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MSc in Politics and Data Science
The MSc Politics and Data Science programme is specifically tailored to address the transformative impact of generative AI, large language models, and machine learning on political processes and their ethical implications. This cutting-edge course is an ideal choice for applicants from diverse backgrounds, aiming to explore the intersection of politics and advanced data science in the digital era.
The curriculum delves deeply into the ways generative AI and large language models are revolutionising our understanding of political discourse, public opinion, and policy-making. With a focus on the ethical and societal implications of these technologies, the programme equips students with a critical perspective on how data science shapes political narratives and decisions in both democratic and non-democratic regimes.
Structured in two streams, the programme caters to students from varying academic backgrounds. The first stream introduces students from social sciences, including political science, to advanced data science methods, emphasizing the use of large language models and machine learning in political analysis. The second stream, tailored for those with a technical background, focuses on political science research design and theories, integrating these with data science applications.
Core modules for the Social Science Background stream provide a foundational understanding of data science methods, while optional modules allow exploration into specialised areas like machine learning, quantitative text analysis, and the ethical use of AI in politics. Similarly, the Technical Background stream includes core and elective modules that blend technical skills with an understanding of political science theories and applications.
This programme not only offers comprehensive training in political science and its sub-disciplines but also equips students with empirical skills to navigate and analyse the complex interplay between politics and technology in the modern world. It prepares graduates to critically assess and contribute to the evolving landscape of politics in the age of data science and AI.
All details on the programme, along with an overview of the course structure are available here.
For further questions about the programme, please contact Dr Stefan Müller.
What a Recent Graduate Says about the MSc Politics and Data Science
“I entered the program with nothing more than an enthusiasm for quantitative research, and I left with a skill set that includes data wrangling, machine learning, and quantitative text analysis. The faculty at UCD is very passionate about education and research, encouraging my peers and me to take the initiative in our learning processes and collaborative projects.
At UCD, I found a supportive network and developed a deep appreciation for data and how its study and nuanced interpretation promote informed policies and decisions. The MSc in Politics and Data Science offers a much-needed bridge across disciplines and expertise.”
– Jeanette Garcia, Graduate of MSc Politics and Data Science (2021/22)
ProfCert Programming for Social Scientists
(In person/online, 4 months part-time)
The Professional Certificate in Programming for Social Scientists provides an introduction to computer programming using Python. Python is the most popular programming language among data scientists. It is also an excellent language to learn programming and basic software design skills. Through this course, students will gain extensive knowledge of Python through social science applications, as well as experience in team-based project development and collaborative programming tools. This course is delivered over 12 weeks allowing you to fit your study alongside work, family, or other life commitments.
Course Content and Structure
After watching short online lecture videos, students will come to class – or participate online – to work in groups on exercises and a group project. Especially in the first weeks, the emphasis will be on exercises covering key programming topics. As the course progresses and you gain further programming skills, emphasis will shift towards working on the larger group project.
Graduates from this program will be ideally positioned to apply their newly acquired programming skills for careers in government, think tanks, political campaigns, interest groups, and the civil service. Furthermore, the combination of a solid understanding of social science theory with hands-on programming skills brings a unique addition to any data science team, in the corporate sector, the nonprofit sector, or within IT companies.
T: +353 01 716 8182
Apply online at www.ucd.ie/apply. Course code: W527
All details on the program, along with an overview of the course structure are available here.
ProfCert Quantitative Text Analysis
(In person, 4 months part-time)
The Professional Certificate in Quantitative Text Analysis introduces students to various computational text mining methods in social science research with a focus on hands-on analysis of real texts. Students will learn to write code that extracts useful information from large textual data sets and develop an independent research project of their choosing that relies on computational text mining methods. This course is delivered over 12 weeks allowing you to fit your study alongside work, family or other life commitments.
Course Content and Structure
This Professional Certificate comprises one 10-credit module Quantitative Text Analysis. Meetings consist of a combination of lectures and lab sessions in which students work through various text-mining methods and tools. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to work on their own interests, by developing an in-depth research project that relies on computational text mining techniques.
Graduates from this programme will be ideally positioned to apply their newly acquired computational text-mining skills to redirect their careers in government, think tanks, political campaigns, interest groups, and the civil service. Furthermore, the combination of a solid understanding of social science theory with the technical ability to explore large text data sets, brings a unique addition to any data science team, in the corporate sector, the nonprofit sector, or within IT companies.
T: +353 01 716 8182
Apply online at www.ucd.ie/apply. Course code: W528
Furthermore, we are involved in the delivery of both Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs and are keen to supervise potential PhD students interested in applying computational approaches to topics in political science and international relations.
A selection of the programs we are involved in are listed below: