School of Law and Government

MA in Data Protection and Privacy: Law and Computing

MA in Data Protection and Privacy Law
Course Code:
DC786 (Full Time) DC787 (Part Time)
Course Type:
Postgraduate
NFQ Level:
9 - Please see www.qqi.ie for further information
Delivery Modes
Full-Time
Part-Time
Duration
(FT-1 Year) (PT-2 Years)
+353 (0) 1
01 700 6008

Introduction

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.

"The MA programme on Data Protection and  Privacy Law is very topical. EU regulations and an increasing awareness of privacy issues and data protection, with the digitalisation of operations and practices in the private and public sectors sets urgent needs for experts who can understand, apply, analyse and develop the law and different information systems and software programs. Those experts must understand technical details and the impact of the requirements by the law. For this need, the MA programme provides an excellent and unique chances to develop ones’ skills and competences, and later build a successful career in law, computer industry or consultancy."

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.
View the current course structure

Life on Campus

We have three academic campuses close to Dublin City centre - they are located in Glasnevin and Drumcondra, and can be reached by public transport (Dublin Bus).

Each campus has libraries, study spaces, restaurants, and on-campus residencies. Sports facilities are located on two of the academic campuses. We also have a dedicated sports campus in the form of St Claire’s. 

 

Exceptional facilities

DCU students have access to exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our three academic campuses. 

These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and radio/podcast studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced labs in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and training hospital ward. In 2021, we opened our first virtual reality ‘Leadership Lab’, which is located in our Business School.

Construction on our FutureTech building on the Glasnevin campus will get underway in 2022. Once completed, this facility will advance DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science, computing and engineering disciplines. It will have the capacity to accommodate an additional 3,000 STEM students on the university’s Glasnevin campus.

 

Campus life

Among the student facilities in DCU are a sports complex with a 25 metre pool, three libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre.

In 2018, a purpose-built state-of-the-art new student centre - The U - was opened. This centre serves the needs of a rapidly growing student body of 18,500 and is home to the Student Leadership and Lifeskills Centre, performing arts and cultural spaces for students and the wider community, and an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub.

There are more than 140 clubs and societies for students in DCU, with ‘Clubs & Socs’ days taking place on both the Glasnevin and Drumcondra campuses at the start of the academic year.

 

Student Supports

We have a number of academic, professional and social supports for students.

Student Advice Centre: Offers a wide range of supports and services to students

The Writing Centre - drop-in writing workshops for students through the academic year 

Maths Learning Centre - provides maths support for students of all ability levels with maths modules 

Student Learning: facilitate the transition from passive to active learning for students at DCU, by teaching study skills, nurturing critical thinking and building student confidence. 

Careers work with students to help them on their professional journey into graduate employment.

Our student support team offers a comprehensive support programme, helping students make that all important transition into university life and focusing on building confidence and skills which are key to success at third level.

Professor Samuli Pekkola, Information Management Unit, Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, Finland.

"The MA programme on Data Protection and  Privacy Law is very topical. EU regulations and an increasing awareness of privacy issues and data protection, with the digitalisation of operations and practices in the private and public sectors sets urgent needs for experts who can understand, apply, analyse and develop the law and different information systems and software programs. Those experts must understand technical details and the impact of the requirements by the law. For this need, the MA programme provides an excellent and unique chances to develop ones’ skills and competences, and later build a successful career in law, computer industry or consultancy."

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
  • Researcher
  • Compliance professional
  • Data Analyst 

 

Requirements

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. More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here.

Qualification
Postgraduate Taught

Fees

Full time

EU Status Fee
€7,400
Non EU Fee
€15,000

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€4,000 Per Annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€7,400 Per Annum

Next Steps

Make an Application

To apply for this programme:

  • All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here.  Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.
  • 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 also include your CV and details of relevant experience.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml.

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.

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 2022.
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2022.

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

Queries from EU applicants should be directed to postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie.

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to international.office@dcu.ie.

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2022.