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This two day bootcamp introduces you to fundamental skills in user research, understanding the methods that enable us to identify the needs of service users, the real people who use our services.


Service Design is a multi-disciplinary, innovative field that “helps organizations see their services from a customer perspective.” Organisations across the world are increasingly recognising the value of service design in putting people at the heart of thoughtfully designed activities, processes and experiences.

We offer this two-day bootcamp, open to anyone, regardless of qualification or experience, who wishes to develop service design skills and understand the specific methods and principles of user research.

This two day bootcamp introduces you to fundamental skills in user research, understanding the methods that enable us to identify the needs of service users, the real people who use our services. It provides an essential grounding in the skills and knowledge of user research, representing a foundation for user-centred service design.

This bootcamp is appropriate to learners who wish to develop their service design skills and knowledge. It is also relevant for those who wish to engage service users and communities in decision making through creative processes, and is most appropriate for those who already work professionally with such groups or aspires to do so.

This bootcamp introduces you to user research through dynamic and interactive workshops explaining how it is used within the service design process.

  • Rationale behind use of user research in service design
  • Visual research methods
  • How to undertake a service field trip
  • Interviewing users
  • Pop-up research and researching user experience

This is an innovative way of gaining new skills and knowledge through project based learning tackling “live pitch problems”.

You will be working alongside public sector professionals in local government and the NHS, business start ups and social enterprises focused on how service design can improve quality and get closer to the needs of citizens and customers.


You can join the bootcamp as a stand-alone two day experience to learn tools and methods on a live project, for an all-inclusive price of £400 - just click on the green Tickets button. Both days will be run at a city centre location, meeting for a start at 9.30am and finishing at 4.30pm. Refreshments, lunch and all materials will be provided. At the end of the bootcamp, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance.


"The training was excellent and the value was outstanding. I have never had training that was so inspiring and my connections on that day all agreed... world class educators with a bubbling passion for their craft. I have learned so much about Service Design... and met some thoroughly inspiring educators and business people."

Housing Association Manager, participant.

"We've started using it at work already. We're totally enthusiastic about it. we're making sure all our systems have service design thinking in them."

Local Government Manager, participant.

"Overall, the day was a real eye-opener and a truly fun experience... fun and very high energy. It really taught me how to notice things I would never have seen before and it helped me to come up with ideas for my own business and how I can take some of these basic service design skills forward to continuously create positive human experiences."

Entrepreneur, participant (taken from blog post)

"My learning experience was excellent. I wanted to develop service design skills and knowledge and that's exactly what was delivered!"

Local Government Manager, HR & Business Support, participant

PDA in Service Design

You can also attend the bootcamp and gain credits towards an SQA accredited Professional Development Award in Service Design. This is a unique programme of study provided by the Service Design Academy equipping you with introductory skills and knowledge to apply service design methods and tools in your own professional domain, and improve your career prospects as more employers seek service design skills.

Joining the bootcamp as an accredited course involves an additional online briefing, pre-reading, self-directed study and assessment activities - a total of 40 hours (including the bootcamp, which is however not essential to attend to gain the accreditation) and costs £600.

To secure the accredited Professional Development Award in Service Design Award requires the completion of three additional short courses. Individuals and businesses may be eligible for funding support to study the award. We offer discounts for multiple bookings and for those who work in organisations with charitable status.

Full details of our other bootcamps, joining the bootcamp as an accredited course, the Service Design Award, discounts and funding support is available here.


If you are using your ITA funding to part pay for this course please contact Alison Duncan at info@sda.ac.uk to book your place.

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