Service Design : Co-Design Unit

Course Content:

This unit is part of the Professional Development Award (PDA) in Service Design and is designed to introduce you to the principles and methods of co-design within service design. Co-design is about involving the users of a service in designing the improvements to the service, thus they become co-designers. Co-design changes the traditional design process, challenges professional roles, and provides users with a voice. Co-design enables participants to creatively solve problems.

This unit explores how co-design can be developed as an approach that involves service users collaboratively in the service design process. It introduces you to the key principles of creative thinking in teams, and provides some background on how co-design has transformed innovation and design in many sectors and industries. It equips you with key practical skills and knowledge in service prototyping and facilitation, which are both fundamental to engaging users in design processes.

As with other units in the group award framework, this one places an emphasis on practical engagement. It introduces you to the tools and methods and encourages you to explore their use in current practice. Reflection and evaluation of the co-design events you have participated and/or facilitated in is essential to the iterative approach that is prevalent throughout this unit. You will be supported and encouraged to share your insights and reflections with fellow learners in a collaborative way.

Study Options

There are two study options :

Blended Learning:

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

 Sept Cohort - 2019/20Jan Cohort - 2019/20
Co Design26 & 27 Nov 201931 Mar & 1 Apr 2020
  • The boot camps are delivered on site at Dundee & Angus College
  • The boot camps run from 9.30 am to 5.00 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


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

  • 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

The unit is relevant for those who wish to develop service design skills and explore how these can be applied across public and private sector services. It is particularly relevant to those already in a professional role with some responsibility for service delivery.

This course will suit non-designers working in service industries as well as professionals interested in creative problem-solving approaches. It is also relevant for those who wish to engage service users and communities in decision making through creative processes.

Future Prospects

The Service Design Academy offers a range of Introductory Level Courses in Service Design including a PDA (Professional Development Award) in Service Design.

Learners can complete four mandatory units (Tools & Methods, User Research, Co-Design and Project) to achieve the PDA in Service Design.

Entry Requirements

We do not recommend that you undertake this course without prior knowledge of Service Design Tools and Methods which can be obtained from the User Research and Tools and Methods bootcamp/unit(s).


The unit will be assessed through a portfolio of evidence which you will gather as you participate in the planning and facilitation of a co-design event and a short evaluation of the process, around 500 words


You will receive a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Certificate – Service Design : Co-Design

Nice to Know

  • This Unit comprises 8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • The Unit equate to 40 hours of study
  • Courses are in English
  • All times are UK time
  • We are offering the full award as individual unit to allow you flexibility around your studies, so that you can complete any particular unit in any order allowing you complete freedom to choose and complete units and when you want to. 

Course Fees

You can access fees and funding information here.

How to Sign Up                 

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