MTU Business Academy

Master of Science in

User Experience and Service Design

Department of Media Communications

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

Programmes - MSc In User Experience & Service Design 2

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

Writing for Research Publication

This module will introduce learners to the skills and competencies required to successfully plan, research, and write an academic publication. The learner will engage with and analyse related works and state-of-the-art research in order to situate their own discussion within this context. Module content will include writing styles, publication venues, citation systems, document formatting, software tools for writing, and the different types of academic publications.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

UX and SD MSc Project Proposal

Within this module the student will investigate the viability of a potential research proposal within the field of User Experience or Service design. As part of this, the state of the art will be defined, and the student will explore and employ a range of research methodologies, methods and tools to enable them to define methods for research, translate theory to a reasoned test methodology, interpret results and to distinguish trends leading to reasoned and informed findings. This will culminate in a detailed research proposal that will outline the topic of interest, project plan, as well as a series of project objectives, proposed methodologies, and evaluation criteria that will be following when executing a comprehensive Master of Science project.
Contact hours (lecture/lab) per week: 2
Credits: 5

Semester 3

UX and SD MSc Project

This module is the capstone of the MSc in User Experience and Service Design and draws from modules delivered over the previous semester of the programme. The aim of the module is to enable the student to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Masters project that explores an approved project applied to research fields aligned to User Experience or Services Design. 
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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