Data Protection & Privacy - Law & Computing
The growth of the digital economy has resulted in personal data processing becoming a global industry of enormous value. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018, aims to protect EU privacy rights and harmonise data protection law across the EU. The GDPR changes the way in which personal data must be collected, stored and processed. Given that personal data is used so widely, the GDPR impacts upon a vast number of sectors and data privacy has become an important concern for businesses, internet users, lawyers and public bodies.
The MA in Data Protection and Privacy Law is an interdisciplinary degree run jointly by the School of Law and Government and the School of Computing. The aim of the programme is to combine the University's expertise in law and computing to provide students with advanced expertise in the technological and legal aspects of data protection and privacy law.
To facilitate both interdisciplinarity and specialisation, the MA will be divided into two streams: law and computing. Entrance on to either the law or computing stream will be dependent upon existing education. All students will complete 4 core modules which will offer a mix of law and computing and will be accessible to all admitted students. For example, the core law modules will be accessible to students from a non-legal background and the core computing modules will be accessible to students from a non-computing background.
Students on the law stream will complete a law focused research module, a law dissertation, the core modules common to both streams and pick two optional modules. Students on the computing stream will complete a computing focused research module, a computing practicum, the core modules common to both streams and pick two optional modules. In addition to providing a comprehensive grounding in both areas, the MA will allow students, through the research dissertation or practicum, in addition to the optional modules, to achieve a higher level of expertise in either computing or law.
Programme Aims and Objectives
- Provide students with a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the legal and technological issues at the forefront of data privacy.
- Enable graduates to be highly competitive in a field which has a high demand for well qualified graduates.
- Provide students with a unique interdisciplinary education.
General Entry Requirements
For admission to the MA in Data Protection and Privacy: Law and Government programme, successful applicants will have:
- Computing stream applicants must have an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent in Computer Science, Computing, Computer applications or a related discipline. Candidates with significant experience in the software development sector in addition to an Honours primary degree in some other discipline, may also be considered for entry.
- Law stream applicants must normally have achieved a Second Class Honours Grade One (H2.1) in a primary degree (level 08) in law or an interdisciplinary degree which includes law as a significant component.
Examples of relevant experience for the programme are:
- Irish Computer Society DPO/GDPR qualifications
- The Advanced Diploma in Data Protection Law by the Kings Inns
- The certificate in data protection by the Law Society
- Relevant practical experience working with data protection related issues.
Applicants who have not achieved a H2.1 may apply but applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.
If an applicant has not yet completed their degree, then a conditional offer may be made on the basis of most recent grades and pending the achievement of no less than a H2.2 degree.
Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualification and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.
International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.
To view the current course structure, please visit the Provider's website.
1 year full-time (DC786), 2 years part-time (DC787).
Commencement of Programme
The programme commences in September 2022.
Post Course Info
The MA in Data Protection and Privacy Law attracts both recent undergraduates and those already established in their careers. The knowledge and skills you acquire through this programme are highly sought by law firms, tech companies, the compliance sector, research organisations and across multiple government departments.
Graduates seek work in a variety of government departments, including the Data Protection Commission, the Department of Health, and Universities. Others may gravitate toward the private sector as many large firms, working across a range of services, continue to expand their privacy and data protection teams. These include, but are not limited to, financial services companies, law and accountancy firms and consultancy firms.
Legal professional offering expertise in privacy and the GDPR
Data protection officer
Professional advisor on data governance and best practice models