UCD launches Ireland’s first digital policy studies programme

Courses designed to build digital expertise in the Irish policy making community in recognition of the increased digitisation of public and private life
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26 April 2019

UCD is set to host Ireland’s first academic digital policy programme. The qualification, supported by Microsoft, will be in partnership with senior policy officials in the public sector and industry representatives.

The programme, which will offer certificate, diploma and masters level qualifications, was designed and developed in collaboration with law makers, NGOs and industry. Start-ups and SMEs operating digitally could also benefit from enhanced knowledge of the digital policy landscape.

At the programme launch, Vice President for Equality Diversity & Inclusion and Dean of Social Sciences at UCD Colin Scott said: “It is very important that UCD engages government, industry and NGOs to share knowledge about critically important societal challenges, such as those presented by the digital economy.




“This programme builds on existing expertise in the College of Social Sciences & Law, on topics including transparency in electoral processes, trust & expertise, competition law & policy, regulation, data privacy, hate speech amongst others.”

In a fast-paced digital world, legislators and policy makes can struggle to stay ahead of the curve. As such, this programme offers the skills and knowledge that those in government need in order to engage with, develop and implement policies. Even more, it supports engagement with policies that both protect society and provide a relevant framework for organisations to operate within.

Managing director of Microsoft Ireland Cathriona Hallahan said: “Much of today’s policies and regulations were developed prior to the digitisation of our world and they now need to evolve to ensure relevance in today’s society. Ireland has huge potential to take a leadership position in Europe in demonstrating how laws and policies can be adapted to a modern world.

“This programme will facilitate our policy makers to create and adapt our policy environment so that it is one that advances innovation, while dealing with the issues of trust and ethics that arise.”

Professor Andrew J Deeks, president, UCD said: “We are very grateful to Microsoft for supporting the development of academic programmes in this important area. Working in collaboration with industry, government, and policy makers will enable us to provide a curriculum to advance digital skills relevant to Ireland today and for our digital future.”

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