SEDS is a “Departmental Research Unit” established in January 2016, with financial support from the Pro-Director for Research. The department is hosted in the Department of Methodology and is an inter-disciplinary department promoting research and teaching in quantitative and qualitative research methods across the social science disciplines. SEDS involves staff and research across a wide range of the LSE’s departments.

SEDS objective is to promote the study of data science and new forms of data with a focus on its social, economic, and political aspects. This promotion will take the form of hosting, facilitating, and promoting research in social and economic data science, including visitors, research students, workshops, and conferences; coordinating new degree programs that span departments, such as new data science degree proposals under development that involve collaboration between the Departments of Statistics, Methodology, Mathematics, and Management; and working with the Division of Information Management and Technology to improve high performance computing and the ability of LSE researchers and students to use it effectively. In promoting this social focus on data science, SEDS will also promote improved training in data science and computational methods among social scientists, a group traditionally lacking in these skills compared to their counterparts in STEM-focused data science fields.

While constituted internally, SEDS is also designed to be outward-facing and link with similar initiatives through partnerships with other institutions of higher education and research, government, and commercial partners. We currently work closely with the Data Science Institute of Imperial College London, through grant co-applications, hosting joint workshops, and sharing teaching on programs in data analytics. With Imperial, we recently jointly submitted an ESRC grant application to establish a new centre for doctoral training in novel forms of data, which also involved support from a dozen external partners from government and industry, including KPMG, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Office of National Statistics, and the Bank of England. We are also actively engaged in discussions to establish a scholar exchange with the Centre for Data Science of New York University.


In an increasingly data-driven age, governments, organisations and researchers are questioning how to harness the good that can come from responsible use of data while at the same time minimising inherent risks to individuals, groups, and society at large.

By leveraging its position as a world leader in social science research, LSE aims to develop the necessary tools for analysing large data sets and to answer questions regarding how organisations can make well informed data-driven decisions.

A Data Science Initiative at LSE will support interdisciplinary data science research and teaching across the School’s academic disciplines. It will form a hub for researchers to collaborate on data-driven research to address major challenges to governments, businesses and society.

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Study Data Science @LSE

As businesses, governments and academic institutions increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making, one of the main challenges they face is addressing the significant skills gap that exists in the field of data science.

LSE is launching three new data science degree programmes, as well as expanding its data science courses at its London and Beijing Summer Schools,  offering executive programmes, and looking to support PhD and early career researchers to help develop the next generation of data scientists.

The School is working to equip students, researchers and executives with the skills they need to tackle business, science and social questions from a data perspective through the understanding of extracting useful information and knowledge from data.

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