Master - Policy stream: Digital, New Technology and Public Policy
Description and Objectives of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
The digital revolution has impacted all the areas of our society and the crucial issues that we face today will only be solved by decision makers duly equipped with digital-era skills. The Digital, New technology and Public Policy stream offered by Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs is a unique interdisciplinary program in which students acquire the fundamental theoretical, practical and critical skills they need to shape the future of public policy in the digital era.
The courses are taught by both Sciences Po faculty members and practitioners from the digital sector, and enable students to understand the economic, social, legal, political and ethical impacts of new technologies (data, artificial intelligence and other algorithms, machine learning tools, etc.). The curriculum also gives them the opportunity to develop practical skills, anchored in data science and tech innovation, to strengthen their future capacities to drive and manage digital transformation projects in public and private sectors. By the end of the two years, students are able to use this set of multidisciplinary skills to design innovative policy-making processes so as to build and implement relevant policies for the common good. No technical prerequisites are required to join the program.
Curriculum programme of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
The Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream provides a unique interdisciplinary programme which allows students to explore all the facets of the digital revolution in public policy.
The curriculum is based on four fundamental pillars:
- Regulate: How to regulate new technologies for the social good? How can we anticipate and address the complex issues implied in terms of ethics, democracy, governance, etc.?
- Make: How to use technology (data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning...) to improve decision-making processes and design ethical and relevant public policies?
- Innovate: How to build on digital transformations to co-design innovative and inclusive public services for tomorrow, really able to meet the needs of citizens in various areas such as education, health, housing, etc.?
- Transform: How to manage digital transformation projects in the public and private sectors, as well as with the civil society? How to transform public services so as to be collectively able to tackle the global social, economic and environmental challenges that we have to face in the coming years?
Focus on the curriculum of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
First year of master
Semester 1: Students take two classes which introduce how governments around the world are dealing with digital transformation and how artificial intelligence may raise new discriminatory issues toward certain populations.
Semester 2: Students take two classes focused on the legal and economical challenges related to digital issues and explore the different normative and economic tools for understanding and having an impact on these issues.
In addition, students take three days of Bootcamp in Data Science with Python at the very beginning of the year. This mandatory workshop aims at providing them with the basic skills in programming, data analysis and visualization, which will be useful for further courses during the semester.
Second year of master
Semester 3: Students take two classes which combine theoretical and practical approaches to explore how data and algorithms impact public policy and how public interventions have to be reinvented to face the new regulatory issues raised by the digital economy.
Semester 4: Students have many opportunities to apply the skills they have developed during their studies and to gain professional experience through an internship, a Master’s thesis, an academic exchange in a partner university or a personal project.
This two years’ curriculum is completed by common academic curriculum courses, core courses specific to the chosen Master's degree (Public Policy or European Affairs), elective courses, language courses and optional courses.
In addition, throughout their curriculum, students can take part in professional meetings with stakeholders from the digital sector and in the Policy Lab, which offers teaching modules to develop and strengthen complementary skills (innovation, design, project management, negotiation, etc.) through the Public Policy Incubator, two certificates (sustainable development goals and gender equality), the case studies module and simulations.
Specific features of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
- Decoding biases in artificial intelligence
- Digital and Innovative Government
- Bootcamp Data Science in Python
- New Technologies from a Legal Standpoint
- The Platform Economy: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics of Digital Markets
- Data and Algorithm for Public Policy
- Regulation and Digital Economy
Course Programme of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
Master in Public Policy - Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream:
Master in European Affairs - Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream:
Career opportunities after the digital, new technology and public policy stream
At the end of the programme, students will be equipped with the following professional skills:
- Drive and manage digital transformation projects in the public and private sectors
- Analyse, implement and evaluate normative and economics measures to regulate digital issues at the national, european or international levels
- Use datasets to design and implement ethical and inclusive data-driven policies
- Connect the technical understanding of technologies and their impacts in terms of governance and sovereignty
- Evaluate the performance and relevance of the different technologies applied to certain policies
- Imagine and design relevant and innovative services to address the needs of citizens
- Be able to adapt and anticipate the future impacts of digital technologies on society
Our graduates pursue careers in:
- Governments (Ministries or local governments);
- National regulation bodies (for example in France: CNIL, ARCEP…);
- National or European parliaments;
- European commission;
- International organizations (ex: OECD);
- Big tech companies (notably in their public affairs departments);
- Companies working in sectors that are facing the digital and data revolution, from e-health to cyber security;
- Consulting firms (ex: EY, Capgemini Consulting, Bearing Point…);
- The startup ecosystem, whether directly in startups or in think tanks / associations that support their development (ex: France Digitale);
- the non-profit sector (ex: NGO’s or civil movements committed to the defense of the citizens’ rights or digital inclusion);
- the academic field (research assistant, PhD programme, etc.)
Who are our students
We welcome around 30 new students in this policy stream each year. Students come from all over the world (around 20 different nationalities each year) and they have very different backgrounds: half of them come from Sciences Po’s Collège universitaire and the other half’s backgrounds are in international affairs, law, engineering, arts, humanities, etc.
Discover the students' profiles and works
Learn more about the policy stream by reading the graduates' testimonials and the students' work presentations.
- Uma Kalkar, Class of 2022
- Paul Auburtin, Class of 2020
- Torben David, Class of 2018
- The Metaverse: Challenges and regulatory issues (article + vidéo)
- Should we rethink the governance of platforms in order to create a system of checks and balances consistent with our democractic values? (article + vidéo)
Master classes - students' reviews
- Master class with Paula Forteza (November 2022)
- Master class with Michael Bailey (November 2022)
Scientific Advisor of the digital, new technology and public policy stream
Dominique Cardon is professor of Sociology at Sciences Po and Scientific Director of the Medialab. Previously, he was researcher at the Laboratory of Uses (SENSE) of Orange Labs and Associate Professor at the University Paris Est / LATTS. He is also Member of the editorial board of the review Réseaux and of the prospective committee of the CNIL. His fields of research are, among others, the governance of Wikipedia, the relationship between expressive practices and social networks on blogs, modesty and shamelessness online, practices of online social networks, the transformation of public space including political engagement and cultural practices and sociability, sociological analysis of web algorithms and big data, transformations of the media.
- Academic advisor: Léa Douhard
- Academic assistant: Robin Picand