MTU Business Academy

Masters of Arts

User Experience and Service Design

Department of Media Communications

MA in User Experience and Service Design

Programme Details

In Brief

Department & School

Department of Media Communications


MTU Bishopstown Campus, Cork

Mode of Study

Part-time or Full-time

Method of Delivery



Full-time programme - 1 Year
(Can also be studied part-time or ACCS)

Commencement Date

September 2024

Course Fee

Total €5,400




Dr. Trevor Hogan


User Experience (UX) is a field concerned with understanding and improving the ways the users interact with an organisation and its digital products or services. Service Design (SD) is a closely related field that is focused on the creation of optimal experiences and sustainable solutions for both customers and service providers. Emerging from disciplines including human factors, ergonomics, and cognitive science, UX and service design as user-centred design (UCD) disciplines have come to be established as an integral part of the lifecycle of all products or services over the past few decades.

From initial research, through product design and development, to user testing and improvement, UX and SD skills are required at every stage in the production of digital products and services. Skills such as qualitative and quantitative user research, interface and interaction design, customer experience mapping, and low- and high-fidelity prototyping are critical for the success of any new product or service. There is a growing need for skilled professionals with expert knowledge in UX and SD in the modern workplace.

The MA in User Experience and Service Design is offered alongside a parallel MSc in User Experience Design programme. The key difference is that the MA has an emphasis on the design and creative process and practices that drive the design, development and implementation of digital products and services, whereas the emphasis of MSc is on the design and scientific aspects, such as empirical investigation, data analysis and technologies that can create great user experiences.

Programmes - MA In User Experience & Service Design

What will I study?

This programme will provide students with expert knowledge, skills and competencies in the field of User Experience and Service Design, such as, for example: User-research, evaluation methods and methodologies, design project management, and research skills and knowledge, which are required for a career working or researching in the wider field of UX and service design.

Semester 1

Fundamentals of UCD

This module provides the students with a practical and critical introduction to the fundamentals of user-centred design (UCD) including expert design skills, user research and user testing to enhance the overall experience a user has while engaging with a digital product or service. As part of this module, students will learn about the landscape of user-centred design, user experience design (UXD) and service design (SD) from its history to the current trends in the field.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 3
Credits: 10

UX and SD Tools and Technologies

The aim of this module is to highlight the use and purpose of different tools and technologies as part of the user experience and service design process, e.g. user research, prototyping, usability testing, etc. Students will learn about the purpose and features of everyday user experience and service design tools and they will learn how to utilise them as part of the user experience & service design process. This module prepares participants to utilise user experience and service design tools and technologies for the purpose of implementing a user experience or service design project from start to finish.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 3
Credits: 10

Design Thinking for Services

This module aims to provide students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to support the execution of a design thinking approach for the design of services or products. The module addresses the role of team members, approaches for understanding users, research methods, prototyping, and presentation of findings.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 3
Credits: 5

Design Project Management

This module will equip the learners with the tools and techniques necessary to manage UX or Service design projects. The learner will be able to apply modern project management techniques to manage design projects in in-person and digital environments.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

Semester 2

Prototyping Services and Interfaces

This module will introduce learners to prototyping methods for creating digital products and services. Students will employ a range of tools and techniques to develop concepts and low-to-medium fidelity prototypes (e.g. sketches, wireframes, storyboards, customer journey maps) based on a provided brief. Project work will focus on mapping out user journey with and through a product/service, as well as creating iterations and redesigns of interfaces and service experiences using industry-standard tools (e.g. Figma, Adobe XD, Miro).
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

Evaluation Methodologies

The aim of this module is to explore how qualitative and quantitative research methods can be used to investigate and improve the usability and user experience of digital products and services. The module is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to plan and execute a user study, including defining a methodology and capturing data. The module is focused on the planning and design of an empirical research study, rather than its execution.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 3
Credits: 10

UX Writing for Digital Products and Services

This module outlines the principles of UX writing. UX writing is the practice of writing carefully considered information that addresses people’s contexts, needs, and behaviours. Writing UX copy involves many of the same skills as visual or interaction design, but writers communicate using words instead of pixels. As part of this module students will learn how to write great microcopy for common UI components, using easy-to-understand conversational language, they will also learn how to create an optimal user experience through their writing, how to engage users with real value and create the copy used throughout a digital product or service.   
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

UX and SD MA Project Proposal

The aim of this module is to foster the systematic development of concepts, from initial ideas to the final formulations that can be proposed for actual development. Within this module the student will investigate the viability of a potential design proposal within the field of User Experience or Service design. As part of this the student will engage in a process that will involve defining, planning and outlining the envisaged scope of a design project. The module allows students to develop a design proposal that is based on sound research methods and practical investigation pertinent to the field of User Experience or Service design.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

Semester 3

UX and SD MA Project

The aim of this module is to support learners in contributing to the development of UX or Service Design as a practice and a discipline while also helping learners develop integrative learning and critical reflection as they bring together a range of concepts, theories, frameworks, technologies and practices within a design setting. 
Contact hours (tutorials) per week: 1
Credits: 30


Applications are invited by way of a submitted application form and shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in July/August. Normally, an Honours 2.2 Degree in a cognate area is required and work-based experience is an advantage.

Recognition is given for relevant prior learning where the applicant does not have a relevant Honours Degree,  and the applicant should contact the course coordinator.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is when formal recognition is given for what you already know prior to starting on a programme or module. With recognition of prior learning the focus is on learning and not on experience as such. You can apply for RPL in any MTU accredited programme or module. Programmes which are accredited by professional bodies or any external awarding bodies may have their own procedures for RPL which you should refer to.

€5,400 in total.

Please note that applicants will be required to pay an acceptance fee of €600 online if a place on a course is offered. This fee is deductible from the overall course fee.

Note: You will not be charged for applying for the programme by clicking the ‘apply now’ button, you are only asked to pay an acceptance fee if a place is offered to you and you wish to accept it.

Late applications may be considered if places are available.

Dr. Trevor Hogan

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