A core challenge for 21st century science is to develop fundamental new insights for understanding and managing the complexity of social systems such as dynamic systems of technological innovation, dynamic networks of electronic communication, diffusion processes which explain the spread of diseases, hidden networks of crime and terrorism, social networks of peer pressure and discrimination and many other such phenomena.

Complex systems are often random and non-linear in their underlying processes. Various and recent research findings suggest these systems are characterised by "multi-scale interactions, emergent behaviour, feed-back across multiple processes, pattern formation and self-organisation".

This thematic PhD in Complex Systems and Computational Social Science (CSCS) equips students to work in this new, fast-growing and innovative field which is characterised by the application of computer simulation and other computer-based methods to the analysis of complex, digital data of social systems and their complexity.

This PhD programme provides a strongly interdisciplinary doctoral training and co-supervision involving faculty from the UCD College of Social Sciences & Law and the College of Science, with a wide range of external research and industry expertise available also. Computational social science is a strongly emergent area of scientific innovation with numerous applications in both the public and private or commercial sectors in Ireland and elsewhere across the world.