Study Process

Study Process

Year One

Studies in Year 1 start with a two-week Orientation Programme, providing acculturation in the academic environment at SSE Riga, introduction to academic study skills and team building.

During the Autumn semester students are exposed to an intensive English language programme for advanced academic studies, have hands-on experience with entrepreneurial initiatives,and have their first insights into microeconomics, economic statistics and financial accounting.

During the Spring semester all students take Managerial Accounting with Production Management, Macroeconomics, Organization and Management, Management Accounting and Finance, study Marketing, Human Resource Management and Business Law. In February, students are invited for a feedback interview to review their adaptation to the change from school to university, their academic progress and their integration in the SSE Riga social environment.

By the end of the first year, students have acquired a basic core of economics and business fundamentals. Having finished the Year One academic programme, students take four-week summer internships at public institutions.

Year Two

Second year students face a new set of challenges; they are acclimated to SSE Riga life, and they begin in-depth academic and professional exploration.

In the second year, students begin with International Economics and Finance, followed by Econometrics, Market Research and Ethics and Sustainable Development. In the Spring semester students study Financial Economics, Economic Anthropology, Accounting and Finance, Marketing and Strategy.

Studies in the second year vary from lectures and seminars to small group discussions, major project work and company projects. Online teaching and e-learning is integrated in a few courses, including e-lectures.

During the second year, students identify their academic and professional strengths and specific interests. In early June, students have individual feedback meetings to discuss their personal and academic development as well as their academic plan for the final year. By the end of the second year, students understand the complexities involved in making economic and business decisions and the importance of being socially responsible and ethical in business. Having finished the academic programme, students take six-week summer internships at public or private institutions.

Year Three

The third year is a time when major events occur in each student's academic career, and support is the least structured. Students face some important decisions: first, they have to choose two from four specialization courses offered; and second, they must make important decisions on bachelor thesis writing.

During the Autumn semester approximately 30 top performing students go on exchange programmes. Third year students start with Political Economy that is followed by specialization courses – Economics and Marketing, then Finance and Entrepreneurship, and Research Methods for Academic Research. During the Spring semester students research and write a thesis that is a major project. Doing it well requires self-discipline, but it really helps each to further explore the subject matter. The final thesis in due in late March, followed by the presentation and opposition in April and revisions in May. In early June students are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science.

Study Principles 

Focused Learning

The main study principles in SSE Riga differ from the majority of  the universities in the Baltics. At SSE Riga, studies concentrate on just one or two courses at a time. An intense course usually takes from two weeks to two months. A course often has daily lectures and seminars, and the grade given consists of the exam result, practical project work and its presentation. Only after the end of one course does the next one begin.


The ability to work in a team is greatly valued in business nowadays. It is said that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Teamwork is the essence of the study process at SSE Riga, hence almost all the courses require project work to be written in international teams of four. Students learn to work with diverse personalities, ranging from various nationalities (Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians mainly, but sometimes including exchange students from all over Europe or even further parts of the world) and with people with various working styles and skills.

Project Work

Project work is simply called ‘reports’ among the students of SSE Riga. The papers are based on taking theoretical knowledge gained during the course and applying it to a practical issue. Business projects might include visiting an enterprise, interviewing managers and employees for a case study, or contacting several companies to ask for information. Meanwhile, academic research is usually based on quantitative information which is analyzed with statistical tools to reach conclusions or test hypotheses.


At the end of each course students present their project work in front of the class and an evaluator, and defend their papers from colleagues’ opposition and critical remarks. While the Presentations Skills course at the very beginning studies at SSE Riga provides basic knowledge, these abilities are developed throughout the three years. The ability to present  in-depth on complicated issues and research in 5 to 7 minutes, to use visual aids both to keep the listener interested and get the intended reaction, requires practice and is a must in business life.

Knowledge Sharing

Many seminars in SSE Riga are lead by Teaching Assistants – students who performed well in the course the previous year. Such responsibility gives pedagogical and leadership experience to the Teaching Assistants, and is also a way to present complicated issues in a way that is familiar to students while emphasizing the problems from one’s own fresh experience. Study groups are also widely promoted in SSE Riga. Students gather to discuss course material, solve exercises or distribute the workload among each other when studies are intense. On top of all that, overnights are organized before all the major deadlines or exams – the School stays open the whole night, so everyone can work as long as it takes to finish everything.

Two-way Feedback

After each course the Administration creates a questionnaire for evaluating different aspects of the course, so that all students can express their opinions and criticize any shortcomings they observed. After that, a feedback session with representatives from the Administration, students, and lecturers takes place. The information gathered is later used to improve the quality of the course. Students, in turn, get feedback after each course, too. Some lecturers provide detailed evaluation of project work; others are available throughout the course for support and supervision.

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Insider's View

I think that studying in this school in a relatively small community makes the study experience special. More than anything else, I enjoyed the company of fellow students. It was good to study in a very friendly atmosphere."'| ""

Alexander Ilkun
Senior Analyst
GE Capital - Treasury
United Kingdom, Class of 2009