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Microsoft Ireland and Microsoft EGA have partnered with University College Dublin to establish the Microsoft-UCD Digital Policy Programme. This is the first programme of its kind in Ireland, which brings industry partners, the public sector and leading academics together with the goal of building digital policy training and capability in Ireland and Europe. The Programme, which welcomed its first intake of students in September 2020, includes a Certificate course and a Masters in Digital Policy.

This is a unique partnership between UCD and Microsoft aimed at making Dublin and Ireland a centre for digital policy expertise and excellence. Wider than that, the partnership with CELA EGA means that future workshops and seminars planned for Brussels will build a strong link between Ireland’s growing digital policy capability and leadership with the dynamic and far-reaching policy programme emerging from the EU institutions.

The programme mixes core modules from the School of Information and Communication Studies and optional modules from other Schools in the College of Social Sciences and Law (COSSL) and Computer Science. The Programme will also draw from other Institutes and Centres in the College such as the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, the Geary Institute for Public Policy and the Dynamics Lab for Computational Social Science. It will introduce students to basic concepts and issues in digital policy, giving a historical and critical understanding of how to theorise digital objects and environments by learning to situate them in perspectives such as platform capitalism, governance, data infrastructures, information analytics, interface critique and software studies.

It has been designed to offer graduates the opportunity to study some of the core policy issues that arise in the context of digital technologies, infrastructure, and production in all dimensions of life. It will also allow students to study the underlying social conditions that give rise to such technologies and their governance, as well as the multiple public sector and commercial contexts where policy is made and enacted. By developing the connection with the policy engines in the EU the courses will retain a dynamic and contemporary relevance and will help to provide thought leadership at both a national and European level.

Under the direction of Programme Director, Professor Kalpana Shankar, the programme aims to fulfil the demand for digital policy knowledge and skills in the policy ecosystem.

Programme Objectives

  • To ensure legislators & policy makers are equipped with skills & capabilities required to develop policy for our digital age.
  • Support those in government with the skills and knowledge necessary to amend existing legislation and plan for new legislation that will protect society and provide a relevant framework in which organisations can operate.
  • Prepare graduates for careers in evaluating, implementing, and studying core topical, theoretical, and methodological issues that arise in digital policy.
  • Introduce students to an international perspective on digital policy from lectures and seminars as well as guest talks, combining professional experience with a strong theoretical background.

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