Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
6 Weeks
University Certificate of Study
6 ECTS @ NFQ Level 8
Faculty: Sociology
Course Type: Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Professor Ross Macmillan
Email: Telephone: 00 353 61 213578

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Brief Description

Next intake: TBC

Please ensure you enter the Module Code when applying for this module. Applications without this cannot be processed. You may apply for more than one module under the same application.

Module Description Module Code NFQ Level ECTS Credits Start Date Cost

Data Literacy for the 21st Century

SO4021 8 6 TBC


This module provides a foundation for students to understand data in the modern world. Data is increasingly the capital of contemporary society and is foundational for both science and industry.  

The module focuses primarily on social data, how and why it is generated, how it is used, and how it can be used to explain important processes in economics, geography, history, political science, psychology and sociology. It does however also consider issues of data linking and how social and non-social data can be combined in powerful ways.  

Specific attention will focus on the different types of data that exist, how it is controlled and accessed, the different forms that it takes, and how this constrains and enables different types of analytic strategies. 

Students will leave the course with enhanced analytic skills related to basic principles in data science and have enhanced analytic capacities related to the translational activities that translate information into data. 

Learning outcomes:  

On the successful completion of this module participants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:  

  • What data is in the social sciences   

  • The wide variety of data types and how this is connected to particular types of disciplines and the questions at their core  

  • How data is controlled and either accessible, partially accessible, or inaccessible  

  • The role of IT in the dissemination of data  

  • The translational activities that make data useful for social science 

  • How social science data reflects real world processes and the lived experiences of people  

  • How data is connected to power and can serve to enrich or undermine people's lives  

  • The need for empathy and reflexivity when thinking about data and how it might be used 



There is no final exam for this short-course. You will be assessed through 1-2 continuous assignments, provided by your lecturer and tutor. 

A minimum Level 7 qualification  


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