UCD launches Ireland's first Digital Policy Studies course

UCD has today announced details of Ireland’s first academic Digital Policy Programme.

The course, which includes Certificate, Diploma and Masters’ level qualifications, aims to equip policy makers with the skills needed for a digital future.

It has been developed in collaboration with lawmakers, non-government organisations (NGOs), industry representatives and with support from Microsoft.

The programme is "designed to support those in government with the skills and knowledge necessary to reflect on, develop and implement policies that will protect society and provide a relevant framework in which organisations can operate".

Colin Scott, Vice President for Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Dean of Social Sciences at UCD 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 and Law, on topics including transparency in electoral processes, trust and expertise, competition law and policy, regulation, data privacy, hate speech amongst others”

Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, 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," she said.

UCD says that the appointment of an Assistant Professor in Digital Policy is planned with a recruitment process commencing this week.

The first of the Certificate and Diploma class intake will take place in the 2019/2020 academic year. The Master's programme will be available in 2020.

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