Scandinavian design education
from Helsinki to the world

Scandinavian Design School offers online preparatory courses for art, design, and architecture bachelor's and master's degree studies. Based in Finland, we combine the world’s top-ranking education with Scandinavian design expertise.

Our history

We offer the best design courses
Scandinavian Design School was established in 2020 with the desire to offer top-ranking Finnish design education internationally. We are a part of Teho-Opisto, which has been teaching preparatory courses to Art, Design and Architecture degree studies in Finland since 2009.

Founded by architect Sini Koivisto, Teho-Opisto has grown into the biggest provider of preparatory courses in Finland with over 1000 students successfully continuing to degree education, and a staggering 90% with a portfolio that has been prepared with us. The same teachers now provide the same methods in English under Scandinavian Design School online courses.

Top-ranking education

Our teachers are highly qualified professionals and experts in their own fields. We are genuinely interested in every student’s learning and ready to make an effort to help you progress.

We genuinely want to see you make it, and will focus on you as an individual through personal feedback and training.
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Pioneers in art education

The course structure and curriculum are designed by our founding teachers and design education experts: Architect Sini Koivisto and Designer Eeva Jokinen, who both hold a double MA degrees in both Art Education and their own design fields. The numbers speak for themselves: our methods work.

Solid base for studies and professional life

In our courses, you’ll learn a lot about your own field and general design principles, which gives a solid foundation for your future studies. Our students have been successful in their degree studies and have referred to us as their preschool before university.
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Our students love us!  

Frequently asked questions

Do you offer university degree programs?

No, we do not offer degree programs. Scandinavian Design School offers Art and Design Foundation courses for students who wish to apply for higher education in the creative fields. We teach the skills and tools needed to pursue a career in your desired design field.  

If you are in need of a preparatory course to hone your skills for the application process we definitely are here to help you! Our courses are also suitable for goal-oriented studies in the creative fields, even if you do not consider applying to any school.

Can I apply for a Scholarship?

We do not have a Scholarship program. You can study with us from your own home, and work and live your regular life at the same time. Our courses will help you to achieve the level of creative skills that make it easier for you to get into a degree program in one of your desired univeristy. Those programs usually offer scholarship options.

Do you organize online courses / Do you organize courses on site?

We have two types of courses:

Independent online courses where you study at home at your own pace. These courses are fully online with teacher feedback received via email. We keep contact with the students constantly and are also available for zoom calls if there is anything our students wish to discuss in person. 

Teacher-led zoom courses, where you study via zoom at home in a predetermined schedule. These courses are also fully online, but you will join a teacher-led zoom class at a predetermined time. You have the opportunity to ask questions and have conversations with other students.

How much time do the courses take?

Our teacher-led courses include one zoom class each course week. (The classes may also be scheduled biweekly.) The student is required to be motivated to study for about 6-9 hours a week to get the full benefits of our classes.

In our other courses, the schedules depend a lot on you and which course you are attending. You can start the independent course when it suits you best and study at your own pace with support of our professional teachers. Still, the intended workload for each lesson is c. 6+ hours of active work.

You can find more detailed information about each course on our course page.

How do I apply for courses?

You can join the independent courses without application by just purchasing it through our website.

The teacher led courses may require application. In such cases we ask you to tell us about your motivation and background. We also ask you to submit examples of your best artworks which will allow us to determine your skill level. Our teacher led-courses are for more advanced students who already know the basic creative skills. If you meet the requirements you will be accepted to the course. We will contact all relevant applicants and discuss their situation if we think they would benefit from further studies before joining the course they applied for.

Can I join the course even if I’m a beginner?

The independent course contents are designed to support your learning for all levels of creative skill. Even if you are a beginner or a more advanced student. As art and design is an ever developing skill, your response to the tasks is in relation to your current skill level. We will adjust our feedback accordingly, guiding students from each level to develop and get better. 

Our teacher led courses are designed for more advanced students who already know the basic creative skills. For these courses we ask you to send an application where you explain your motivation to join the course and present some earlier works which tell us if your skills are good enough for you to get the most out of the course content. In these courses the lessons are more advanced and designed for a certain purpose. This benefits all the students, as you will also learn from other students’ process.

How much teacher-student interaction is there?

In the independent online course you will “meet” the teacher in the video lessons and through the feedback you receive after you return your tasks. We will review and comment on your returns carefully, trying to help you see the areas you could improve and where you have succeeded in communicating your idea well. You can always ask about the feedback and rework your tasks to get further comments.

The course includes a kick off zoom meeting with your teacher where we will meet face to face. You get to know us and tell us more about your situation and creative history. We can show you examples of the course tasks and we can discuss if tailoring the courses according to your personal goals would better support you towards your dream.

In the teacher-led courses you will meet the teacher in the class meetings and get personal feedback on your assignments and tasks.

How can I pay the course fees?

We accept credit card payments. If you would like to pay via bank transfer, please contact us and we’ll send you an invoice for your bank. You will receive the course materials only after the payment.

Can I pay in installments?

Yes, depending on the course duration and prices we can offer a 2-5 installment schedule. Please contact us for further details.

Meet our team

Sini Koivisto

  • Founder and head teacher of Scandinavian Design School and Teho-Opisto
  • Architect SAFA
  • Master of Arts in Art Education
  • Architecture and Art teacher for 20+ years
  • Owner of Designspace Architecture company
  • A dedicated Scandinavian Design School teacher, who is the first one to celebrate the success stories of accepted students

"I founded Scandinavian Design School with the desire to offer more versatile, goal-oriented and above all, student-centric teaching internationally.

I’ve been working as a teacher since 2001: first in Arkki, School of Architecture for Children and Youth, and Aalto University of Art and Design Helsinki as an architecture and design pedagogy teacher. Besides teaching, I have 18 years of experience working in architecture firms and also have delivered a wide range of architecture projects through my own firm.

I’m deeply interested in architecture and art. If you are too, you’ve already got the most important thing covered – your attitude!"
Eeva Jokinen
Head Teacher

  • Master of Arts in Design
  • Master of Arts in Art Education
  • Art and design teacher for 20+ years
  • Owner of Eeva Jokinen Ceramics design company
  • A passionate and well liked Scandinavian Design School teacher, who is dedicated in training you to reach the study place of your dreams!

"My interest in the design field is wide. I teach both research methods and ceramic practices  as a part time teacher at Aalto University and Art techniques and Design process methods here at Scandinavian Design School, where I'm also responsible of the curriculum development and course content.

I’m interested in how we learn and how to teach creative skills, which are very individual and based on practice, time and technical abilities. My teaching philosophy is to guide the students towards their goals as a companion and provider, facilitating the learning by asking the right and sometimes very frank questions to make the choices that are possible in the process visible."

Elina Ludborza
Content Creator

  • Bachelor of Arts in Design 
  • Studies in the IDBM MA program at Aalto University

"With a solid foundation in product design, academic art, art history, and sculpting, my expertise is multifaceted and deeply rooted in creativity.

My academic journey at Aalto has not only enriched my skills in service design, product development, and branding but has also shaped my professional identity around human-centered design.

Focused on people and the creation of new, meaningful experiences, my passion lies in delivering top-notch designs and content that not only showcase aesthetic excellence but also tell compelling stories. "

Meet our teachers

Eeva & Sini talk about
SDS goals and values:

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