Summerschool 2023 + 2024: Introduction to Social Data Science
The objective of this course is to learn how to analyze, gather and work with quantitative social science data. Increasingly, social data that capture how people behave and interact with each other, is available online in new, challenging forms and formats. This opens up the possibility of gathering large amounts of interesting data, to investigate existing theories and new phenomena, provided that the analyst has sufficient computer literacy while at the same time being aware of the promises and pitfalls of working with various types of data.
In addition to core computational concepts, the class exercises will focus on tools and methods for the following topics:
1. Gathering data: Learning how to scrape data directly through content in web pages on the internet as well as interacting with application programming interfaces (API).
2. Data manipulation tools: Learning how to go from unstructured data to a dataset ready for analysis. This includes to import, preprocess, transform and merge data, including text data.
3. Data analysis: Learning best practice when visualizing and describing data in different steps of a data analysis. Participants will learn how to implement statistical learning algorithms and how to apply these for prediction and interpret these models in practice.
MSc programme in Economics – elective course
Bacheloruddannelsen i økonomi – valgfag efter 2. år.
The Danish BSc programme in Economics - elective course after the 2. year
From summer 2023 the course is also offered to students at the
- Master Programme in Political Science
- Bachelor and Master Programmes in Psychology
- Master Programme in Sociology
- Master Programme in Security Risk Management
- Master Programme in Global Development
Enrolled students register the course through the Selfservice. Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.
The course is open to:
- Exchange and Guest students from abroad
- Credit students from Danish Universities
- Open University students
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Understand how and what data that can be used to answer typical questions in the social sciences.
- Account for benefits and challenges of working with different kinds of social data.
- Identify and account for strengths and weaknesses of linear statistical prediction algorithms.
- Discuss ethical challenges related to the use of different types of data.
- Discuss how prediction tools relate to existing empirical tools within social sciences such as linear regression for statistical inference.
- Use data manipulation and data visualization to clean, transform, scrape, merge, visualize and analyze social data.
- Parse and structure text data and conduct basic analysis.
- Construct new datasets by scraping web pages and work with data APIs.
- Estimate, apply and interpret machine learning algorithms and models in practice.
- Conceptualize and execute projects in social data science.
- Independently master and implement computational methods and methods for working with social and behavioral data in the social science literature.
- Present modern data science methods needed for working with computational social science and social data in practice.
- Ensure legal and ethical procedures for data collection and management are satisfied.
The course will in the two first weeks consist of lectures and
exercises with problem solving. The lectures will focus on the
broad topics covered in the course. In the exercise classes we will
get our hands dirty and present data science methods needed for
collecting and analyzing real-world data. The student must be aware
that the exercises do not have a large amount of time for learning
how to code.
The third week of the summer school will consist of peer feedback, guidance and project writing.
Main textbooks are:
- Python for Data Analysis, 2nd ed. (2017) by Wes McKinney
- Python Machine Learning, 2nd ed. (2017) by Sebastian Raschka & Vahid Mirjalili
- Big by Bit - Social research in the digital age by Matthew J. Salganik
A comprehensive reading list as well as detailed information about the course will be available on the websites:
For 2022 reading list see:
This course is available to students and practitioners who are
interested in social data science.
The course builds on a wide range of techniques. To facilitate learning these techniques, we expect that students have acquired basic programming skills with Python before teaching begins. We emphasize that although coding experience in Python is strongly recommended you can follow our integrated learning module, “Assignment 0”, where you will learn to code. Every student is asked to complete this module before the course begins. This will become available on Absalon as well as the website https://isdsucph.github.io/isds2023/
In addition to programming experience, we recommend students to have basic knowledge of regression analysis, e.g. from Econometrics I at the Department of Economic, University of Copenhagen or similar. This will be useful when learning about machine learning.
- First and second week: Lectures and exercise classes (from 9 AM to 5 PM including breaks). Students can participate in meetings with the TAs for guidance of the exam project.
- Third week: Students can participate in meetings with the TAs for guidance of the exam project.
TIMETABLE and venue:
To see the timetable and location of classrooms please press the link under "Timetable"/"Se skema" at the right side of this page (Available from March)
You can find the similar information in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-B5-5F23; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: "List - Week Days"
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn – Week 31-5”
Press: “ View Timetable”
Please be aware:
- That the workload of the summer school correspond to a fulltime course at the Master programme in Economics, University of Copenhagen.
- The lecturers divide the student at the exercise classes.
- It is not possible to change course after the last registration period has expired.
- The schedule of the lectures and the exercise classes can change without the participants´ acceptance. If this happens, you can see the new schedule in your personal timetable at KUnet, in the app myUCPH and through the links in the right side of this course description and the link above.
- It is the students´s own responsibility continuously throughout the study to stay informed about their study, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programme, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course description, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.
The students receive:
- Written feedback from assignments (correction and solution).
- Written feedback from responses to quizzes.
- Oral feedback and supervision sessions by TAs.
- Feedback by their peers on the project assignment.
for enrolled students at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
When registered you will be signed up for exam.
- Full-degree students – sign up at Selfservice on KUnet
- Exchange and guest students from abroad – sign up through Mobility Online and Selfservice- read more through this website.
- Credit students from Danish universities - sign up through this website.
- Open University students - sign up through this website.
The dates for the exams are found here Exams – Faculty of Social Sciences - University of Copenhagen (ku.dk)
Please note that it is your own responsibility to check for overlapping exam dates.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written assignment, 10 days
- Type of assessment details
- The exam is a project paper, that can be written individually
or in groups of 3 to 4 participants.
Students have the choice between being assigned a group or making one themselves. We very strongly recommend that you participate in the joint assignment and let yourself be put together with other students. Our experience is that these more diverse groups work better and come up with more interesting projects that are of higher quality. The assignment to groups are performed according to the proportion of correct answers in Assignment 0, which is handed in before the course starts
Please be aware of:
- The rules for co-writing assignments as stated in the curriculum.
- The plagiarism rules must be complied.
- The project paper must be written in English.
- All aids allowed
for the written exam.
Information about allowed aids for the re-examination, please go to the section "Re-exam".
Use of AI tools, such as ChatGPT, is allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
for the written exam.
An oral re-examination may be with external assessment.
Criteria for exam assessment
Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.
In order to obtain the top grade “12”, the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
In order to obtain the passing grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
Single subject courses (day)
- Class Instruction
- Project work
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
July 31 to August 22, 2023
- Go to 'Signup' for information about registration and enrollment.
Information about admission and tuition fee: Summer schools
Information om optagelse og evt betaling: Åbent Universitet
- For teaching and timetable: Go to 'Remarks'.
- For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'
Schedule for the summer school 2023:
Please go to the course description for the academic year (volume) 2023/2024:
- No limit
- Department of Economics, Study Council
- Department of Economics
- Department of Psychology
- Department of Political Science
- Department of Sociology
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen (3-656672447773686577326f7932686f)
- Felix Chopra (12-52717875843a4f747b7c7e6d4c716f7b7a3a77813a7077)
Lectures: See ‘Course Coordinators’
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