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Course Overview

Data, Design and the City combines interdisciplinary teamwork with practice-based challenges. It is offered by Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies within the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

In today’s economy, students need the skills to work together with people across different disciplines, and are likely to be confronted by multi-dimensional challenges with complex social, legal, political and technological dimensions. This learning-by-developing course will introduce you to ways of combining modern tools for data analysis with design-based approaches. It will encourage you to develop innovative ideas and communicate them effectively in different social arenas.

In the Data strand of the course, you will learn to collect, assess and present data as social and scientific evidence, and to use it as a resource for design. The Design element asks you to challenge existing practices by creating prototype social interventions. The City strand introduces the ‘social life of data’ and shows how data and design can be used to shape society for the better within the framework of existing social and political processes.

Teaching will be supported by numerous invited speakers who influence policy on the topic, from Edinburgh City Council to grassroots activism. The course will give you the opportunity to take your learning out of the classroom and feedback to stakeholders, with the goal of shaping a better city.

Data, Design and the City (STIS08006) is a 20pt Level 8 course. There are no prerequisites, but you should be prepared to ask lots of questions, to go out and talk to people, to work with simple data analysis tools, and to experiment with change. The course welcomes students from any discipline.

This year's theme: Future Mobility post-COVID in a cost of living crisis!

The course is structured around a central theme which changes each year. For further information on this year's theme go to Project Overview.

Course Handbook

The information contained in these webpages constitutes the DDC course handbook. However, you can also get this information as a Word doc. Note that the week-by-week syllabus is only available online, since details may change or be added as we go through the semester.

Teaching staff are listed on the contacts page.


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