Quick Facts


2 years

1400 EUR / month (for selected, succesful candidates)

Full time, on-site

Latvia, Finland, Estonia

ADMISSION 2024/2025
November 23rd to February 23rd 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 humanitarian sciences, arts, information and communication sciences, the social and human sciences, or science in business administration.

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?

Do you have a Bachelor’s degree at least 180 ECTS or a second-level professional higher education diploma in humanitarian sciences, arts, information and communication sciences, the social and human sciences, or science in business administration? Then you meet the only prerequisite for the Master’s in SDSI. A professional work experience is preferable and might give you a competitive advantage but is not a prerequisite for studying with the SDSI.

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

We encourage you to apply if one of the following statements describes you:

  • A mid-level or senior professional from industry or the public sector who can demonstrate creative talents and leadership in innovative projects
  • Self-employed professional
  • Emerging entrepreneur
  • Motivated individual

The Process

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

Required Documents

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

Proof of English proficiency

You have to present the results of one of the internationally recognized tests (see below). If your previous studies have been obtained in English but in the country where English is not native language, then you have to present an official letter from your previous educational institution where is stated that all your studies were in English (medium of instruction is English), and you have to pass interview where the SDSI will evaluate your language skills. Applicants who have obtained previous education in English in one of the bellow listed countries do not need to provide separate language proficiency:

  1. Australia
  2. The Bahamas
  3. Canada (except Quebec) 
  4. Ireland
  5. New Zealand
  6. St Vincent and the Grenadines
  7. United Kingdom
  8. United States of America
  9. South Africa

Internationally recognized foreign language certificate does not have to be presented if the foreigner has acquired secondary education in a country of the EU and the EEA or in the Swiss Confederation and in his secondary education certificate is included an assessment of foreign language skills, which are comparable to at least level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

SDSI accepts the following internationally recognized language tests:

  1. Duolingo English Test*: at least 85 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 Duolingo English Test which is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with the SDSI (Art Academy of Latvia) when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test sessions.


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

Motivational Letter

One of the most important parts of your application is the motivation letter, a short essay (in English, 4,600 characters maximum, including spaces).
In short, its goal is to introduce your background, support your application, and answer the question: "Why are you a suitable candidate?"

Some points that may help you answer this question:

  1. Why have I chosen to apply to this program?
  2. What do I expect to gain from my studies?
  3. Why does my background make me a suitable candidate?
  4. How will the program help me to achieve my goals? 
  5. Include an analysis of your strengths when contributing to multicultural and cross-disciplinary team projects and a vision of your future plans in the field.   

NB! It is important to properly cite and reference any sources used in your motivation letter (quotations, publications, ideas, etc. that are not your own). Neglecting the rules of referencing and citation is considered plagiarism and will result in the disqualification of your application.

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). Successful candidates will be invited for interviews.

  1. The interview will be conducted in real time via Internet (Zoom). The exact interview time for each candidate will be announced via e-mail
  2. Members of SDSI Admissions and Examination Committee will ask additional questions to the applicant based on presented documents, motivation letter and admission assignment. The questions may also refer to the candidate’s work experience, etc. Applicant’s motivation and knowledge of the general matters of service design will be tested
Study offer:

After successfully passing the interview, you will be conditionally accepted to SDSI and will receive an email. Read through the conditional acceptance letter – it includes a list of all the required information, documents, and deadlines!
Please see more information below in the section “Sending documents”.
All education documents will be assessed by the Academic Information Centre (AIC)

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 interview
April 9, 2024 Communication of results to candidates
by April 20, 2024 Signed study agreement and study fee payment(if applicable)
September 9, 2024 Beginning of studies and the new academic year
Sending documents

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

After you receive a study offer and are asked to send documents by post, please ensure the following:

  1. Copies of education documents mentioned above are notarized; official translations of education documents in English are included.
    • Alternatively, Bachelor level 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. officially certified copy of Bachelor's diploma in the original language;
  3. officially certified copy of academic transcripts in the original language;
  4. authorized translation in English of Bachelor's diploma (if the originals are not issued in English);
  5. authorized translation in English of academic transcripts (if the originals are not issued in English);
  6. simple copy of passport identification pages (created by a photocopier);

All education documents sent to us 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:

Art Academy of Latvia
SDSI programme
Kalpaka boulevard 13
Rīga LV-1050

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

Considering that the SDSI study programme has been awarded the status of Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters (EMJM) programme* and has received financial support from the European Union, the SDSI consortium can now apply a 50% discount to the SDSI original study fee (8000 EUR per year), starting with the study year 2023/2024. The discounted study fee is 4000 EUR per year, and applies to students originating from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. Study fee for students from the rest of the world remains the same – 8000 EUR per year. 

In addition, thanks to the EU support, the SDSI consortium can annually award the Erasmus Mundus scholarships in the amount of 1400 EUR / month and completely waive the study fee for 15 students of excellence originating from European Union, the third countries associated to the Erasmus+ Programme**, and the Neighborhood East countries***, as well as to 5 students annually originating from certain other parts the world****.

Important: candidates who have already benefited from an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master (EMJM) scholarship are not eligible to apply for an additional scholarship. The European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), in the context of managing the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters, collects and processes the personal data of some of the candidates. In particular, certain data of the scholarship holders and non-scholarship holders is shared with the Agency and treated according to this privacy statement.

* Grant agreement with the EACEA, project ID 101082388 “Joint Master's Degree Programme in Service Design Strategies and Innovations”
** North Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Liechtenstein, Turkey 
*** Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Territory of Ukraine as recognised by international law
**** Region 1 – Western Balkans, Region 3 – South-Mediterranean countries, Region 5 – Asia, Region 6 – Central Asia, Region 9 – Sub-Saharan Africa, Region 10 – Latin America

Country of origin of the student No. of EMJM scholarship holders per intake Scholarship amount Study fee
-The European Union countries
-The third countries associated with the Erasmus+ Programme, i.e., North Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Liechtenstein, Turkey
-The Neighborhood East countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Territory of Ukraine as recognised by international law
15 1400 EUR / month not applicable
-Region 1 – Western Balkans
-Region 3 – South-Mediterranean countries
-Region 5 – Asia
-Region 6 – Central Asia
-Region 9 – Sub-Saharan Africa
-Region 10 – Latin America
5-6 1400 EUR / month not applicable
EU, EEA or Switzerland If the candidate is not selected for the EMJM scholarship - 4000,00 EUR per year
Any other country If the candidate is not selected for the EMJM scholarship - 8000,00 EUR per year


There’s no possibility for any appeal to the final list of selected applicants, except if based on a specific procedural error by the SDSI Admissions and Examination Committee in the application process.

Appeal procedure

Please read the Selection Criteria as well as the Application Procedure carefully before submitting an appeal.

  • Applicants who do not submit the required documents by the established deadlines should not appeal.

  • Applicants who have followed the application procedure and met the deadlines, but have been rejected due to failure to meet selection criteria and have reason to believe that a mistake was made during the selection process, have the right to appeal the decision of the selection committee.

The appeal process relates to how your proposal was handled during the evaluation and eligibility review 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 a mistake has been made, please send an email to the Head of SDSI Ilze Kundziņa at ilze.kundzina@sdsi.ma with all required information (name, email address and a detailed explanation of why you believe a mistake has been maid) for reconsideration by the SDSI Admissions’ Committee. All appeals must be submitted before April 10. Appeal results will be emailed to the applicant before April 20.

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/.

We were thrilled to receive a tremendous number of applications this year, with around 700 candidates applying for only 30 spots in the program. The competition was tough, and we were highly impressed by the quality of the applicants.

As you may be aware, we can only award a limited number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships each year. According to the Project No. 101082388 of the EACEA, which is implemented by the SDSI consortium, we can annually allocate

  • 15 Erasmus Mundus scholarships for students from the Programme Countries,

  • additional one scholarship funded by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance,

  • and additional 4-5 scholarships per year funded by the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation – Global Europe Instrument.

Please note that those who were not selected for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship will still have the opportunity to study as self-funded students. However, please keep in mind that the selection process for study fee spots is just as demanding as the regular admission process, and there are only ten study-fee spots available in the program.

We feel honored for receiving your study applications, and wish you all luck in your future endeavors. The admissions committee had a difficult month reviewing all of the applications, and we appreciate your patience and understanding throughout the process.

Once again, we thank you for your interest in the SDSI program and for sharing your talents and aspirations with us.

Best regards,
SDSI Admissions Team

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