The Art Academy of Latvia (AAL), in collaboration with esteemed partners, announces a groundbreaking initiative poised to reshape the landscape of higher education in service design. Through the "Joint Master's Degree Programme in Service Design Strategies and Innovations" (SDSI), the consortium aims to equip the next generation of leaders with the tools to navigate complex challenges within our evolving world.

In a pivotal milestone reached in September 2022, AAL, on behalf of the SDSI consortium, signed a grant agreement with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency for Project No. 101082388, cementing the path forward for SDSI. Commencing with the academic year 2023/2024, SDSI has officially gained recognition as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master's programme.

In a rapidly transforming Europe, where socio-economic paradigms are undergoing profound shifts, SDSI emerges as a beacon of change. This innovative joint-degree programme brings together the Art Academy of Latvia as the coordinator partner, the University of Lapland and the Estonian Academy of Arts as full partners, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga as an esteemed associate academic partner. 

The programme imparts a holistic education to create versatile service innovators capable of driving transformation across public and private entities through strategic design, management, and creative leadership. SDSI's interdisciplinary curriculum fosters cross-specialization in design, business, technology, and social sciences, facilitating the emergence of graduates poised to facilitate change and contribute to socially responsible global service organizations.

Running from October 1, 2022, to November 30, 2028, the project No. 101082388 envisages four student intakes, commencing with the 2023/2024 academic year. Each intake will admit around 30 international students, with a minimum of 121 students experiencing the programme's enriching journey. Notably, the project allocates scholarships of 1400 EUR per month for the Erasmus Mundus, NDICI (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument), or IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) recipients among the top 81 students.

SDSI promises an immersive international experience, with students embarking on at least two study periods of 30 ECTS in countries distinct from their residence - Latvia, Finland, and Estonia. The project boasts a grant amount of 4,899,600.00 EUR, of which 2,721,600.00 EUR are dedicated to student scholarships, exemplifying the consortium's commitment to fostering academic excellence.To augment the academic experience, SDSI consortium proudly welcomes two associate partners - the Kuldīga District Municipality and the NGO “Kuldīga Artists’ Residence'' - who will enrich students' learning journey with invaluable extra-curricular and cultural experiences during their Latvian study tenure.

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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.


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The Art Academy of Latvia was founded in 1919, and its expertise includes various fields of visual art and design. A modernised tradition of academic education, openness to topical art processes and activities, and a hands-on individual approach by the teaching personnel in preparing young artists have ensured and preserved the Academy’s authority.

With 700 students, the Academy is characterised as an example of exceptionally good collaboration between students and their professors. 2021 marks a new era for the Academy by inclusion of service design in its curricula list and the newly built, modern campus in Kuldīga, designed specifically for SDSI students.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, Art Academy of Latvia undertakes the role of the lead coordinator.

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Originally established in 1979, the University of Lapland aimed to provide higher education opportunities for those living in the far reaches of northern Finland. Now the university has grown into an international, multidisciplinary university whose areas of expertise include art and design, education, law, social sciences, Northern and Arctic themes, and tourism research.

Our first-class Arctic design labs support cutting-edge research on the interactions between people and the environment in the Arctic. Our interactions with community, businesses, and society are at the core of our research in northern Finland.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, the University of Lapland undertakes the role of a full partner. 

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Established in 1914, the Estonian Academy of Arts is one of six public universities in Estonia. It combines a unique mix of heritage and cutting-edge art and technology, as its small size allows for agility and constant innovation. As a school of 1000 students and a 1:3 teacher–student ratio, individualised study and personal mentorship are at the core of student development.

The multitude of creative departments, many of which have been operating for close to a century, enable design students to be inspired by textile and fashion designers, blacksmiths, ceramists, sculptors and many others.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, the Estonian Academy of Arts undertakes the role of a full partner. 

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The Financial Times-ranked Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga) is the leading business school in the region. SSE Riga is a comparatively small school with 450 students and a dynamic international learning environment – 60% of the core faculty is international, and programmes are designed in close cooperation with its ‘parent school’ in Stockholm.

Through active alumni from the Bachelor’s programme in Economics and Business, professional Executive MBA programme, various non-degree management training, Centre for Media Studies, and public debate and research activities, SSE Riga fulfils its mission to contribute to the economic, social and democratic development of the region.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga undertakes the role of an associate partner. 

Located in the western part of Latvia, approximately 150 km from the capital Riga, Kuldīga is known as a creative centre in Latvia. The visual resemblance of a medieval town is a result of meticulous long-term policy implemented by Kuldīga Municipality to preserve the authentic architectural details of local buildings and the cityscape, especially in light of a nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Over the last few years, the trend of a growing number of creative start-ups can be observed. Benefits of studying SDSI in Kuldīga include industry proximity for unlimited experience with service innovations, tourist destinations within walking distance and an affordable lifestyle.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, the Kuldīga Municipality undertakes the role of an associate partner. 

Kuldīga Artists’ Residence is an NGO, established in 2014, that has undertaken the role of bringing artistic and cultural vibrations to the town through visual arts residency programmes, design and creative industries projects, international summer schools, year-round exhibition programmes and various public events – lectures, workshops and artists’ talks.

Since 2016, Kuldīga Artists' Residence has been a zealous advocate for establishing the SDSI programme in Kuldīga, working in close collaboration with the Kuldīga Municipality and the Art Academy of Latvia. Since 2017, the Residence has supported the brand of Kuldīga Creative Summer School annual SDSI service design summer workshops.

Within the Erasmus Mundus project No. 101082388 of the SDSI implementation, the Kuldīga Artists' Residence undertakes the role of an associate partner. 

Student's Benefits

Each year, the top 20 students will receive the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship, providing them with a monthly stipend of 1400 EUR throughout the entirety of their SDSI study programme. It is important to highlight that the allocation of these scholarships is contingent upon student geography.

Under the Grant agreement with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency for Project No. 101082388, spanning the project's 2022-2028 timeline, the SDSI programme is authorized to grant scholarships as follows: 60 scholarships for students hailing from Erasmus+ Programme Countries, 3 scholarships for students originating from Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) region countries, and 18 scholarships for students from countries falling under the Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) region.

In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, this scholarship serves as a financial support mechanism, addressing students' travel, visa, installation, and subsistence expenses. Moreover, an all-encompassing health insurance coverage will be extended to all students, regardless of scholarship status.

Important: candidates who have already benefited from an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master (EMJM) scholarship are not eligible to apply for an additional scholarship.

Regrettably, as stipulated by the Grant agreement with the European Education and Culture Executive Agency for Project No. 101082388, the SDSI programme lacks dedicated funding for students with special needs. Nonetheless, the SDSI university partners remain steadfast in their commitment to offer comprehensive assistance to individuals requiring additional support, to the best of their capabilities.

Erasmus Mundus Association

We encourage SDSI students to become members of the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA). EMA’s vision is to become a global network of distinguished, connected, and active members of the greater Erasmus Mundus community. EMA’s mission is to foster academic excellence, professional development, and multicultural exchange of Erasmus Mundus students and alumni globally.

As a student of SDSI, you can also become an EMA member, getting even more benefits:

  • Networking opportunities with the whole Erasmus Mundus community spread across the globe.
  • Access to all community development, capacity building and professional development activities organised by EMA, only for EMA members.
  • Right to vote in the General Assembly of the EMA.
  • Opportunity to volunteer for EMA and avail the many advantages that come along with the membership. Nobody can become a volunteer at EMA without becoming a member of EMA.
  • Possibility to attend the in-person EMA General Assembly that is held every year.
  • Possibility to get invitations to various interesting and fun events, conferences, training, and seminars!
  • Be eligible to apply for ESAA ( Erasmus+ Student and Alumni Alliance) projects and get funding to realize your dream project.
  • Get access to discounts with partner companies of EMA.

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