Quick Facts


2 years

1400 EUR / month (for selected, succesful candidates)

Full time, on-site

Latvia, Finland, Estonia

ADMISSION 2025/2026
TBA in the Fall 2024

A bachelor's degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits or a second-level professional higher education diploma (LQF/EQF level 6-7) in Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences, Journalism and Information; Business, Administration and Law or Information and Communication Technologies.

4000,00 EUR per year for students from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. 8000,00 EUR per year for students from the rest of the world. No fees for Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders.

Multiple degree: Master of Arts (Art and Design) by the University of Lapland, Master of Design by the Art Academy of Latvia, Master of Arts by the Estonian Academy of Arts, and a joint diploma supplement.

Are you our ideal candidate?

We welcome candidates and future leaders who are passionate about service design and aiming at becoming leaders in service design. We value diversity and welcome students from a range of geographical locations, nationalities, and backgrounds.

Our ideal students don’t need to be service design experts. We value candidates who are open-minded and creative, thrive on diverse perspectives, possess problem-solving skills, aim to make a positive societal impact with their knowledge, and exhibit a strategic, critical thinking mindset.

Step by step
Online application:
  1. Create an application in DreamApply
  2. Add you personal details
  3. Indicate an email address that you regularly check, as it will be used for all communications related to the application process
  4. Upload the scans (not photos)
  5. Fill in the application and upload the compulsory attachments including the admission assignment
  6. Submit your application

Attachments to the application

  1. Education documents (diploma and official transcript of records) and their official English translations
  2. Proof of English proficiency
  3. Copy of the biodata page of your passport or ID card (the document needs to be valid during the application process)
  4. Resume/CV
  5. Video-letter of motivation
  6. Admission assignment

Proof of English proficiency

To meet the language requirements, you must provide the results of one of the internationally recognized tests (see below). Alternatively, if your previous Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral studies were conducted in English, you are exempt from the language certificate requirement. In this case, your diploma transcript should clearly indicate that your studies were carried out in English. Alternatively, you must supply an official letter from your previous educational institution confirming that all your studies were conducted in English (with English as the medium of instruction).

SDSI accepts the following internationally recognized language tests:

  1. Duolingo English Test: at least 90 points
  2. TOEFL IBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet-based: score of at least 72
  3. TOEFL Essential - at least 8 points
  4. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): score of at least 5.5
  5. CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English)/C2 Proficiency: any level
  6. CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English)/C1 Advanced: any level
  7. FCE (Cambridge English First Certificate in English)/B2 First: at least level B
  8. PTE (Pearson Test of English) General: at least level B2
  9. PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic: at least 51 point
  10. LanguageCert International ESOL at least Level Communicator B2 (Written and Spoken exams)
  11. Trinity Integrated Skills Test (ISE): ISEII, ISEIII, ISEIV with a pass in each component.


The applicant should submit a CV containing the following information:

  1. Personal and contact information (email and phone no.)
  2. Overview of education, indicating the higher educational institution, field of study, degree obtained and the theme of the graduation work/project
  3. Work experience, including the name of all employers of the past five years, job titles, duration of employment and description of the position and its responsibilities 
  4. Language skills
  5. Computer and software skills
  6. Other activities, hobbies and interests

Video-letter of motivation

One of the most important aspects of being selected to study at SDSI is your motivation and suitability for the programme. Remember, our ideal students don’t need to be service design experts. We value candidates who are open-minded and creative, thrive on diverse perspectives, possess problem-solving skills, aim to make a positive societal impact with their knowledge, and exhibit a strategic, critical thinking mindset.

Create your video-letter of motivation that addresses the following points:

  1. Personal Introduction:
    • Share insights about your personality, values, and your outlook on life
    • Describe where you currently stand in your academic and/or professional journey
  2. Professional Background:
    • Highlight your relevant professional experience, skills, and accomplishments
  3. Motivation for Studying Service Design:
    • Explain why you are interested in studying service design
    • Explain how the acquisition of service design skills will benefit your future professional and personal development
    • Explain your expectations of SDSI
  4. Technical Requirements:
    • Keep your video concise; it should be no longer than 3 minutes
    • Add the URL of your video-letter of motivation to your DreamApply application, section "Other”
    • Please make sure that we can access it without additionally asking you a password!

Admission assignment

Candidates must complete a service industry-related admission assignment (detailed instructions will be described in the application on-line portal DreamApply during the application process). However the assignment does adher to an overarching structure:

  1. Research about a real-life service-related problem, presented in an essay;
  2. Challenge or problem defined in the same essay;
  3. and Solution for the problem presented in a short video.

Those who excel in this task and show strong motivation will receive invitations for interviews.


The purpose of the personal online interview is to assess your suitability for the SDSI program. Applicants who perform particularly well in Round 1 will be invited for a short 15-20 minutes' interview. Members of SDSI Admissions Committee will ask additional questions to the applicant based on presented documents, video-letter of motivation and the admission assignment.

Student selection
Selection Criteria:

See Admission requirements and grading principles, as well as evaluation criteria here.

Study offer:

All applicants' submissions are graded and prioritized. The top 20 applicants are offered scholarship opportunities, while the remaining candidates are considered for self-funded study, based on their priority ranking. There is no separate application for scholarship spots or self-funded slots.
Note: Candidates who have received the study acceptance letter are advised to carefully review the conditions outlined in the letter. This includes a list of all required information, documents, and deadlines, as detailed in the "Sending Documents" section below. It is important to note that, before enrolling a student for studies, their educational documents will undergo assessment by the Academic Information Centre (AIC) of Latvia.

Final acceptance:

The study agreement and the invoice for the tuition fee payment (if applicable) will be sent to candidates by email. The invoice includes money transfer details and a mandatory deadline for the payment to be made.
The final acceptance letter of candidate’s admission to SDSI will be issued after the university has:

  1. received all the required documents by post, including the signed study agreement,
  2. received a positive evaluation for education documents from AIC,
  3. received the first-year’s tuition fee payment in full (if applicable).

NOTE! SDSI organizes only one student intake a year - for the next autumn semester.

Until February 23, 2024 Application
March 11-22, 2024 Online interviews with scholarship holders
March 25-29, 2024 Communication of results to scholarship holders
by April 9, 2024 Communication with candidates, interviews for self-funded spots, and composition of the class (scholarship holders and self-funded students)
by April 20, 2024 Signed study agreements and study fee payments (if applicable)
September 9, 2024 Beginning of the academic year
Sending documents

Documents should be sent only upon the request of the SDSI programme coordinator. 

  1. Copies of educational diplomas and transcripts mentioned below are notarized; official translations in English are included.
    • Alternatively, these documents can be forwarded electronically to our e-mail info@sdsi.ma directly from the university that awarded the degree. If the university is not able to issue the documents in English or the English version is not included, the candidate has to send official English translations separately to our e-mail.

What documents to include?

  1. 2 signed copies of study agreement;
  2. simple copy of passport identification pages (created by a photocopier);
  3. proof of residence;
  4. copies of educational diplomas and transcripts:
    • officially certified copy of Bachelor's diploma in the original language;
    • officially certified copy of academic transcripts in the original language;
    • authorized translation in English of Bachelor's diploma if the originals are not issued in English.
    • authorized translation in English of academic transcripts (if the originals are not issued in English);
    • alternatively, these documents can be forwarded electronically to our e-mail info@sdsi.ma directly from the university that awarded the degree. If the university is not able to issue the documents in English or the English version is not included, the candidate has to send official English translations separately to our e-mail.

All copies of education documents have to be officially certified. The purpose of certifying/ notarizing is to ensure the authenticity of the original documents.

A notary is a lawyer or person with legal training who is licensed by the government to perform acts in legal affairs. Notarization is the act of officially certifying a legal document by a public notary. The purpose of having a legal document notarized is to ensure the authenticity of the signatures that appear on the document. Notarization is a verification that a document together with the signature attached to it is authentic.

Please note that all the requested documents need to be prepared correctly and sent to us in one complete set on time. The applicant is responsible for the timely delivery of the required documents.

Documents should be sent to the following address:

Adatu Fabrika
SDSI programme
Kalpaka iela 4
Kuldiga LV-3301

The deadline for sending the documents

The personal deadline for sending the documents is indicated in the conditional acceptance letter that is issued via the DreamApply application system. You must send documents by the indicated deadline. If you fail to deliver documents by the deadline, your study offer will be dismissed.

For future reference, please note that application documents will not be returned.

Additional information

If you are doing your last year of studies 

If the applicant is in the process of completing the last bachelor's semester and has not received a diploma yet, the application can be submitted with provisional results from his/her school. In this case, your degree has to be completed by:

  1. 1st of July (for non-EU candidates);
  2. 1st of August (for EU candidates).

Instead of a degree certificate, you will need to upload your own statement concerning your degree to the DreamApply application's system, including the following information:

  1. interim transcript;
  2. confirmation letter from the school with the expected date of graduation;
  3. other relevant information concerning your graduation.

If you are admitted to the SDSI, your final education documents must arrive at the Art Academy of Latvia by post as soon as possible, by the personal deadline indicated in the DreamApply study offer at the latest. Please make sure that it is possible to send documents by the given deadline. If you fail to complete your degree or deliver documents by the deadline, your study offer will be dismissed.

Scholarships and tuition fees

SDSI annually welcomes approximately 30 outstanding students from around the world. 20 of these students are awarded prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarships, providing a monthly stipend of 1400 EUR for the entire 24-month program.

Scholarship allocation occurs in two stages:

  1. The first 15 scholarships are awarded to the top-ranking applicants worldwide.
  2. An additional 5 scholarships per year are granted to students from specific regions: NDICI countries and IPA III countries.

For students not awarded scholarships, self-funded study is an option:

  1. The study fee is 4000 EUR per year for students from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
  2. For students from other regions, the study fee is 8000 EUR per year.

Please note that Erasmus Mundus scholarship recipients are exempt from study fees.


Please read the Selection Criteria carefully before submitting an appeal. Applicants who do not submit the required documents by the established deadlines should not appeal.

The appeals process refers to how your proposal was handled during the evaluation and eligibility process. It is not an automatic re-evaluation. Please note that any new information or clarifications that should have been included in your proposal will not be considered. If, after reading the above conditions, you still have reason to believe that an error has been made, please send an email with all required information (name, email address, and a detailed explanation of why you believe an error has been made) to the Head of SDSI Ilze Kundziņa at ilze.kundzina@sdsi.ma so that the SDSI Admissions Committee can conduct a reconsideration. All appeals must be submitted before April 5, 2024. Appeal results will be emailed to the applicant before April 19, 2024.

VISA and Residence permits

After the final acceptance you will have to prepare your documents for the residence permit to start your studies in SDSI. Your first study location is Latvia and therefore it is also the country to submit your application for the residence permit. You will be able to find the additional information about the documents needed for the initial residence permit for studies here: https://vissparmigraciju.pmlp.gov.lv/. Select your country and proceed to the next steps.

Please note: 

  1. Make sure that before arriving to Latvia you have obtained the original paper-signed document certifying the necessary means of subsistence. Monthly amount in EUR is country specific and indicated in the section "Documents to be submitted". You have to present the means of subsistence for the time period of one year at least. Make sure that the document has the original signature, full name, job position of the signature person, and name of the financial institution issuing the document. The sum has to be indicated in EUR. Take this document with you when arriving to Latvia – you will have to submit it together with other docs during the process of obtaining the residence permit.

  2. In order to obtain the residence permit, you will be requested to indicate the address of your residence during the studies in Latvia. Make sure that you start search of the rental apartment / dorms as soon as possible after admission to SDSI. Ask the SDSI incoming team for assistance.

  3. We suggest that you open a bank account in a bank in Latvia. For non-EU/EEA students it is a must, and is possible after the residence permit by the Republic of Latvia is granted, within 90 days after starting your studies at SDSI. This will be the EU bank account for the whole duration of your study process. For Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders – it is where the SDSI scholarship will be monthly paid to, including during the mobility periods in Estonia and Finland. However, also non-Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders at some point might apply to and be awarded another kinds of national scholarships, and the EU bank account will then be needed. In addition, EU bank account allows you for low-cost or free of charge ATM transactions in the SDSI countries. 

In order to continue the SDSI mobility periods in Estonia and Finland, mobility instructions are pretty easy. Considering that the initial residence permit for non-EU students was granted by the Republic of Latvia in compliance with the EU study migration directive 2016/801 and covers your whole mobility path for the 2 years’ study programme, no additional visa or residence permit has to be obtained in Finland and Estonia by non-EU students. However, certain mobility registrations have to be implemented by all students in the following order:

  1. Semester in Estonia: For non-EU students it is enough to have the initial residence permit which was granted by the Republic of Latvia on your Year 1, and you are not requested to undergo any other migration procedures. However, EU students have to register their Estonian residence address and apply for the Estonian ID card; see instructions here: https://www.eesti.ee/en/.

  2. Semester in Finland: Non-EU students must submit a mobility notification to the Finnish Immigration Service prior to the start of the mobility semester in Finland: https://migri.fi/en/. For non-EU students – again, keep in mind, that you don’t need to apply for a new residence permit in Finland, based on the fact that you have a valid residence permit for studies issued by the Republic of Latvia, and your studies are covered by the SDSI consortium’s agreement among higher education institutions. EU students  must apply for the registration of the right of residence: https://migri.fi/en/.

Each year, admission results are published on the SDSI website in April. Applicants can find their performance order and scores by checking the results file, where each applicant is listed with their assigned DreamApply account ID number.

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