ProfCert Programming for Social Scientists

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 10)

UCD School of Politics & International Relations is the oldest and largest school of its kind in Ireland with over 150 years of experience in political studies and a world-renowned faculty drawn from many countries.

The Professional Certificate in Programming for Social Scientists provides an introduction to computer programming using the Python language. Python is the 3rd most popular programming language at the moment, the most popular among data scientists, and is generally known as an excellent language to learn programming. A basic grounding in programming will allow you to automate mundane and repetitive tasks, for example renaming files, extracting web data, or developing exciting social science simulations.

Graduates from this programme will be ideally positioned to apply their newly acquired programming skills for careers in government, think tanks, political campaigns, interest groups, and the civil service. Furthermore, the combination of a solid understanding of social science theory with the technical ability to understand the most common data science technologies, brings a unique addition to any data science team, in the corporate sector, the nonprofit sector, or within IT companies.

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

The Professional Certificate in Programming for Social Scientists is designed for motivated and professional students in the public and private sectors.



The Professional Certificate in Programming for Social offers students a combination of a solid understanding of social science theory with the technical ability to understand the most common data science technologies.

Graduates will gain:

  • An understanding of the relevance of computer programming in the social sciences
  • Foundational level knowledge of the Python programming language
  • Solid experience in team-based development
  • Basic experience with collaborative programming tools
  • Good grasp of key concepts in object-oriented programming
  • Basic understanding of developing social simulations

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website.

  • A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law. 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.

  • Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.

  • English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement. Click here for further info. 

  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information 

The following entry routes are available:

Prof Cert Programming for Social Scientists FT (W527)
4 Months
Full Time
Rolling *

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