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.

Programme Structure
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.

Subjects taught

View modules on the course webpage - link above.

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.

Application dates

Application Deadlines
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:
• Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2023.
• Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2023.
Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.
All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to

To apply for this programme:
• All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal.
• Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
• Provide a 500 - 750 word (approx.) personal statement including:
1. State which stream you are applying for (Law stream or Computing stream);
2. Why you wish to study the programme;
3. What in your record and experience makes you suitable for the MA programme;
4. The impact which you expect the MA. programme would have on your future career.
• Please upload a CV under the "Supplemental Items & Documents" section.
• If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.

Please see link

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

The programme commences in September 2024

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.

Potential Careers
Legal professional offering expertise in privacy and the GDPR
Data protection officer
Privacy engineer
Professional advisor on data governance and best practice models
IT consultant
Compliance professional
Data Analyst

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider