Digital Service Design MSc

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

What is Digital Service Design? It’s the art of building customer experiences with a strong digital element. 

The MSc in Digital Service Design will give you the skills required to work in the digital service design industry, which is seeing major growth worldwide. 

Wilson Fletcher logo

The Department of Computer Science has developed the Master's in Digital Service Design in collaboration with Wilson Fletcher, a long-established, leading digital service design consultancy with offices in London's Shoreditch and Sydney's Surry Hills. It is part of a growing technological and creative community in Shoreditch, which is viewed as the new European hub for digital design.

The Master’s in Digital Service Design prepares students for careers in the digital service design sector, having a large practical emphasis and also by providing two work placements as part of the course. 

We are working with the following companies to ensure employability is the cornerstone of this course:

- Daily Mail Group
- Friday
- Furthermore
- Futureheads
- Marks & Spencer
- ORM London
- The Guardian
- The Telegraph
- Times Educational Supplement
- Tribal DDB
- Wilson Fletcher


On the MSc in Digital Service Design:

  • You will learn how to model the key aspects of digital service design requirements in an integrated manner to meet the needs of today’s industrial and commercial organisations
  • You will learn how digital service design methodologies play an important role in business development and will develop the professional skills you need to work in the industry
  • You will explore in depth the theory and practical applications of digital service design


Student Recruitment Coordinator
Department of Computer Science
Brunel University
Tel +44 (0)1895 265939
Fax +44 (0)1895 269728

Course Content

Digital Innovation

You will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to implement digital business models and technologies that help organisations to capitalise on business opportunities. 

Example topics include: 

  •  understanding and justifying change
  •  change management
  •  digital business models
  •  managing technology risks
  •  ethical issues in change

Systems Project Management

You will learn about the challenges of information systems project management. 

Example topics include:

  •  traditional project management techniques and approaches
  •  the relationship between projects and business strategy
  •  the role and assumptions underpinning traditional approaches
  •  the ways in which the state-of-the-art can be improved 

ICTs and Strategic Change

You will develop a critical awareness of the central issues and challenges in introducing information and communication technologies (ICTs) as part of strategic change programmes in organisations. 

Data Visualisation

You will learn how to present insight drawn from large heterogeneous data sets to decision makers in an effective visual format.

Example topics include: 

  •  understanding  human visual perception
  •  data visualisation methods and techniques
  •  dashboard and infographic design
  •  augmented reality
  •  visual storytelling and narrative development

Digital Design Methodologies

  • You will learn about the various digital methodologies and how to select the most appropriate method for any given project.

  • You will develop core design and communication skills, as well as the professional practices required to work effectively in multidisciplinary digital teams.

  • You will have a three week work placement with a digital design company in term one.

Digital Service Applications

  • You will learn how to apply the methods and further develop skills learned on the Digital Design Methodologies module within the context of real-world projects. This module will help you understand the type of role you would like to pursue in the digital service design industry.

  • You will have a three week work placement with a digital design company in term two.

Dissertation (including Research Methods)

Your dissertation is an opportunity to showcase your project management and subject skills to potential employers, and also serves as valuable experience and a solid building block if you wish to pursue a PhD on completion of the MSc. 

  • You will critically examine the academic and industrial contexts of your research, identify problems and think originally when proposing potential solutions. 

  • You may have the opportunity to undertake an industry-based dissertation project.

  • You will be given a grounding in both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis to enable you to conduct  empirical  and/or experimental research.  

Special Features

  • The MSc in Digital Service Design offers students two three-week work placements as well as the opportunity to undertake a company-sponsored dissertation project in term three.

  • This course was created in collaboration with digital design companies to create graduates that would be ‘work ready’ for the digital service design sector.

  • Student projects will be based on real-world briefs and experts from the industry will provide talks, reviews and workshops for students throughout the year. 
You will be able to meet our industrial partners as they will be giving talks and workshops on the course. They will also be providing the work placements for our students. This will help you build up a network of industry contacts, which will be invaluable when you graduate.

Teaching and Learning

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, lab sessions, guest lectures from industry experts, talks and workshops.

Dr Steve Love, the Programme Director and Dr Alessio Malizia both lecture on the course. They have strong research backgrounds in the area of digital service design and human-computer interaction. They will use this experience to provide you with theory-based teaching that is based on up-to-date research in this exciting area.

Find out more about Dr Steve Love

Find out more about Dr Alessio Malizia


You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, examination, and dissertation.   You will also produce a portfolio of evidence for the Digital Design Methodologies module. Examinations are held in May.


You be allocated a mentor from one our industrial partners who will provide guidance on issues such as CV writing, preparing job applications and job interview practice.  You will also have access to a network of contacts in the digital service design industry.


Graduates will be equipped to work in blue-chip companies that have design departments, as well as digital design agencies and consultancies. The following areas offer good opportunities for graduates of this course: 

  • user experience design
  • design intelligence analysis
  • digital design
  • digital service design
  • design strategy


This course is focused on employment.  The content is based on the latest research, but you will have significant practical opportunities during the work experience.   Placements will be found within the companies mentioned above, as well as other digital design companies.

Selected students will also have the opportunity for a company-sponsored dissertation project in term three.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time

International students: £16,000 full-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

A UK first or second class (2:1) Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification .  Applicants are welcomed from an Arts, Design, Social Sciences, Computer Science or Humanities background.

Applicants with other qualifications with industrial experience (that is relevant to the subject area) may be considered and will be assessed on an individual basis.   Industrial certifications may be taken into account (such as those provided by organisations such as Microsoft and Sun for example). Such applicants may be required to attend an interview. 

Entry criteria is subject to change.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Tuesday 29 July 2014