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"Virtualities and Reality" (2017), RIXC Art and Science Festival and international scientific conference in cooperation with  LiepU Mplab. ©RIXC, 2017. Photo: Didzis  Grodzs

The new doctoral program "Media Art and Creative Technologies", implemented jointly by Liepaja University (LiepU) and “RISEBA” University of Applied Sciences announces the winter admission.

The newly established interdisciplinary doctoral study program is offering an academic doctoral degree (PhD) in digital arts and audiovisual media, rooted in practice-based and practice-led approach that reflects cutting edge contemporary artistic investigations, critical analytical research methods, and technological innovation.

Rolling Applications for the Joint Doctoral Degree of LiepU and RISEBA University of Applied Sciences may be submitted till January 16th, 2022. 

The studies will commence on February 1st, 2022.

About the new doctoral program

Contemporary culture and economy demand versatile, independent, and capable specialists in digital media and audio-visual arts who can work creatively and productively with a wide range of innovative technologies. It is the aim of the new doctoral program to foster such a milieu where the professionals, primed by the academia, in partnership with artistic experts of both universities and partner schools from abroad, will deliver competitive scholars, equipped with diverse skills, knowledge and practical experience in creating artworks as well as in production of creative project management, artistic research, and production of new knowledge.

The joint PhD degree by LiepU and RISEBA is a prerequisite, a crucial milestone, not only for a successful individual career in the labour market for arts, media, innovative technologies, and creative industries as well as for an academic career in higher education. The graduates of the new program will be well-prepared to take part in shaping contemporary culture in the widest sense of this word, not limited to the potential to work as experts, consultants, policy-makers, project evaluators, and initiators of various innovations in numerous local, national, EU, and international organizations.

The program "Media Art and Creative Technologies", licensed this year, was developed by LiepU and RISEBA, in conjunction with a project financed by EU funds 2.1.0/18/A/010 "Reduction of Fragmentation of Study Programs and Strengthening of Resource Sharing in LiepU", and by attracting foreign experts in support of the previosuly implemented EEA/Norwegian Financial Mechanism grants that had established Liepaja University’s doctoral program “New Media Arts”.

RISEBA Theatre performance "Gloria", 2019. Photo: Kristaps Mozgirs

Degree to be obtained

After defending their doctoral thesis, graduates of the program will receive a inSciences of Creative Industries.

Resources and material and technical base

A wide and high-quality material and technical base is provided for the study process, creative work and experimentation. Young researchers studying in this study program will have access to laboratory premises for their practical work and research: in Liepaja – Liepaja University Art Research Laboratory  (MPLab),  and in Riga – RISEBA Architecture and Media Centre H2O6.

In turn, the exhibition of creative works and presentation of research achievements on the international new media art scene takes place in close cooperation with the New Media Culture Centre RIXC in Riga, which actively involves young researchers both at the RIXC Art and Science Festival and at the annual international scientific conference "Open Fields", as well as providing exhibition opportunities at the RIXC Gallery in Riga.  

"Virtualities and Reality" (2017) RIXC in collaboration with  LiepU MPLab curated exhibition  kim?contemporary art centre. © RIXC, 2017. Photo: Didzis  Grodzs

International Network and Experts

The doctoral program was developed by a group of experts consisting of such professionals and internationally recognized researchers, artists and producers of digital art and audiovisual media as Professor Rasa Šmite of the University of Latvia, Raitis Šmits,  Associate Professor at the Art Academy of Latvia,  both of whom are also guest lecturers in the MIT Program of Arts, Culture and Technology in Boston and the founders of the New Media Culture Centre RIXC in Riga; RISEBA lecturers– a PhD candidate  Aigars Ceplītis,  guest lecturers Dr. Chris  Hales, founder of SMART Lab in Dublin, and Dr.Ellen Pearlman, a lecturer at  New School in New York, researcher at MIT, as well as other local and foreign experts such as Professor Žilvinas Lilas (KHM Media School in Cologne), RSU Associate Professor  Ilva Skulte,  an independent expert Dr.  Alise Tīfentāle, and representatives from the partner universities of the new program.

The new doctoral program aims to become one of the leading innovative and international programs of this kind in northern Europe.  It delivers an extensive cooperation with partner schools such as  Alto  University in Helsinki (Finland), Dublin University of Technology (Ireland), Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway), as well as opportunities for young researchers to participate in ERASMUS exchange programs by obtaining credit points in doctoral summers schools organized by partners and in joint international scientific conferences " Open  Fields" and  "Renewable  Futures", which are dedicated to the development of art and science research in northern Europe and have a network of more than 60 universities from 30 countries around the world. 

By actively participating in this network, young researchers will orient themselves in the international media movement and will be able to contribute to further research of media art and creative technologies in Latvia and Northern Europe.

RISEBA VR Conference: Riga Digal Forum, 2018.  Photo: Kristaps  Mozgirs

Study process, duration and language

The study form is full-time studies, duration – 3 years. The new Doctoral Studies are provided in the form of "low-residency", which means that they are focused on remote individual independent research work. 

The "cornerstones" of studies or the only on-site periods are 3 symposia every year, which take place in the form of intensive colloquia, each of them for one week. The first colloquium takes place at the beginning of the academic year in February in Riga and is organised by RISEBA; the second (summer) colloquium takes place in June as an outing for example, in the Art Residency Centre SERDE, Aizpute, and the third(autumn) colloquium takes place in Liepaja, organized by the University of Liepaja. 

For the rest of the time, a remote individual research process is taking place in close association with the scientific supervisor and program experts. 

This form of study allows young researchers to carry out high-quality research in the new innovative and interdisciplinary program without changing the place of residence and combining it with work.

The program is licensed in English so that it is also available to foreign students, foreign teachers, and it creates an internationally dynamic study environment in Latvia. 

Doctoral students from Latvia have a choice – the doctoral thesis can be written in Latvian or English. 

At the end of the 3rd year of studies, a final pre-defense exam is held (in English). After passing the pre-defense exam and graduating, the thesis is further guided to the actual defense. The doctoral thesis process after graduation takesfrom half a year to one year, as a result of which a doctorate is obtained.

During the study period, 132 credit points (198 ECTS) are obtained. 

Who are the beneficiaries of this program?

1. professional artists and media producers who wish to refine their artistic practices by combining them with innovation technologies and transforming them into scientific research;
2. interested parties from any other field of arts and science who have obtained a Master's degree and who want to acquire creative thinking and methods of art research in order to create innovative research-based interdisciplinary media projects;

3. other experienced audiovisual media producers, artists and digital culture researchers living in Latvia and abroad.

4. leaders of national and international creative technology enterprises, as well as leaders of EU audiovisual media institutions and organisations. 

Tuition fee

The tuition fee is EUR 3580.  At the commencement of the new program, a 25 % discount is applied in the first year.  RISEBA University offers 5 paid places and LiepU doctoral studies also provide 5 places, which are both paid and on state-paid budget support.

Admission. Which university to enroll in?

Admission to the joint doctoral study program takes place at the higher institution where the applicant chooses to apply:  Liepaja University specializes in digital media art, while RISEBA– in audiovisual media and creative technologies.

In order to apply for studies at RISEBA University (audiovisualmedia and creative technologies), an applicant must 1) send a research application to the administrative coordinator of the RISEBA doctoral program, Assistant Professor Aigars Ceplītis:,and  2) fill in the electronic application form in the RISEBA system:

In order to apply for studies at Liepaja University (digital media art), 1) you must send a research application to  Professor Rasa Šmite, the Head of the Doctoral Program of LiepU: and 2) fill in the application form, that will be available on the LiepU system:


We will wait until January 16, 2022 for the application of doctoral thesis topics (in the final version) for the new Joint Doctoral Degree of LiepU  and RISEBA.  In order to get acquainted with the new program and provide the applicants with assistance in preparing the doctoral research topic application morequalitatively, we provide an opportunity to receive feedback, comments or consultation if you submit a first-time research application by 16th of December, 2021.


Studies will start on February 1st, 2022.

The doctoral thesis study application form can be  downloaded here,or received by e-mail by contacting the heads of the doctoral study program of the relevant higher education institution (where the applicant wishes to enroll).

Acceptance of applications for the next study year in 2023 continues throughout the year, the deadline for the first version of applications is November 15th, 2022, and the final version – 15th of January, 2023.


More information and contacts:

Professor Rasa Šmite, Director of the Doctoral Program, Liepaja University,, +371-26546776

Assistant Professor Aigars Ceplītis,, Administrative Coordinator of Doctoral Program at RISEBA University, +371-25620270






+371 67228478 (office)

+371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)