The most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the MDS
The Master of Data Science for Public Policy will cover the state-of-the-art technology stacks and frameworks currently being used in the data science field. Instructors will provide an overview of the technology and the resources to build up these relevant skills, but it will be the responsibility of the students to practice and master them. MDS courses with a strong technological focus include Data Structures & Algorithms, Introduction to Data Science, Causal Inference, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and data science electives.
Data science is a transferable skillset which allows graduates to work in many industries – from government, international organisations, think tanks, consulting firms, commercial industry to non-profit organisations. MDS graduates can pursue careers as data analysts, data scientists, data analytics strategists, business intelligence analysts, policy advisors, research scientists and entrepreneurs.
The main programming languages of the MDS are Python and R. MDS candidates will also work with a number of open-source frameworks for machine learning and deep learning – such as scikit-learn, TensorFlow and PyTorch – as well as interact with different types of databases. Resources for using and building cloud skills and computing hardware will also be available.
We’re working towards study abroad opportunities for future MDS cohorts, but currently we do not have exchange or dual degree options in place.
While the academic prerequisites and required application documents are the same as for the MPP and MIA programmes, the selection criteria differ for the MDS. Applicants for the MDS programme should demonstrate their prior quantitative/technical skills and preparation through academic, professional or personal experience (e.g. strong mathematical or statistical background and programming or coding experience either academic, professional or extra-curricular).
If you want to dive deep into substantive topics in policy and decision making in governance, while also curious about how to use technical tools to implement basic data analysis and research design, then the MPP Policy Analysis track would be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you love coding, and want to spend the majority of your time developing your technical skillset, but you also would like to use your knowledge and technical ability to solve interesting policy, business and civil society challenges, then the MDS is your ideal path.