MSc in Social Science - Service Management

With the dominant economic priority shifting from goods to services, service management has become a key knowledge pillar in our modern business societies. By taking an international approach to service management, you will learn to tackle managerial issues within many different fields, such as tourism, events, trade, or retail. Through the programme, you will learn how various theories in service management can be applied to the different industries, and acquire the skills needed for successful management within the service industry.


Service Management is not offered in 2020

The MSocSc in Service Management programme is closing, and will, with immediate effect, no longer admit new students in this or future admission rounds. The programme is set to be replaced by our new, one-year programme in Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management, expected to open for new students for the first time in 2021.

Main elements of the programme

The programme provides you with relevant and research-based competencies and skills to engage with a broad range of service companies and organisations in a global context. Your experience can be utilised not only in traditional service industries, but also in relation to the ‘servitization’ transformation of product-based industries.

You will be introduced to a broad spectrum of issues related to services, which encompasses analytical methods, strategic management, service design, co-creation, and designing business models that support service delivery processes.

The programme starts with a major focus on the theoretical models that underlie services economics and service management, particularly in relation to the service value chain and the long-term benefit of corporations. At a later stage, the focus shifts to the customer-company relationship, including the issues of co-creation, the customer-journey, and state-of-the-art developments in the shared economy. 

Importantly, the programme transcends a purely theoretical focus by offering close contact with and mutual learning from industry. You will identify and solve real-life problems based on theoretical models and industry experiences (i.e., through case studies, field-trips, guest speakers and a mandatory internship). In this way, you will be prepared to analyse and tailor solutions to fit a particular context rather than having to apply a generic model from one organisation to another.

Content structure

The overall structure of the programme includes three major learning steps. The first semester focuses on the company or organizational side of service management. Four courses (i.e., strategic management, service design, service delivery, and business models of the service industry) will give you a wide knowledge of the theories and concepts used in the service industry. These courses will consider a broad range of industries as examples, including tourism, cultural organizations, retailing, events, and even traditional product-based industries that have transformed into a service-dominant approach. This comprehensive foundation is important, as SEM students come from many different countries and educational backgrounds, as well as possess diverse industry interests.

The second semester maintains this broad focus, but changes the perspective to the customer-side of the service industry. To this end, you will participate in a research-driven internship at a service company of your choice. In doing so, you will detect, analyse and improve a customer-company interaction at your internship company. The internship will be accompanied by a series of online and offline lectures designed to provide you with the analytical tools and feedback needed to fulfil this task.

During the second semester, you will receive two additional courses intended to extend your theoretical knowledge about customer-company interactions. The first course will focus on co-creation and shared economies, underscoring the participation and value-creation of customers in the service process. The second course will add a marketing perspective to this interaction by describing the customer journey.

While the first two semesters focus on a wide array of industries, you can customize your third semester to your specific needs and interests. Choose from a pool of nearly 100 electives at CBS and other Danish universities, or otherwise study abroad at CBS partner universities. You can specialize in a certain industry (e.g., focusing on tourism electives) or in a specific sub-topic within the service industry (e.g., marketing and branding). The programme concludes with a master thesis that synthesizes the competencies and skills you achieved.

Overall, we offer what we teach – a customized solution for a very complex, real-world environment. As an SEM student, you will gain the comprehensive knowledge and skill set needed to understand the service industry in general, as well as the specialized experience needed to succeed in your field and industry of interest. Through our close contacts with industry, we will ensure a strong connection between theory and practice, allowing you to interact with and reflect on real-life challenges and issues. Along the way, international academic experts will guide you to the richest theoretical knowledge available. 

General structure

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; the spring semester runs from February through April, with exams in May and June. The first and second semester consist of compulsory courses, the third semester focuses on elective courses, and fourth semester finishes the programme with the master thesis.

In order to promote specialization, SEM allows students to focus on specific service industries and topics during the 3rd semester through a wide range of electives and/or by studying abroad at a CBS partner university.

Teaching-wise, SEM includes many different pedagogical approaches, with a special focus on collaboration and team-work. Many courses will include group work, group presentations and even group exams. In addition, we are very proud of our programme’s highly international character—giving you the opportunity to work in international teams and gain additional intercultural competences.

Additional options

SEM allows students to focus on specific service industries during the 3rd semester, as this can reflected in the choice of electives. 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, a study-abroad, or a combination of two or more these options, as well as the Master’s thesis.

Course overview

1. Semester 2. Semester 3. Semester 4. Semester

Service Design (7.5 ECTS)



Managing the Customer Journey in a Marketing Perspective
(7,5 ECTS)

Electives /  Exchange (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)

Service Management Internship Project (15 ECTS)



Organising Business Models in Service Firms(7.5 ECTS)

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

Sidst opdateret: Student Affairs // 14/04/2020