The University of Birmingham, Accenture and key industry partners are launching a brand new Masters level qualification in Responsible Data Science aimed at addressing the professional skills gaps in large firms tackling big data.

The programme is supported via the Office for Students Postgraduate Conversion Course Funding project.  The MSc Responsible Data science course will create pathways that lead to new and yet‐to‐be‐created roles that grapple with nascent technologies and novel data‐driven applications whilst enhancing existing routes into the legal sector. 

MSc Responsible Data Science

Professor Karen Yeung, Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics at the University of Birmingham said:

‘While Law Schools everywhere are now offering students a greater range of 'tech law' subjects, they do not equip them with an understanding of the core technologies, nor a broader understanding of the challenges of technology governance.

Professor Karen Yeung, Birmingham Law School

At the University of Birmingham, we are developing the next generation of 21st-century lawyers, who understand both the fundamentals of data science and the core legal, ethical and regulatory implications in real-world settings’. 

The programme will involve an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to teaching merging innovative computer science with robust application of legal theory and ethics. Unlike a traditional MSc, the programme will include a semester in industry, through fully-funded placements with partners' firms.

Developing a diverse workforce is at the heart of the collaboration and funding will be provided to support under-represented groups from the computer and data science sector. Upto sixteen full-scholarships are to be awarded to those who identify as female, BAME and applicants with a registered disability in the first year. Students will be supported by robust professional coaching from University careers experts and industry partners.

Birmingham Law School Alum, Adu Nathan, who is now Tech Talent Partner at New Signature commented:

"Almost every action we take as individuals or as a society, leaves a digital footprint. We generate a complex and highly visible tapestry of data that not only transcribes our daily lives but with advanced analytics and AI, can predict our future behaviours.

 The majority of this information we give away without regard or care, perhaps absolving our legal rights to privacy or trespass? The evolution of data extraction, data analysis, data modelling and advanced analytics is now so sophisticated that it may exist in a legal void, limited in its regulation by an increasingly outdated legal system, whilst remaining unequivocally relentless in its development and usage.

 Understanding those consequences and impacts on society (both positive and negative) from a Data Science perspective, will tangibly evolve our existing values of Jurisprudence and ethics. Thus, better equipping the Law to run in parallel with advancements in data & technology, rather than chasing behind it.".