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

The newly established interdisciplinary doctoral study program is offering an academic doctoral degree (PhD) in digital arts and audiovisual media, rooted in a 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 20th, 2023. 

The deadline for pre-applications for topics of PhD theses is November 6, 2023, the application deadline is January 15, 2024. The studies will start on February 1, 2024.

The studies will commence on February 1st, 2023.

Watch the doctoral study teaser HERE:

The new PhD programme MACT is a project funded by European Social Fund, No., Reduction of fragmentation of study programmes and strengthening of resource sharing at LiepU.

About the new doctoral program

Contemporary culture and economy demand versatile, independent, and capable specialists in digital media and audiovisual 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 professionals, underpinned by academia, and 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.

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

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 previously 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 Ph.D. degree in Sciences 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, Associate ProfessorRaitis Šmits from the Art Academy of Latvia,  both of whom are also visiting 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,   assistant professors  Dr. Chris  Hales, longtime associate of SMARTlab UCD 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,  and independent researcher Dr.  Alise Tīfentāle, as well as 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 its kind in Northern Europe.  It delivers an extensive cooperation with partner schools such as  Aalto  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 summer schools organized by partners. Participation is also possible in the 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 mode is full-time study, duration – 3 years. The study program is designed in the form of "low-residency", which means a greater focus on remote individual independent research work. The cornerstones to the studies are, however, three on-site intensive meetings per year, which take place in the form of structured 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, to the Art Residency Centre SERDE, Aizpute, and the third (autumn)  colloquium  takes place in Liepaja, organized by the MPLab (Art Research Lab) of Liepaja University. Outside of the colloquia a remote individual research process takes 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 and foreign teachers, which creates an internationally dynamic study environment in Latvia. 

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

At the end of the third year of studies, a final pre-defence exam is held (in English). After passing the pre-defence exam and graduating, the thesis is further guided to the actual defence. The doctoral thesis process after graduation takes from 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 4240.  RISEBA University offers 5 paid places and LiepU  doctoral studies also provide 5 places, which are both paid and on state-paid budget support.

For year 2023 Liepaja University also offers one budget place with no fee.

Admission. Which university to enrol 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 and immersive arts, while RISEBA – in audiovisual media and creative technologies.

To apply for studies at the University of Liepāja (digital media art), 1) by January 20, you must fill out an electronic application for doctoral studies, adding an art research application in English. 2) must participate in a remote interview in the period from January 24 to 26 according to the individual schedule.

We will wait until January 20, 2022 for the application of doctoral dissertation topics (in the final version) for the new joint doctoral program of LiepU and RISEBA. In order to get to know the new program more closely and to provide assistance to applicants to prepare a doctoral research topic application in a better quality, we provide the opportunity to receive a review, comments or consultation if you submit the first version of the research application by December 15, 2022.

Studies will start on February 1, 2024.

The doctoral dissertation research application form can be downloaded here or received by e-mail by contacting the administrative director of the doctoral study program of the relevant university (where the applicant wishes to enroll).

The deadline for pre-applications for topics of PhD theses is November 6, 2023, the application deadline is January 15, 2024. The studies will start on February 1, 2024.


More information and contacts:

Professor Rasa Šmite, head of the doctoral program at Liepāja University,, +371-26546776

Docent Aigars Ceplītis,, administrative director of the doctoral program at RISEBA University, +371-25620270