MSc in Human Rights and Data Science

MSc in Human Rights and Data Science

We live in a changing world. As developments in Big Data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things transform the careers of the future, the world must develop concurrent principles for the ethical use of such technologies. In fields as varied as digital commerce, warfare and humanitarianism, comprehensive legal frameworks protect individuals鈥 rights to data privacy 鈥 often backed up by technical solutions. The European Union鈥檚 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has established a new normal of data privacy regulation for companies and organizations across the world. that as many as 75,000 data protection officers needed to be appointed globally in response to the GDPR. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the need for data protection into even sharper relief.听听

    • 42
    • Three
    • Full-Time

The MSc in Human Rights and Data Science (HRDS) at The American University of Paris prepares you to confront ethical questions at the forefront of emerging high tech industries such as data protection and artificial intelligence, ensuring that technological development complements human rights protections rather than impinging upon them. The HRDS program combines a rigorous foundation in data science with the legal and philosophical considerations necessary to ensure the ethical implementation of policies and protections. It concerns itself as much with the use of coding as it does with its development, with the human and social costs of emerging digital technologies as much as with the benefits.听听

Program Highlights
Practical Experience

  • IAPP Data Privacy Certification: The HDRS Program will train students to sit for this exam to attain this widely recognized privacy certification for individuals seeking to fulfill the role of data protection officer (DPO) within their organization 鈥 allowing you to prove to employers that you understand both the technical aspects of data collection and the legal and ethical ramifications.听
  • BT天堂 Summer Institute in Human Rights: In examining听the practical applications of different human rights approaches on听a variety of careers and industries,听students engage directly with experts and practitioners working to address global challenges听though human rights.
  • Ecole de Guerre Practicum: Participate in our long-running conflict resolution simulation conducted in cooperation with the French War College. The practicum exposes participants to real-world examples of issues surrounding the ethical use of technology in warfare.听
  • : Through hands-on workshops with industry professionals, you鈥檒l be exposed to the real-world applications of human rights frameworks on digital technologies, tackling questions such as: How can user privacy be protected online? Who should be responsible for technology鈥檚 ethical use?

Three Reasons to Study Human Rights and Data Science

  1. Competitive edge: Balance a broad interdisciplinary academic approach with professional certification in an increasingly relevant field.听
  2. Dedicated faculty: Our faculty are both academic experts and industry professionals involved in EU-funded projects in the fields of technology and human rights. BT天堂鈥檚 small, close-knit graduate community ensures a high level of faculty鈥搒tudent interaction, including via regular collaboration on research and professional projects.听
  3. Train for the future: Futureproof your career with a transferable skill set relevant to a wide range of tech-based industries.听

Program Content
Courses and Learning Outcomes

The MSc in Human Rights and Data Science offers a set of rigorous postgraduate courses drawing extensively from faculty expertise and the University鈥檚 well-established data science and international human rights curricula. You鈥檒l have the flexibility to tailor your studies to your particular fields of interest, as courses relating to topics as varied as climate policy and health communications feature in the list of electives. Classroom experiences are further enhanced by experiential opportunities.听

Core Courses:

LW5039 Human Rights And Digital Technologies

This course joins two seemingly disparate disciplines 鈥 law and science 鈥 in an attempt to understand more fully the dense, multidimensional nature of the digital revolution and how we are going to live with it. Human Rights and Digital Technology is designed as an interdisciplinary primer, a guide to examining the critical issues that shape our use of digital technology.

DS5060 Data Science I: Methods And Context

This project-based course introduces data science by looking at the whole cycle of activities involved in data science projects. Students will learn how to think about problems with rigor and creativity, ethically applying data science skills to address those problems. The course project will address the theoretical, mathematical and computational challenges involved in data science.

DS5063 Data Industry Practicum

This multi-workshop style course provides students with the possibility to exchange with internationally renowned industry and academic experts. Students will learn how data science is applied in industry, international organizations and research institutions. They will be exposed to various career paths and become acquainted with the requirements, future developments, challenges and opportunities within different organizations and application area.

DS5065 Data Science II: Theory And Practice

The 21st century has seen a big increase in the amount of data which is made accessible. Social media such as Facebook, online shops such as Amazon and many others, are all gathering raw data. But what can be done about this data? Data Science covers tools and methods around the extraction of knowledge from data. Such tools cover its collection, storing, processing and analysis. In this course we will learn about several of the most important tools in the above flow and will apply them to real-world examples.

LW5074 Advanced International Human Rights Law

This course lays the groundwork for an advanced understanding of the international and regional human rights frameworks, both hard and soft law, that guarantee dignity for individuals and populations worldwide. International human rights law establishes the norms, jurisprudence and legal infrastructure necessary to promote the implementation of international human rights standards.

DS5081 Data Protection: Preparation To Iapp

This course introduces data protection principles guiding students through the online preparation for certification by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). After the course, students may take the IAPP certification exam. IAPP鈥檚 certifications are widely recognized for privacy professionals seeking to fulfill roles such as Data Protection Officer (DPO) or Ethics Compliance and Privacy Analyst. The course cannot be dropped after orientation.

Learning Outcomes: Understanding Policy in Context

The MSc in Human Rights and Data Science seeks to equip graduates with:听

  • a strong foundation in international human rights law with respect to digital technologies, data management and data protection;听听

  • a specific understanding of the GDPR in comparison to other jurisdictions;听听

  • a familiarity with a wide range of policies and issues, including guarantees of privacy and security pertaining to the use of personal data;

  • a robust understanding of data science processes, techniques and tools and their ethical and lawful use;

  • the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as a Data Protection Officer or Data Manager.


Studying at BT天堂 also means living and working in a city that鈥檚 home to international organizations and NGOs of all kinds, including the OECD, UNESCO and Human Rights Watch. Your extracurricular pursuits will continually feed into your potential for networking and professional immersion.听

Anticipating the Employment Trends of Tomorrow

Whether joining the program from a position at a law firm, an engineering role, or an academic background in the social sciences, you鈥檒l take a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the ethical use of data within a human rights framework. You鈥檒l tackle legal, philosophical and technical questions relevant to the growing prevalence of digital technologies in both the public and private sectors.听听

As employment trends change, the importance of the kinds of career-critical hard and soft skills that BT天堂 emphasizes will only increase. A stated that, as digital technologies become more entrenched in the workplace, 鈥渢he tasks where humans are expected to retain their comparative advantage include managing, advising, decision-making, reasoning, communicating and interacting.鈥澨

Faculty Research
Academic Experts and Industry Professionals

The core of the听program builds on research by two BT天堂 faculty members: Professor Susan Perry of the Department of History and Politics and Professor Claudia听Roda听of the Department of听Computer Science, Math and Environmental Science.

Their book,听Human Rights and Digital Technologies: Digital Tightrope, published in December 2016, explores the interplay between their disciplines and aims to instill an听appreciation听of legal ethics into听the implementation of data science听practices.

In addition:

  • Professors Perry and Roda have collaborated on a paper in the Journal of Human Rights Practice (Oxford University Press) focusing on BT天堂's Human Rights and Digital Technology course, on which they both teach.
  • Professor Perry is currently advisor to the EU-funded , which analyses how AI and Big Data analytics impact ethics and human rights.
  • Professor Roda also published, in 2019, , a joint publication with fellow BT天堂 professor Waddick Doyle.
  • Both professors provide regular comments to UN agencies on the subject of human rights and digital technology.

HRDS Partners

The Human Rights and Data Science program at BT天堂 is a听听of the听.

The Human Rights and Data Science program at BT天堂 is a partner of the听.