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The PDA in Service Design delivered in London is a fast-track programme over 14 weeks.

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 and Methods

Service Design : User Research

Service Design : Co-Design

Service Design : Project

Each Unit equates to 40 hours of study.

Week 1: Pre-reading and online check-in

Week 2: 5 day accelerator programme – five fast paced days building knowledge working on a live client brief

Weeks 3-14: online learning with six live tutor check-ins and the support of the SDA community

By the end of the course 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.

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


The evidence for these units will be created under open-book conditions over an extended timescale.

The learner will complete a small project/presentation 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.

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

Our course leaflet is available to download here

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.

Course Fees

The course fee is £3250 – you can access further fees and funding information here.

Nice to Know

  • Courses are in English
  • All times are UK time
  • This course is delivered offsite – London
  • The course runs from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, refreshments and lunch are provided
  • You will receive a course workbook (hard and soft copy), online resources, all workshop materials and templates and access to wi-fi
  • All videos are subtitled in English
  • You can join the Service Design Academy online community for future support from tutors and peers


We suggest that you bring a laptop or tablet with you. We also recommend that you use a smartphone or small camera to photograph or video your activities over the duration of the 5 day Accelerator.


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