no specific progression routes in Scotland for Service Design. However, the achievement of the PDA in Service Design should allow learners to develop in generic qualifications, for example, Management or Project Management or progress to further study in Business Process Management within Further or Higher Education.

The Service Design Academy intends to continue to develop further training programmes and qualifications, and there may be opportunities for more specialist progression to and from the PDA in Service Design at SCQF level 7.

 Assessment 

Service Design: User Research The evidence for this unit will be created under open-book conditions over an extended timescale. The learner will complete a small project and present the evidence of the process and the outcomes in a portfolio of work. The portfolio can be presented in many formats and include many file types.
Service Design: Tools and Methods The evidence for this unit will be created under open-book conditions over an extended timescale. The learner will collate a portfolio of evidence as they work through the unit. This can take a variety of formats such as written reports, evidence of participation in topical and organised discussion, creation of wikis, blogs, chat forums and screen captures.
Service Design: Co-Design The evidence for this unit will be created under open-book conditions over an extended timescale. The learner will create a portfolio presentation of work which details their participation in the planning and facilitation of a co-design event, including a short evaluation of the process detailing the outcomes of the event.
Service Design: Project The unit will take the form of a self-directed project, which can be workplace or community based. The learner will collate a portfolio of evidence as they work through the unit. The evidence for this unit will be created under open-book conditions over an extended timescale.

There are many opportunities for e-assessment in these awards, for example:

  • Collation of e- presentation portfolios according to a given brief
  • Collation of photographic and/or video content to support open book assessment
  • Tools for collaborative project management to evidence outcomes
  • Formative Quizzes
  • Use of blogs, to evidence outcomes

Certification

You will receive a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Certificate : PDA in Service Design

Nice to Know

  • The PDA in Service Design is made up of 4 SQA unit credits
  • It comprises 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • Each Unit equate to 40 hours of study
  • Courses are in English
  • All times are UK time

Benefits of the qualification in meeting employer needs (show this to your boss!)

Service Design enables employers to improve existing services. It encourages the use of techniques such as prototyping to encourage creative thinking and thereby deliver new ideas and systems more effectively. Implementing service design processes will deliver an improved and ever-evolving customer experience. In this high-tech world, customers expect more and companies which consider customers the most and cater for their demands will win the market share. This award focusses heavily on designing for the customer experience. It takes learners through the tools and methods of service design to support research and collaboration with users, through to developing co-design projects which would create valuable improvement within the learner’s workplace.

There is a growing demand for employees with a service design background. Companies are already beginning to invest more into staff training, making this PDA essential in providing learners with practice and the development of skills they require in order to make a difference.

Skills developed in this qualification that meet employer needs include:

  • Consideration, communication, and empathy with customers/users.
  • Research skills informing judgement on the best tools and methods to use in the analysis of a process.
  • Analytical skills helping to evaluate and discern best practice.
  • Prototyping skills aiding creativity and helping with walkthrough processes and ideas.
  • Presentation skills enabling exchange of ideas.
  • Collaborative creativity and problem solving skills.
  • Management skills in terms of a project and its associated data.

Working with others is a core part of this award and a good communicator is an asset to an employer, particularly when trying to improve the user experience.

Still not decided if this qualification is right for you?

This section will help you decide by explaining what the qualification is about, what you should know or be able to do before you start, what you will need to do during the qualification and opportunities for further learning and employment.

Throughout the world, organisations are recognising the value of service design in putting people at the heart of thoughtfully designed activities, processes and experiences. Whether used in public services, large businesses or new start-ups, service design adds value, improves collaboration and makes work more efficient, effective and fulfilling.

Service design has the power to transform services and communities, enabling organisations to deliver new levels of value to their users and clients. From social enterprises to new business ventures, from social innovation to creating new service models, the service designer will call on a wide range of skills.

In this Professional Development Award (PDA) in Service Design you will develop skills so that you:

  • Feel equipped to apply service design methods and tools to your own professional domain
  • Increase your creative confidence through service design
  • Improve your career prospects as more employers seek service design skills
  • Share experience with others in the field, as you network in the world of service design

This award is suitable for those already in employment or working for a charitable or public sector area where change could be implemented to improve services for users of those services. This award will provide you with the opportunity to learn how you can implement changes while keeping users at the heart. There are no prior qualifications needed for this award, but you should have a creative mind, an enthusiasm for problem solving and the ability to work with others and alone to complete assignments. You will also need access to the internet.

It would be beneficial for you to participate and collaborate with others also undertaking this award. During this award you will be asked to collate and present work you have completed in workshops or in your own workplace. Access to mobile technology to capture photographic images and video is essential.

Once you have learned about service design, you will then undertake a project of your own which is relevant to your workplace or an organisation familiar to you.

This award provides a sound foundation to the principles and practice of service design, which is a highly sought-after skill for many employers and may assist your chances of promotion in your workplace. The award can also lead on to future study in this area or related areas.

Course Fees

You can access fees and funding information here.

How to Sign Up 

 Dates for our next 2018/19 part-time and online cohorts:

7 January 2019 – 31 May 2019

11 March 2019 – 26 July 2019

Apply Now