Master of Data Science for Public Policy - who are the students?

Our motto is Understand today. Shape tomorrow. We welcome students from across the globe, from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, with diverse professional and personal experiences. Our students are united by a desire to make a difference and we offer a study environment characterised by close engagement with faculty, a friendly and inclusive environment where you can hone your data science skills and learn how to apply them to policy challenges.

What's our students' background

MDS students come from all over the world and have a background in various fields of study. Here's a background overview of our 2023 graduating cohort:

Student activities on campus and beyond


Every year, Datafest events are organised around the world, gathering students from different universties to work on exciting challenges in data analysis and visualization to help solve a particular problem in a selected industry. Students from Hertie School are regular attendees at the competition and have won various top prizes throughout the years. In the last edition of Datafest in 2023, the MDS team has won the “Best Use of Outside Data” prize for their project “Improving Public Policy: Companies and Jobs Creation” against 80 students in 18 teams from around the country.
See more 

CIVICA Data Science Seminar Series

The CIVICA Data Science seminar series is the interdisciplinary forum of the CIVICA European University of Social Sciences, and alliance of ten leading higher education and research institutions. The series foster a community of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers working to address complex societal challenges through the use of novel methodological and data-driven approaches, drawing from machine learning and quantitative methods from biology, sociology, political sciences, economics, and physics among others disciplines. MDS students can join in the seminar sessions to learn what researchers at peer institutions working on in data science applications.
See more. 

Data Science Brown Bag Series

The Data Science Brown Bag Series is an informal and interactive gathering where participants bring their own brown bag lunch and engage in discussions on research, projects and insights the field of data and computational social science. The series provides a platform for data enthusiasts, researchers, and practitioners to share their latest research, experiences, best practices, and emerging methodologies in using data science to analyse and understand social and political phenomena. The talks are for anyone interested in data science and social science to network, learn, and share ideas in a casual and friendly setting.

Data Science Summer School

Every summer, the Data Science Lab organises the Data Science Summer School - a series of theoretical and practical workshops on the exciting methods and technologies currently employed by industry, government, and civil society to address the world's most complex problems. Initially conceived as a training bootcamp, specifically tailored for incoming MDS students seeking proficiency in mathematics and programming, the Summer School has now provided open-source education in data science for over 15.000 participants worldwide. During the Summer School, MDS students have the opportunity to join the online training and onsite labs to consolidate their technical knowledge.
See more.  

Data for Good Series

The Data for Good Series focuses on tutorials and seminars on applied data science topics from practitioners and researchers in the field for academic excellence and social good. Whereas other talk series rotate mainly on research, this series put a spotlight on practical approaches and applications of data science. 

Hertie Coding Club

Founded in October 2022, the Hertie Coding Club was created with the belief that coding is amazing, meaningful, well-rewarded, and easy to learn. The club aims to provide the Hertie community with a platform for learning and developing coding skills for multiple purposes. The Hertie Coding Club focuses primarily on the R programming language, a versatile and powerful tool that enables users to analyze and visualize data effectively. By offering material and collaborative learning opportunities, the club strives to help members develop essential skills that can be applied to their academic and professional pursuits. MDS students help to run and benefit from the activities of the Coding Club.
See more.