Postgraduate in Space & Service Design

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Read more about how Thomas More is tackling the coronavirus crisis here.

Design for Change

  • One year specialisation in the design of spatial and service design.
  • Space & Service Design is an emerging design discipline that aims at improving the experience of the users of (semi-) public spaces and services.
    Research-led design and user-centred methodologies lead to the design of relevant services and service contexts (spaces, objects, furniture, and communication tools) for society-oriented design challenges.
  • During this international programme (60 ECTS) you will have the opportunity to participate in real-life design projects and co-design workshops for real clients, mainly non-profit and social enterprises. These projects will be supported by a sound set of practice-based subjects, lectures, and tutorials in English.
  • Postgraduates in Space and Service Design develop, in an international class setting, their knowledge of user-centred experiences, research for design, service contexts, and methodologies. The major goal is to create sustainable added value for clients and users of (semi-) public spaces and services.
  • The Postgraduate in Space and Service Design stimulates designers to be socially aware and proactive change agents in their design community.

This programme is developed in collaboration with the department Interior, Design & Architecture.

SpaceAndServiceDesignv2

Content & approach

First Semester

The first semester will provide you with knowledge and skills in environment & service design, research for design and service design methodologies and tools. This information will support you to develop creative design ideas and to deliver relevant solutions.

You collaborate in international, multidisciplinary design teams in challenging real-life design projects, taking up different designer roles, and interacting with clients and users. You will apply and share your previous design knowledge.

You prepare your professional experience and conduct the research for your final design brief.

You can extend your programme with electives such as design communication, languages, and intercultural communication, depending on your previous knowledge and skills and personal interest.

Second Semester

The second semester offers you the opportunity to excel in an individual real-life project and an (international) internship or client project.

In the individual major project, you will demonstrate your research skills and your ability to define the tangible and intangible context and needs. You create relevant user-centred space & service design solutions that you effectively communicate using adequate media.

Targeted students

You have a design degree (BA or MA in interior design or interior architecture, architecture, product or industrial design, furniture design, graphic design, interaction design, design, etc) and:

  • you are convinced that designers are not only responsible for the shape of spaces and objects but also for the experiences and well-being of all users in order to achieve true change.
  • you share the idea that the future-proof designer has a role to play in tackling contemporary social, cultural, and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design.
  • you want to learn even more how to apply designers’ skills, methods and user-centred approaches to improve spaces, objects, communication, and services so they become more effective and closer to day-to-day lives.
  • you want to exchange knowledge and skills and collaborate in a cross-disciplinary way in challenging design projects in specific and real contexts such as Design for Learning, Design for Health, Design for Ageing, Design for Sustainable Development, Design for Hospitality, Design for Nature Preservation and much more.
  • you are looking for a specialisation course that can empower and compliment your current design competences.

Personal coaching

Throughout the design process, student teams are coached by a team of design professionals, teachers, and researchers. They collaborate with stakeholders, users, and experts from the project field through research, participatory design, co-creation, or feedback sessions.

Furthermore, students are supported by ID&A services such as Whats’on (the Design Learning Centre and Fab-Lab) and the ID&A Workshop Facilities (wood/metal/plastic workshop).

Go International

Fostering global awareness and international and intercultural collaboration is vital for a society-oriented design course. Besides welcoming Belgian students we also strive for attracting international students with their specific design knowledge and cultural background in order to create an international class-setting.

Student learning is facilitated through a range of workshops, seminars, lectures, and tutorials of both national and international professionals and experts. You will be able to connect with other service design schools and networks.

In the second semester, students can make the transition to the professional design field through an internship or a service project. During the past decade, the ID&A unit collaborated with various professional, national, and international design firms looking for talented interns.

Structure & certification

One year programme

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 1+2
  • Required courses
    • Space & Service Design (12 credits)
    • Design & Research (possible exemption for MA's or ID&A students) (3 credits)
  • ID&A elective courses
    • Design communication (6 credits)
    • Autocad (3 credits)
  • Thomas More elective international courses (depending on course schedules)
    • Intercultural communication (3 credits)
    • Language: survival Dutch, Chinese, French, German, Spanish (3 credits)

  • Required courses
    • Professional experience (12 credits)
    • Final project Space & Service Design (24 credits)








  • Space & Service Design Seminars (6 credits)
  • The future-proof designer (3 credits)









Postgraduate Certification

Postgraduate programmes aim to build upon the skills and knowledge acquired in a bachelor's or a master's degree programme. A postgraduate largely focuses on developing your professional skills in a way that can be immediately useful in a work environment, while simultaneously helping you develop your professional network. A postgraduate programme is a specialisation for students who already have a degree in design or architecture (bachelor's and master's).

Why do a postgraduate? A postgraduate from Thomas More will give your CV and portfolio added value on the labour market, transforming you into a future-proof designer!

Why choose Space & Service Design

Partners in education Space & Service Design changemakers Space & service design project leads to realisation
Our approach is demand-driven and aims at responding to real-life design problems. Consequently, every year is different and offers new opportunities for collaboration. Current and previous clients include the City of Mechelen and Leuven, Social House of Mechelen, House of Entrepreneurs Mechelen, Natuurpunt, Regional Landscape Riverland, Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos, Flanders DC, Samenlevingsopbouw (Community Development), Ekisande vzw, several public services, and NGOs. In order to offer students authentic learning experiences, we collaborate and share knowledge with service design organisations and design and architecture agencies. Our partners in education offer internships, site visits, guest lectures, and workshops. We aim at offering research-driven solutions: spaces, objects, communication, and services that effectively can change people’s day-to-day life. A future-proof designer can play a significant role in tackling contemporary social, cultural, and economic challenges through evidence-based and human-centred design. For the Mama Sabina Health Care Centre in Bwera Uganda, students converted the existing school building into inviting spaces and the necessary services and experiences. Supported by Ekisande, Medics Without Vacation, the nursery department, and Aquafin, feasible and desirable solutions were designed. The project is planned to be executed.


The collaboration with the students and teachers of Space & Service Design led to a fascinating design process, with a lot of educational exchanges between different actors, paying attention to the needs of socially vulnerable families and with a beautiful final result: the Playbike! - Stéphanie Vandenbossche - Social Worker - Society Building Antwerp Province vzw








Hello China!

Keep going! Once you get your postgraduate in Space & Service Design, why not continue your studies in service design with a master's degree in Service & Experience Design?

Enrol in an exclusive short-track master's programme in English at our partner university in China.

Admission requirements

Diploma requirements

Only Students who already obtained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Design or Architecture in Belgium and students who already obtained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Design or Architecture in other EEA-members and non-EEA-members states can apply for this Postgraduate programme, e.g.:

  • BA/MA Interior Design 
  • BA/MA Interior Architecture 
  • BA/MA Environmental Design 
  • BA/MA Architecture 
  • BA/MA Product Design / Industrial Design / Service Design 
  • BA/Banaba/ MA Furniture Design  
  • BA/MA Design

If your BA/MA does not immediately qualify for the Postgraduate programme, your application can still be assessed by the study counsellors committee. Do not hesitate to send in your application.

Additional condition

All candidates apply with a:

  • Digital portfolio
  • cv (resume)
  • Motivation letter (stating why you would like to the postgraduate in space and service design) which will be an assessment by the study counsellors committee.

The digital portfolio is proving extensive experience in designing spaces, objects, interiors, CAD, technical knowledge, and skills (drawings), visualisation skills. The portfolio should contain at least 8 or more pieces of your best recent work and is to be submitted in digital format. The portfolio should enable the study counsellors committee to assess your current skills and potential for success in the programme. Digital formats that are considered acceptable include .jpegs of images/work or .pdfs of compilations of work.

The student complements the portfolio with a cv and motivation letter for the application to the postgraduate in Space & Service Design.

In addition to the portfolio/cv/motivation assessment, the study counsellors committee can request an extra  (Skype) interview.

Language requirements

You can prove you are reasonably proficient at speaking and writing English (level B2, European Framework) if you:

  • obtained a Flemish secondary education diploma or a Dutch VWO-diploma.
  • passed the ITACE test level B2 (in Antwerp, Leuven, Brussels or Ghent).
  • obtained the minimum score (e.g. 6 overall band score on the IELTS test or equivalent) on internationally recognized language tests such as Cambridge Assessment English, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, SAT. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IELTS Indicator and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition are also accepted.
  • obtained an English-language diploma in secondary or higher education from an institution of one of the following countries: the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, Caribbean Islands & South Africa.
  • This implies that applicants who did not obtain their GCE A Level certificates in Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the USA have to submit language test (cf. above) results. 
  • followed your previous education in a partner institution with which Thomas More has an agreement on language requirements.

Residence status

An identity card or passport is sufficient for students from an EU-member state. Other students can apply but will need a valid residence permit for Belgium for the final registration.

Application procedure

  • Thomas More accepts admission applications year-round. 
  • Application assessments occur several times a year (consult Application procedure on www.spaceandservicedesign.be)
  • Non-EEA-students are advised to apply before 15/6 in order to be able to apply for a visa in time.
  • The course will enrol 20 motivated, creative students and aims at composing a diverse, multidisciplinary and international class group.

You have completed secondary education in Flanders | the Netherlands before you started higher education

  • All candidates who meet the general diploma requirements can apply.  

Before filling in the online form

Prepare your documents! You will be asked to upload:  

  • A copy of your residence permit or identity card;
  • A scan of your diplomas/certificates. For documents that are not written with the Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, etc.) please add a certified translation into English or Dutch;
  • A digital portfolio;
  • A cv (resume);
  • A motivation letter (stating why you would like to apply for the postgraduate in Space and Service Design).

After submission of your online application

You will receive an e-mail confirming your application. We will check whether your application meets the conditions to be admitted to the postgraduate. This assessment may take a few weeks.

You are an EEA-national or you have a valid residence permit for Belgium

Before filling in the form

Prepare your documents! You will be asked to upload:

  • A  copy of your residence permit or identity card;
  • A scan of your diplomas/certificates. For documents that are not written in the Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, etc.) please add a certified translation into English or Dutch;
  • A digital portfolio;
  • A cv (resume);
  • A motivation letter (stating why you would like to apply for the postgraduate in Space and Service Design);
  • A scan of your English language certificate.

After submission of your online application

You will receive an e-mail confirming your application. We will check whether your application meets the conditions to be admitted to the postgraduate. This assessment may take a few weeks.

You are a non-EEA-national without a valid residence permit for Belgium

Before filling in the online form

Prepare your documents! You will be asked to upload:

  • A  copy of the bio page of your passport;
  • A  scan of your diplomas/certificates. For documents that are not written with the Latin alphabet (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Greek, etc.) please add a certified translation into English or Dutch;
  • A digital portfolio;
  • A  cv (resume);
  • A motivation letter (stating why you would like to apply for the postgraduate in Space and Service Design);
  • A scan of your English language certificate.

After submission of your online application

You will receive an e-mail confirming your application. We will check whether your application meets the conditions to be admitted to the postgraduate. This assessment may take a few weeks.

If your file has been approved

Before we can send you your registration certificate (which you need to apply for a student visa), there are still 2 conditions to be met:

  1. Payment of the tuition fee: after approving your application, we will send you a tuition fee payment request. Once we receive confirmation of the payment of our financial department, you will receive your registration certificate.
  2. Proof of financial solvency: As a non-EEA national you will need to apply for a student visa. The Belgian government wants to make sure you can support yourself in Belgium. You have 2 options to prove you have sufficient financial means: blocked account procedure or a Belgian sponsor.
    Thomas More offers a blocked account procedure to prove your financial solvency when applying for a student visa. You make an advance payment of your monthly living expenses into a blocked account managed by Thomas More. When you arrive in Belgium you open a Belgian bank account in your name into which you will receive monthly payments during your studies. At the end of the academic year, you are fully reimbursed, apart from 100€ administrative fee. After payment of the blocked account, you will receive a financial attestation from Thomas More, which you can use when applying for a student visa (long type D).
    You will receive detailed information on the blocked account procedure as soon as your application has been approved.

If you fail to enrol (e.g. no visa, cancellation)

The tuition fee and the payment into the blocked account (minus €100 administrative fee) will be reimbursed. 

"I would say Space & Service Design is a course for anyone who wants to have a real impact, work with real clients, and generally just grow as a person and a designer. It is an intense learning experience that gives you resilience and new insights into the way the world works. The projects are unique, interesting and the outcomes have an impact on real people in the real world, not just on paper."

Janao Denys
Space & Service Design student graduated in 2019, currently employed by Quest Impact Design Studio, Ghent

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Welcome to the international website of Thomas More! Thomas More is the largest university of applied sciences in Flanders, offering over 31 Dutch-taught and 5 English-taught bachelor degree programme ... Read More

Welcome to the international website of Thomas More! Thomas More is the largest university of applied sciences in Flanders, offering over 31 Dutch-taught and 5 English-taught bachelor degree programmes in the province of Antwerp. Next to that, Thomas More offers exchange programmes in English, for students from partner universities. Read less
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