Services Science

The four-year structured PhD programme in Services Science is an internationally oriented programme. A PhD programme at the University of Twente can be started throughout the year. Read more about the related Master's programmes in Computer Science, or Business Information Technology if you have yet to start a Master of Science programme. 

Programme overview

Prof. dr. Roel Wieringa
2 years
4 years

services science Research area

Services science has emerged from the realization that the economy of physical products is being replaced by an economy of services.

Nowadays, services can be found everywhere and experienced and used anytime, in daily and professional life, at consumer and business levels, and at technology levels. Traditional examples are transportation services, healthcare services and education services. Some newer examples are IT outsourcing services, in which design or programming tasks are outsourced to specialized companies, and helpdesk services, which concentrate large numbers of calls from clients asking for product-related help. We nowadays observe a trend to package products in services, offering added value to potential clients. An example in the healthcare industry is the provisioning of medical services, instead of selling the medical equipment (such as MRI scanners). An example in the software industry is the provisioning of software-as-a-service, instead of selling the software packages. In both cases, this requires a new business model and new business processes.

Services science is the study of complex service systems in which businesses create value through collaboration with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders using IT. The global connectedness in a service economy introduces new levels of architectural complexity and of risk (e.g. security risks) introduced by dependency on such systems, that need to be managed. Effective understanding of service systems requires consideration of interactions between people, organizations, information systems, and technology for the purpose of business value creation in various and evolving contexts.

Educational programme

Services are essential, important and becoming quite complex as more interrelated services appear and more actors get involved. This means that services have to be approached from scientific, management and engineering points of view.

IT is an enabler for creating service systems and for the growth of the services sector. Most business services and processes are supported by IT services. The shift from products to services often implies an IT-enabled provision of e-services. High-speed networks and powerful computer systems have made these processes ubiquitous. From the methodological side, the advent of the Service-Oriented Architecture has facilitated the mapping from business processes to IT services, providing the benefits of effectiveness and flexibility.

Management Science and Computer Science

Our Services Science programme has Management Science and Computer Science as cornerstones. It consists of a two-year Master’s phase and a three-year PhD phase. The Master’s phase offers two study tracks, one going through a Master’s in Business Information Technology and the other going through a Master’s in Computer Science, with each track following the rules of its related Master’s programme, but having a clear ‘services science’ signature. The PhD phase comprises courses deepening the student’s knowledge of services science, such as specialized courses offered by the university, and courses offered by research schools IPASIKS and BETA. Furthermore, it includes an optional multidisciplinary case study, attendance of scientific events, and of course the PhD research.