IS40910 Digital Policy

Academic Year 2022/2023

Technological innovation continues to bring new considerations to policy-making in our digital age. The pacing is incredibly rapid: Tech research, design, production, implementation and practice must be synthesised with economic, social and cultural considerations which in turn require evaluations of legality and human rights.

With this contextualisation, students will consider fundamental digital policy issues with special attention to public and private sector developments. Developments considered in previous terms included surveillance, digital security, intellectual property, digital inclusion, platform regulation, disinformation and democracy, digital identity, artificial intelligence governance, privacy and data protection.

In each term, specific module topics will be presented in order to critically theorise policy development questions. Topics may include facial recognition technology, pandemic tracking apps, smart cities, social media content moderation, gendered online harassment, policing surveillance technology, intelligence sharing, administrative digital ID systems, automating copyright enforcement, and telecoms data retention.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Research and describe contemporary digital policy issues
2. Demonstrate familiarity with national, European, and international regulatory bodies, frameworks, and social and cultural contexts
3. Understand and explain how and why the following issues matter in digital policy arenas: social, economic and cultural rights; privacy, association, and expression rights; and data protection rights
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the technical, human, and organisational resource dimensions of policy design

Indicative Module Content:

Specific module topics will be presented in order to critically theorise policy development questions. Topics may include information ownership and intellectual property, access and control, surveillance, cybersecurity, governing online contents, automation processes and artificial intelligence, and fundamental rights.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In-class discussion
Critical reading and writing
Desk research 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Project: Oireachtas submission on a key digital policy concern with 5 minute slide presentation Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Project: Policy review brief on an existing digital policy issue Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Project: Case study of key digital policy and organisation Unspecified n/a Graded Yes



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on each case study and the policy briefing will be delivered through the Brightspace VLE after the project is submitted.