Social and Economic Data Science – Master of Science

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Postgraduate study programme which 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.

Overview

DegreeMaster of Science
Programme startWinter semester
Period of study4 semesters
Application period25.3. - 30.4.
Admission restrictionsyes
ECTS120
Number of places:16

Why study Social and Economic Data Science at 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).

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Content

Prospects and opportunities

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
  • KNIME AG
  • Lufthansa Industry Solutions
  • OneMarketData
  • SpringerNature
  • Steadforce GmbH

Programme structure

Programme start

Winter semester

Academic 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.


Additional information about the programme structure is available at the Exam regulations (in German).

Internship and study abroad

Internships

An internship is recommendable.

Study 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.

Requirements

What interests and skills should I have?

  • 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

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

Language(s) of instruction

Language of instruction is mostly English.

Admission requirements

General Admission requirements

  • An above average Bachelor's degree, at least corresponding to the German grade 2,5 (good) 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
    • Data Visualization (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)
    • Principles of Computer Science in combination with a Programming Course (Dept. of Computer and Information Science)

    Focus Area Mathematics
    • 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)

    Focus Area 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)

    Focus Area Social-scientific Methods
    • 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.

Fees

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 some international students
Beginning in the winter semester 2017/18, the state of Baden-Württemberg will require some international students to pay university tuition fees for their first degree studies. The following will generally not be 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' (international students with German Abitur). You can find more detailed information here.

Tuition fees for second degree studies for all students
All students will be required to pay tuition fees for their second degree studies starting in the winter semester 2017/18, too. You can find more detailed information here.
Once a year, the Universtiy of Konstanz grants exemptions to a limited number of particularly gifted international degree-seeking students in accordance with the Begabtenbefreiuungssatzung (statutes governing the exemption of gifted students). You can find more detailed information here.

Application and application documents

Admission to the Master's Programme is restricted.

An application is possible during the following period: 25.3. - 30.4. (winter semester). 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.

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: seds.msc@uni-konstanz.de
  • If applicable, scanned PDF of original GRE score sheet
  • Applicants from China, Mongolia and Vietnam: please attach the scanned original certificate by the Academic Evaluation Centre (Akademische Prüfstelle - APS) of the respective embassies in Beijing, Ulan Bator or Hanoi

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.

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