MSc Digital Policy

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

MSc Digital Policy will be hybrid learning of online & face-to-face environments.

UCD’s School of Information and Communication studies has estabished the Microsoft-UCD Digital Policy Programme with the goal of building digital policy training and capability in Ireland and Europe.

The innovative programme mixes the abstract and the applied with modules from the School of Information and Communication Studies. This programme introduces 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.


Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSc in Digital Policy is designed to prepare graduates for careers in evaluating, implementing, and studying core topical, theoretical, and methodological issues that arise in digital policy today. The course will take a multi-disciplionary approach to investigating the institutional and public policy dimensions of the prevalence of digital technology, as well as the underlying social conditions (economic, political, and cultural) and public/private sector contexts that give rise to such technologies and their governance.

This MSc is available full time (one year) or part time (two years) and includes the completion of a thesis. The programme's core course modules are complimented by specific optional modules available within the school.

Knowledge and understanding

• Understand both theoretical and applied issues in digital policy

• Demonstrate advanced conceptual knowledge of digital technologies and their implications for socio-political life

• Understand the dilemmas and tensions involved in regulating digital technologies

Applying knowledge and understanding

• Critically appraise evidence from research papers concerning topics in digital policy

• Critically evaluate existing digital policies and policy proposals and their limitations

Making judgements

• Systematically analyse the research literature in a key area of digital policy as part of their dissertation

• Decide, under guidance, on appropriate methodology and materials to be analysed for their dissertation

Communications and working skills

• Articulate theoretical concepts, current debates and research findings to both specialist and non-specialist

audiences from a digital policy perspective

• Work effectively with peers in learning, research, and presentation

Learning skills

• Collect or source data using research methodologies taught on the programme

• Engage in independent research and analysis under supervision

• Write to a high academic standard

MSc Digital Policy (W471) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 21230

MSc Digital Policy (W472) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 5520
nonEU    fee per year - € 10620

***Fees are subject to change

  • Applicants should present with a primary (bachelor's) degree in any subject with an overall score of 2.1 or higher.
  • Names and contact details of two referees who can assess their intellectual ability, maturity and motivation.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 7 (no band less than 6.5 in each element), or equivalent.
  • While applications are accepted up to August of the year of entry, offers are made to suitably qualified candidates on a first-come-first-served basis so early application is recommended. Entry to the programmes is very competitive and the number of places is limited.

Jet Klokgieters – MSc (Digital Policy)

Studying an MSc in Digital Policy at UCD helped Jet Klokgieters decide to pursue a career abroad.

With an undergraduate degree in sociology and a research masters under her belt, Jet Klokgieters knew she wanted to explore more about the effects of digital technology on society.
Having completed her previous studies in the Netherlands, Jet now planned to study abroad. Her mother drew her attention to the MSc in Digital Policy at UCD, which was exactly what she was looking for. The fact that the course was one year long was a draw too, since Jet had just completed a two year masters degree.
She applied to the course and was delighted when she was accepted.

“Dublin is the heart of digital Europe with Google, Meta and all those companies having their headquarters there. The city itself is nice, and UCD is also a really good university. I think everything sort of came together.”

To make the most of her experience studying in a new country, Jet had saved up over the years. This allowed her to afford to live in purpose built student accommodation in Dublin, and focus on her studies. She was keen to get to know Ireland better, and visited many of Dublin’s museums.

“Dublin is quite different from the Netherlands, but also quite similar because it’s still sort of Western Europe. I think Ireland also has its own distinct culture and is really unique.”

Jet found UCD to be a very inclusive environment, full of people from all walks of life and with many different experiences. Some of her happiest memories from the master’s are the daily conversations she would have with three friends she made at UCD.

“People were welcoming in UCD…I had friends. I felt at ease, happy and connected.”

Jet enjoyed her course and the fact that the master’s class was small, which she felt led to a better learning experience and provided her with the chance to connect with her lecturers.

“I tried to make the most out of the opportunities here. I talked a lot to the professors and asked a lot of questions in class.”

An aspect of the course that surprised Jet was the opportunity to complete modules outside of her discipline in related fields, such as a law module that she took on data protection and privacy.

“I was not expecting to be able to do a module at master’s level in law but they knew that there were students from Social Sciences, so they didn’t make it too technical.”

Jet enjoyed living and studying abroad so much that she is now exploring opportunities to work outside of the Netherlands.

From the UCD Alumni stories, from the class of 2022.


Elizabeth Farries
Assistant Professor
Programme Director

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Farries is a Director of the UCD Centre for Digital Policy together with Professor Eugenia Siapera. Liz also directs the MSc, Graduate Diploma, and Professional Certificate programmes in Digital Policy with the School of Information and Communication Studies. Elizabeth’s research lies at the intersection of tech and regulation. She has a particular interest in emergent digital policy cycles and assemblages in the 4th industrial revolution. Her related research interests included gendered safety online, secure and private online communications, digital identities, policing surveillance technologies, pandemic technologies, data retention and protection, and international intelligence sharing. She considers these topics in relation to tech impacts on vulnerabilised and special interest communities.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Digital Policy FT (W471)
1 Years
Full Time
MSc Digital Policy PT (W472)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised