11 Dec 2023 - 19 Dec 2023 13:00 - 16:00 Online


The Cambridge Digital Humanities Online Social Data School (SDS), taking place between 11 – 19 December 2023, is now open for applications.

The school provides participants with new methods, technical foundations, and tools for data-intensive public interest investigations and academic research with a public interest component.

The SDS online intensive teaching programme is structured around the life-cycle of a digital research project, covering principles of research design, data collection, cleaning and preparation, methods of analysis and visualisation, and data management and preservation practices.

Leading academic researchers and practitioners have created a teaching and learning experience that takes advantage of virtual tools for lectures, workshops, group work and more, developing technical skills, while also raising critical questions about data in our world.

Previous attendees have benefited from the practical way digital methods are applied to real problems, the critical way in which they are employed, as well as by the rich interactions with teachers and peers.

We encourage anyone working with social data to apply!


Our modules cover the research data pipeline of digital investigations, from the conception of a project involving social data, to data collection, analysis, and visualisation. Teaching includes lectures, participatory sessions, workshops, and hands-on activities with leading researchers and practitioners in the field. 

You will be able to extract data from social networks, analyse multiple video and photographic sources, and learn how computer vision and automations can help in the investigation of public interest stories and projects. We will also explore how to use AI, both as a tool for investigations and as an object of inquiry.

Modules will cover the following content:

  • Methodology for Digital Investigations
  • Introduction to Critical AI
  • Basic Automations for Investigations 
  • Introduction to Social Media data mining, analysis and visualisation
  • Open Source Investigations

Keynote speakers TBC

*Content may be subject to change

Who can apply?

The school welcomes applications from all backgrounds.

You might be in journalism, marketing, academia, an NGO, activism, a trade union, a civil society organisation, civil service. Anyone who works with social data is welcome to apply.

No previous experience of coding is required and there are no specific academic requirements, however the course content is broadly suitable for those with an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional experience. The School is taught in English. 

We are committed to facilitating participation by women, black and minority ethnic applicants as they have historically been under-represented in the technology and data science sector. We also welcome applications from outside the UK, assuming they can attend the live workshop slots during 1pm-4pm GMT. Sessions will not be recorded and therefore live attendance is required.

When and where

This school will be held online: 11–19 December 2023. Data School live sessions are timetabled daily from 13:00 – 16:00 (GMT). To convert this to your timezone you can use this Time Zone Converter.

Sessions will include live-taught instruction on Zoom, demonstrations and discussions online, with access to self-paced study materials and support via email-based discussion groups between sessions. Participants will need a laptop or desktop computer and internet access to participate in the sessions. Some sessions will require software installation — full instructions will be provided but please ensure you have access rights to install software on the device you will be using.

The school is highly interactive and participants need to be able to join the discussions in real time, so please ensure you have internet access which will enable viewing of online videos and live participation through a video call.

An in-person Social Data School is also scheduled to take place in Cambridge from 9 – 13 September 2024. Applications will open in early 2024 – Please check our website or sign up to our mailing list for more details. Please note that the fees for in-person Data Schools are higher than for the online versions.

Teaching Team*

Anne Alexander (Director of Learning, CDH)
Irving Huerta (Data School Convenor, CDH)
Hugo Leal (Research Associate, Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy)
Members of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (Centre of Governance and Human Rights at Cambridge University)

*Teaching team may be subject to change


Standard: £245 per person
Early Bird (until 3 September 2023): £195 per person
Concession (limited places): £75 per person

There is a limited number of concessionary places for the unemployed, unfunded projects, and Global South residents that can demonstrate financial need. In addition, a small number of bursaries (waived fee) are available to those who are not able to afford this training and can demonstrate how attending the school will be beneficial for them. You can apply for this on the application form.

The deadline for payment is four weeks before the start of the School.

Q&A Session

Do you have questions about how the school will be run, the content, and how to apply? We will hold a Q&A session with the school’s convenors on Wednesday, 11 October at 14:00. Register

How to apply

Complete the application form by 29 October 2023. You will hear whether your application was successful or not by 6 November 2023.

The Social Data School is application-only with limited places. During your application you should make best use of the free text sections to explain your current experience, and what you would get out of attending the School.

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Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk