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Entrance Year 2024

Programme Code 73035

The Master of Design (Smart Service Design) (SSD) is an interdisciplinary specialism focusing on designing at the intersection of business, technology, and human ingenuity to create meaningful service interventions for broader societal and business challenges. This specialism expands the scope of design beyond the current commercialised and compartmentalised professional practices by orienting it towards the socio-technical dimension of design, taking a critical, systemic and human-centred perspective within the context of service design.

The specialism is designed to nurture and develop students’ theoretical and practical knowledge of service design. SSD fosters the extension of students’ abilities by providing them with a deep understanding of the technological, commercial, societal and organisational contexts of service design, and it demonstrates the transformation of design opportunities into new and sustainable service experiences.

Application Timeline - Sep 2024 Entry

  • Review deadlines:
    Early Round: Nov 16, 2023
    Round 1: Jan 18, 2024
    Round 2: Mar 7, 2024
    Round 3: Apr 30, 2024
  • Programme application deadline: Apr 30, 2024


The aims of this specialism are:

  • to deepen the understanding of end-to-end service journeys and design service ecosystems across multiple services;
  • to identify how the centrality of users’ needs and the interests of different groups of stakeholders in the human-centred design process are complemented in businesses and organisations in the broader service industry, and to apply the same in practice;
  • to develop and apply service design to a range of business, societal and environmental challenges through studios, collaboration with stakeholders, partners and experts across multiple disciplines, and to use service design at strategic, operational and systems levels; and
  • to accelerate new service design practices and systems thinking methods to advance students’ development of the skill sets and practices required for service innovation.

Also: Employers of MDes Graduates


PolyU is the first university in Hong Kong to offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in service design education, a move made in response to the rapidly increasing global demands for service design. The focus of Smart Service Design (SSD) goes beyond user experience design, information design, product design or any other single output of design applications. Rather, SSD focuses on a broad design spectrum that integrates design, business, technology and human needs to create service solutions for tomorrow and to bring new value to the service industry and society at large.

Through advanced service design methodologies, SSD offers a unique interdisciplinary educational environment that meets diverse learning needs and provides students with opportunities to reshape their own design practices. Through lectures, studio learning, workshops and industry research projects, this specialism enables students to be involved in creating, transforming and evaluating service products and content in both digital and offline channels.

Our graduates are equipped with the necessary professional skills to meet the demands of careers in the service industry. They play various roles not only in conventional design-related professions, but also in management and strategy in various service sectors, such as consumer electronics, mobility, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, finance and public service.




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