Social and Economic Data Science – Master of Science

Postgraduate study programmewhich requires a first university degree. The digitalization of various domains of society has produced an abundance of data about human behaviour and social interactions. Inside and outside academia, specialists with a solid background in computer science and statistics, as well as social science methods are needed to extract value from these data to inform decision-making.

The interdisciplinary Master's programme in Social and Economic Data Science provides the knowledge and skills necessary to collect, manage and analyse diverse data sources created from administrative processes, network logs, social media, surveys or experiments. The MSc in Social and Economic Data Science puts a heavy emphasis on foundational issues including problems of measurement, representation and causal inference which are often overlooked in current big data analytics.

The MSc in Social and Economic Data Science is tailored for students with a BA degree in the behavioural and social sciences, and a proven interest in quantitative and computational methods. The modular structure of the programme covers the methodological, mathematical, computational and statistical foundation of data science, advanced computational and statistical methods, programming and scripting, and applications to question of crucial interest in economics, political science, psychology and sociology. The departments involved offer many opportunities for student exchanges, internships and collaborations with ongoing research projects. The programme's broad methodological and substantive scope prepares the students for a rapidly growing job market for data scientists in industry, government, NGOs and academia.

  • Master of Science
Start of study
  • Winter semester
Standard period of study
  • 4 Semester
Application period
  • 15.03. - 30.04.
Admission restriction
  • Yes
Mandatory minor
  • No
ECTS Credits
  • 120
Ø Number of new students
  • 36

Why study Social and Economic Data Science in Konstanz?

The University of Konstanz is one of only eleven universities nationwide with the formal status of “University of Excellence”. Founded in 1966 as a research university, it is a role model for the integration of research into teaching. Its first-rate infrastructure includes an excellent 24-hour library, state-of-the-art computer facilities, a language institute offering a wide variety of foreign language courses and superb sports facilities. The city of Konstanz, with its unique location on the banks of Lake Constance and the River Rhine and its proximity to the Alps, Austria, France, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, is the ideal location for studying in an exciting international setting and an attractive natural environment.

The SEDS program brings together the expertise from various academic disciplines such as econometrics, statistics, and computer science. It thus has a broader theoretical and methodological scope than specific Master’s programs in statistics or survey methods. The skills acquired will make students highly employable in academia as well as in a job market for data scientists that is rapidly growing (polling firms, market research institutes, online marketing positions, as political advisor, or consultant).

Study content


Career prospects

The acquired skills will enable our graduates to work for polling firms and market research institutes, in online marketing, as political advisors or consultants. Some graduates have decided to strive towards a doctoral degree, while others have found positions at Start-Ups a well as international companies, such as:

  • Blackwood Seven
  • codecentric
  • Deloitte
  • GfK Zürich
  • Haufe-Lexware Services GmbH & Co. KG
  • Lufthansa Industry Solutions
  • OneMarketData
  • SpringerNature
  • Steadforce GmbH

Study structure

Start of study

Winter semester

Study structure

To make sure that all students meet the same academic standards, they will attend fundamental courses from outside their original academic field during their first and second semester.

Second-year students take advanced modules from the Master’s programs at the participating departments (Dept. of Economics, Dept. of Politics and Public Administration, Dept. of Computer Science, Dept. of Sociology, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, Dept. of Psychology). A data analysis project, which may take the form of an internship, will serve the development of practical skills. The Master’s thesis is then to be written in the student’s field of choice.

For more information please see the website of the department.

These documents will support you in planning your studies:

Opportunities for additional training

At the University of Konstanz, you have a broad range of opportunities and training options that complement your study programme, for example orientation programmes to support new students, learning guidance, language courses, a data and information literacy programme as well as options promoting career-oriented skills and social commitment.

Skills for successful studies Career-oriented skills and social commitment Get ready for your career start

Internships and stays abroad


An internship is recommendable and can be recognized. 

Stay abroad

A period of study abroad is highly recommended. Equivalent study and exam achievements acquired during your stay will be recognised. The university enables study abroad via Erasmus+ and numerous other offers.

Impressions from students and lecturers

Hear from students and lecturers
In our interview series, students talk about their subject, teachers explain the department's research and tell you what topics they cover in seminars and lectures.

Get an impression
Discover online lectures and websites with more information about your prospective subject.

Study requirements

Admission requirements for studying

  • An above average Bachelor's degree in Economics, Mathematics/Statistics, Political Science, Computer Science, Sociology or Psychology. You are welcome to apply in your final year of your Bachelor's programme. Please submit your current academic transcript as PDF (with an officially certified translation into English or German, if applicable).
  • Please include a curriculum vitae in English as well as a one-page statement of purpose written in English showing your suitability and motivation for pursuing the Master's programme.
  • Two letters of recommendation from university teachers who are able to comment on your suitability and motivation for participating in the Master's programme.
  • Although not mandatory, results of the GRE test are desirable if you did not complete your undergraduate degree in Germany.
  • You will need to provide evidence of knowledge from at least two focus areas, acquired in at least three courses during your Bachelor’s degree, as listed below.
    • Focus Area Computer Science
    • Focus Area Mathematics
    • Focus Area Statistics
    • Focus Area Social-scientific Methods
  • Data Visualization (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
  • Principles of Computer Science in combination with a Programming Course (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
  • Discrete Mathematics and Logic (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
  • Analysis and Linear Algebra (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
  • Mathematics for Data Science (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
  • Mathematics  for Economists  (Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics)
  • Linear Algebra I (Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics)
  • Statistics I (Dept. of Economics)
  • Statistics I (Dept. of  Psychology)
  • Statistics (Dept. of Politics and Public Administration)
  • Statistics I (Dept. of History and Sociology)
  • Econometrics I (Dept. of Economics)
  • Introduction to Survey Methodology (Dept. of Politics and Public Administration)
  • Research Design I: Research Design and Causal Inference (Dept. of Politics and Public Administration)
  • Empirical Research Methods (Dept. of Politics and Public Administration)
  • Empiricism: Quantitative Methods (Dept. of History and Sociology)
  • Methods I & II (Dept. of Psychology)

For more information please see the website of the department.

Further information can be found in the admission regulations.


Semester fee
All students enrolled at the University of Konstanz are charged a semester fee each semester, similar to all other German universities. Here you can find the current semester fee and its individual components.

Tuition fees for first degree studies for certain international students
Since winter semester 2017/18, the state of Baden-Württemberg has required some international students to pay tuition fees for their first degree studies. The following students are not required to pay tuition fees: citizens of a country within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), doctoral students and certain “Bildungsinländer” (e.g. non-EU citizens with a German “Abitur”). More detailed information can be found here.

Each year, the University of Konstanz grants exemptions to a limited number of particularly gifted international degree-seeking students in accordance with the university’s “Begabtenbefreiungssatzung” (statutes governing the exemption of gifted students). More detailed information can be found here.

Tuition fees for second degree studies for all students
All students are required to pay tuition fees for their second degree studies. More detailed information can be found here.

Required language skills

Foreign language skills
Sufficient English language skills through one of the following tests: 

  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency: minimum grade C
  • IELTS: minimum grade 6.5
  • TOEFL: minimum grade 92 (internet-based points)
  • or a corresponding equivalent

Teaching and examination language

Language of instruction is mostly English.

Interests and skills

  • interest in the collection, processing and analysis of quantitative social science data
  • knowledge in at least two of the following areas: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Social-scientific Methods
  • good English skills


Application and application documents

Application documents

To submit your online application you are required to upload the following supporting documents as PDF-files:

  • Scanned PDF academic transcript outlining your grades obtained from at least three courses from at least two focus areas proving knowledge in foundations of data analysis. Please specifically mark these modules. You may add official course descriptions. If the original document is not in English or German, provide an officially certified translation
  • Degree certificate(s) (scanned PDF of originals and officially certified translations into English or German only)
  • Scanned test sheet proving English proficiency through one of the following tests: Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency: minimum grade C or IELTS: minimum grade 6.5 or TOEFL: minimum grade 92 (internet-based points)
  • Full CV in English
  • One-page statement of purpose in English
  • Letters of recommendation from two lecturers at your institution, on letter-head paper and signed, emailed separately as PDF-files by the referees in English or German, e-mail Address:
  • If applicable, scanned PDF of original GRE score sheet
  • Applicants from China and Vietnam: APS certificate (original) issued by the German Embassy of your home country


Important: Successful MSc SEDS applicants will be required to submit all documents in original or as officially certified copies upon registration at the University of Konstanz.

An application is possible during the following period: 15.03. - 30.04.
There may be other deadlines if you are applying for admission to a higher semester (for instance, if you are changing subjects or universities). For more information please consult the university website .


Contact person

The Central Student Advisory Service (ZSB) can help you with general questions about finding the right study programme as well as when you are concerned or unsure about your studies. We will be happy to advise you and support you with a wide range of services .

Central Student Advisory Service (ZSB)
Room: D 409 – 412a
Make an appointment:

Questions related to the content or organisation of the study programme:
Programme coordinator Social and Economic Data Science
Katharina Arendt
Room: D 328

Studying at the University of Excellence Konstanz

With your university entrance qualification in your pocket, the sky is the limit. Get a top education at the University of Konstanz, benefit from outstanding teaching and interdisciplinary exchange on our international campus. Situated on a hilltop overlooking Konstanz with a great view of Lake Constance and the Alps, our nationally and internationally renowned research university has been recognized as a University of Excellence since 2007.

Top ratings in the CHE University Ranking regularly confirm the quality of our study programmes. Take your pick from more than 100 programmes! Our courses are close to research and will perfectly equip you for the future, especially in combination with practice-oriented, socially relevant transfer projects, opportunities for going abroad and qualification programmes that you can complete alongside your studies.

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