MSc in Social Science in Service Management

By taking an international approach to service management and service economics you will learn to tackle managerial issues within tourism, meetings, events, transportation and trade. Through the programme you will learn how various theories and models in service management can be applied to the industry, and acquire skills needed for the successful management within the service industry.


The programme provides you with relevant and valid competences and skills to engage with manage service companies and organisations in a global context. It can be utilised not only in traditional service industries, but also in relations to servitization transformation of product-based industries.

Main elements of the programme

You will be introduced to a broad spectrum of issues related to services which range from analytical methods, performance management, service design, co-creation and legal concerns to designing business models that support the service delivery processes.
The programme has a major focus on theoretical models related to services economics, management in relation to service value chain and to the long term benefit of corporations. This also includes how the development of prices on services can be seen analysed through different pricing models.

Another main element of the programme is the close contact and mutual learning between the programme and the industry. The theory therefore becomes applied, international and closely related to service issues.
Problems are identified and solved based on theoretical models and experiences (i.e. cases and guest speakers) from the industry.

You will be trained in applying models in real life situations and in how to customise them, rather than in  applying a generic model from one organisation to another. Focus is on analytical problem solving with relevant knowledge of the context surrounding the analysed problem.


The overall structure of the programme can be illustrated with the letter T. The first year is the top of the T while the second year is the vertical dimension of the T.

The top of the T provide the broad theoretical business economic basis for studying and operating in the service sector as such. It starts in the autumn with a course in Research Methods. The reason for this is to give all students a common analytical basis for the models and tools used in the programme. It is needed as students come from different countries and different educational backgrounds. The other course in the same quarter Strategic Management in Service Firms, as we regard these issues to be the foundation of the organization – and its ability to pursue and implement the desired ambition of the organization and its management team. This will, of course, be exploited in an international context.

The next quarter comprises a course in economic performance management. The background is that measuring what success looks like in a service organization is crucial to manage the operational side of the business – including keeping the business on track – i.e. what to measure, when to measure and how to measure.

The fourth course zooms in on how to organize the business model supporting the delivery of the desired services. This course is focused on the organization of the resources and processes to deliver the services efficient, flexible and in the desired quality. This course is also designed to wrap up the 1st and 2nd quarter.

The spring courses include the following four courses: a course in co-creation and law in service firms, a course in service design, a course in managing digital services, and this course wraps the 1st year up focusing on the customer journey and the related marketing activities.

The course Co-creation and Law in Service Firms is specifically designed to see the benefits from involving customers in discovering service needs, design the fulfilment of these and finally find ways to deliver – including the involvement of the customer in these processes. Related to these issues there are a number on unresolved legal questions that we will explore in the second part of the course.

The course Service Design is based on customer insights and the opportunities to move along the customer journey – in a micro, meso and macro perspective. This also includes behavioural economics, giving the customers choices – some informed and other based on their intuition.

The course Managing (Digital Mode) Service Delivery aims at identifying opportunities for how to automate service delivery – and to give the customers control and empower them to get the job done. This includes the approach of learning algorithms which gradually can adapt to the individual customers’ needs and behaviour.

Finally, the course Managing the Customer Journey in a Marketing Perspective takes the customer perspective. This is also where all the previous course can deliver tools, insights, and concepts, to create the total overview of service management in a service profit chain perspective.

During the four quarters you achieve still more of the competences needed within service management and service economics, and it is done in a progressive way, giving increasing priority to skills in service economics and management.  

The vertical dimension of the T gives the students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in an area within service management. The student can chose electives at CBS and other Danish universities or the student can study abroad at CBS partner universities. The student can also take an internship in the industry in Denmark or abroad. The programme concludes with a master thesis that is an important result of the competences and skills achieved.



SEM is a two-year master’s programme that is divided into 4 semesters. The autumn semester runs from September through November with exams in December and January; and the spring semester from February through April with exams in May and June.

First and second semester consist of compulsory courses, third semester of elective courses and fourth semester finishes off the programme with the master thesis

Additional options

SEM allows students to focus on specific service industries during the 3rd semester, as this can reflected in the choice of electives and/or internship. Since SEM is designed to discuss service management per se, the 1st year courses can be applied to any organisation that regards itself as a service organization or wants to develop towards a service management based approach. The latter might be particularly relevant for the many product-based companies gradually turning towards servitization of their business models.

Students may influence his/her academic profile through compulsory individual or group projects, participation in electives, project-oriented studies in cooperation with firms, a study-abroad, or a combination of two or more these options, as well as the Master’s thesis.

Internships offer the SEM students the opportunity to obtain professional and practical skills necessary and relevant for their study and future career.

Course overview

1. Semester 2. Semester 3. Semester 4. Semester
Service Design (7.5 ECTS)

Economic Performance Management in Service Firms
(7,5 ECTS)

Electives/Exchange/Internship (30 ECTS) Master's Thesis (30 ECTS)
Strategic Management in Service Firms(7.5 ECTS) Co-creation and Shared Economy (7,5 ECTS)
Managing (Digital Mode) Service Delivery (7.5 ECTS) Research Methods (7,5 ECTS)
Organising Business Models in Service Firms(7.5 ECTS) Managing the Customer Journey in a Marketing Perspective
(7,5 ECTS)

You can find course descriptions in the programme regulations for MScSocSc in Service Management.

Sidst opdateret: Student Affairs // 02/07/2018