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MSc Service Management and Design (SMD)


In today’s complex business environment, where so much of global GDP is now service related, service science is both an exciting and crucial area in which businesses must increase their expertise to stay ahead.

Our Masters degree in Service Management and Design is designed for graduates who are outward looking, forward thinking and interested in designing businesses for the future.

Fundamentally, the course will demystify what creates excellent service. You will learn the tools and techniques to confidently design the service systems needed to work well with your customer, and to ensure the best outcomes are achieved. You’ll learn to structure a service organisation and look at excellence in service from a variety of international sector perspectives.

Our Service Systems research group has been working alongside leading companies and organisations such as MOOG, IBM, Rolls-Royce, British Airways, and the NHS, to actively shape research and teaching in this area. In engineering companies for example, there has been a fundamental shift from product-centric to service-centric thinking, whereby in order to stay competitive, a key question in any business is ‘what is my customer trying to achieve?’

This course will review operationally how you go about using techniques to design service experience, lead change and drive business transformation. It will show you how you go about building reputation, relationships, and brand with your customer. It will help you make sense of big data, and the use of technology to effectively support service delivery.

Course modules

You'll be required to take the following modules as part of this MSc programme:

Elective modules
The following module is a default elective module, meaning that they will be scheduled for you in advance. If you prefer to change this for an alternative elective module (selected from the full module list), this can be done on arrival at Warwick.

You will then need to choose three elective modules from the full module list, which should be chosen to supplement your course modules above. Elective modules are subject to availability and restrictions apply.

Please note: the list relates to modules available in 2018/19 academic year, and should be regarded as an illustrative guide to modules available in future years.

You are required to pass nine modules in total for this MSc course.


Your project is worth 50% of your final grade and supports you in developing your personal research skills.

You are expected to devote an appropriate portion of your time and intellectual effort to the project during the course i.e. approximately 900 hours or 6 months study.

Learning style

The taught component of the course is a mixture of lectures, seminars, syndicate/group work, practicals, online learning and forum activities. Module leaders are experts in their fields and are supported by external speakers working in organisations at the forefront of their fields. Industrial visits are available to all students.

The taught component of the course is assessed primarily through written assignments, although some modules include assessed in-module exercises. There are no written exams.

Each module usually lasts one week. See here for more information about the course structure.

Entry requirements

In order to meet our academic entry requirement, you should have obtained the minimum of a UK second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a variety of disciplines.

SMD is designed for graduates who are outward looking, forward thinking and interested in designing businesses for the future. It is appropriate for students from all academic backgrounds, who have a broad perspective and understanding that interdisciplinary work is essential for effective service business.

English language

For non-native English speakers, we require an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any one component).

What you will need to apply
  • A completed application form and application fee
  • A Personal Statement, which can be included in the online application.
  • A scan of your transcript (marksheet). If you are still studying, send us your transcripts to date. NB: if you are made an offer, we will then require your original degree transcripts and certificate in hard copy format to clear your conditions.
  • English test result (if applicable) - this can be submitted after you have an offer.
  • One reference. If you completed studies less than 2 years ago, this should be an academic reference. If you graduated more than 2 years ago, we will accept professional references. We contact your referee directly, so please include their valid professional email address on your application form.

You can read more about the application process on our how to apply page.

What our students say...

Priyansh Saxena

SMD_student1"The most important thing is that the course is very much practically focused. It goes beyond academia and into the world of industry. You don’t just learn things, but find out how they’re applied to improve an organisation’s competitive edge. It’s exciting to know that the skills and knowledge you’re gaining are at the forefront of today’s thinking in business transformation". ~ Read more from Priyansh

SMD_student2Pei-Jung Lin

"As I worked through the year, something I noticed is how all of the different modules bind together to give a strong and broad basis of fundamental knowledge. What I learned in one module fed into others to build this understanding. The course is very cleverly designed" ~ Read more from Pei-Jung Lin

Julia Santamaria

SMD_student3"During each module we had guest speakers from industry who brought a valuable insight into how service development is evolving in the real world. They talked to us about how they resolved issues and we were able to ask questions and learn from their experience. The combination of modules was stimulating and gave me a well-rounded picture of how service management and development works in today’s business world". ~ Read more from Julia

Want to read more student views?

Find out what our current students think about studying at WMG Master's, by checking out our blogs and vlogs page. You can also read our alumni stories by taking a look at our alumni profiles page.

Employability and career prospects


SMD is aimed at future leaders and managers in service based industries and focuses on the transition from product-centric to service-centric thinking. It is particularly relevant for manufacturing companies, however is not sector specific and would be equally relevant for roles within the public sector.

Upon graduation, you could expect to work within operations management, business transformation, customer service or in a service support strategy role. Recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of industries including healthcare, finance, IT, travel, retail, education, hospitality, tourism, oil and gas and even the 'servitisation' of manufacturing companies looking to transition from product-centric to service-centric thinking.

A few recent job titles of graduates from this course include:
  • Loyalty Manager
  • Service Business Executive
  • Marketing Manager
  • Business Intelligence
  • Management Trainee
  • Technology Risk Analyst
  • Service Innovation and Standards Management Officer
  • PR and Marketing Officer
  • Consultant
  • Principle Partner
  • Restaurant Entrepreneur
  • Research Associate
  • Performance Acceleration Senior Analyst
  • Senior Master Planner
  • Fleet Business Manager
WMG: a department embedded in industry

You'll be studying in an environment surrounded by professionals from a range of industries and sectors; including hearing directly from industry experts and guest speakers in many of our modules.

Throughout the year, we also host activities and events that will help you to understand potential career pathways including; seminars; external speakers; industrial visits; alumni talks and more. We encourage our students to make the most of the opportunities available to learn about career options for the future.

Warwick Careers Service

The University of Warwick's Careers Service offers specific careers support to WMG students, through a dedicated Careers Advisor, Siobhan Qadir. The service provides practical workshops and 1-1 appointments for our students covering many aspects of career choice and development, including: how to build a strong CV and write job applications; effective career planning and guidance; and how to enhance your interview and networking skills.

Additionally, each year, employers have a presence on campus, with careers fairs, presentations and guest lectures happening on a regular basis; meaning you'll have lots of exposure to potential employers.


We hope that your relationship with WMG and the University of Warwick will continue long after your graduate. The university and the department both have vast alumni networks and, upon graduation, you'll be a member of this ever-growing community of professionals working in countries around the world. You'll have access to our alumni support; events; e-mentoring scheme; amongst many other opportunities.

You can read about more about the careers and experiences of our alumni on our alumni profiles web pages.

    Key Facts

    Start date 
    30th September 2019

    One year, full time

    Tuition fees
    Overseas: £25,870
    Home/EU: £14,115

    Scholarships available

    Apply online (£55 application fee)

    Entry requirements
    UK Bachelor's 2:2 (Hons) or equivalent

    English language requirements
    IELTS 6.5

    Application deadline
    31st July 2019*

    However, please note that early application for this course is strongly recommended.

    *Applications will close prior to this deadline if capacity on the course is reached.

    Course leader
    Mairi Macintyre