The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is pleased to announce the launch of a new and innovative postgraduate programme in Social Data Science. This programme is offered on as a 1+3 programme, comprising a 1-year MSc in Social Data Science (beginning in 2018-19), optionally followed by a 3-year DPhil in Social Data Science (beginning 2019-20).

The application process will open in September 2017. Students can apply either for the 1-year standalone MSc in the first instance or for consideration for the 1+3 programme, which will allow them to apply to continue on to the DPhil, subject to strong performance in the MSc. Starting in 2018, students will also be able to apply for the standalone DPhil, to join the first cohort of students who will start their doctoral study in 2019-2020.

Data science offerings often include highly technical training but with little social science focus, but this programme is aimed specifically at providing students with a solid grounding in social science theory and the technical skills needed to leverage new forms of data using new methods to answer real social questions. The doctoral portion of the degree is unique and offers our students the time, space, and resources to go deeper into the core questions in this emerging field.

The OII is partnering with multiple departments to jointly offer this new interdisciplinary degree, including engineering science, statistics, sociology, computer science, and other departments across the University of Oxford. This will allow students to draw on Oxford’s wide range of disciplinary expertise in their classes and from their supervisors.

Prof. Eric T. Meyer, the OII’s Director of Graduate Studies, said: “Social data science exists at the intersection of data science — where the data relates to individual and social behaviour — and social science, with generation and analysis of real-time transactional data at its centre. There is a high demand for people with technical skills in data science, and this field will only increase in importance as digital activity increases and the use of data science tools and methodologies such as machine learning, computer vision and neural networks become increasingly widespread across public, private and voluntary sectors. The OII and our partners at Oxford are deeply engaged in working with social data in our research and teaching, and also lets us leverage our position as one of the founding partners in the Alan Turing Institute, which is the UK’s national institute for data science, and where many of the faculty members teaching on these degrees are also Turing Fellows.”

When students start the MSc, they will be given a core grounding in data science methods, including applied analytical statistics, data analytics at scale, Python for social data science, and machine learning. Option courses in the second term include topics such as data science in government and politics; statistical analysis of networks; time series econometrics; sociological analysis; experiments for data science; human and data intelligence; introduction to speech and language processing; introduction to natural language processing for the social sciences; survival analysis; and machine learning. In the final term, students will complete a thesis, alongside offerings in visualization and professional development. Students continuing on to the doctoral degree will work closely with faculty to develop research questions that move social data science into unexplored territory.

You can visit our programme pages to find out further information on the courses and sign up to be alerted to when applications open and deadline approach.

MSc in Social Data Science

DPhil in Social Data Science

If you have any further queries please contact our graduate admissions team.