Postgraduate Module Descriptor

SOCM038: Data Governance and Ethics

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:

  • Measuring society? Data governance and ethics.
  • How to deal with exclusions: fairness in data collection and analysis.
  • Social justice and the politics of evidence-based movements.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of automation.
  • The professional status of data scientists and their role relating to government, research institutions, industry and societal expectations.
  • Historical roots and current institutionalisation of data science.
  • Data science across fields: the challenges of diversity.
  • Case Study 1: Scraping data from Twitter and other social media. Issues of privacy, sample bias and fairness.
  • Case Study 2: Personalised medicine. Maintaining trust: identifying and handling ethical concerns in data science.
  • Case Study 3: Engagement and participation: the opportunities of citizen science.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures and discussion (two hours per week)
Guided Independent Study158Background reading
Guided Independent Study120Coursework preparation and writing

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).