Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2024/25>Applied Ethics and Governance of Data Privacy (MA)

MA Applied Ethics and Governance of Data Privacy

Grapple with the global issue of data privacy, including the transparency, ethics, and human rights of how data is collected and used by businesses and governments around the world.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

Meet us

Join us online or in person to find out more about postgraduate study at York.

Upcoming events

Combine abstract concepts of ethics and rights with practical approaches to managing and solving problems of data privacy.

At York, you'll be taught by academics who are active in their fields and working with external partners, so you'll be up to date with the latest research and innovations. Engage in research-led enquiry, exploring the ways in which data is collected, used, and at times, exploited, by different organisations. Your studies will give you a sound practical and theoretical grasp of how user data is collected, analysed and stored, and the normative principles underpinning these different stages.

You'll engage in problem-based learning as part of a team. You'll write reports on managing data privacy under the oversight of a specialist, as well as undertake an extended dissertation on a topic of your choosing.

You'll graduate with a firm, broad grounding in the fast-growing, interdisciplinary field of the philosophy of data privacy.

1st in the UK for 'Overall Satisfaction'

in Philosophy, out of the Russell Group universities included in the latest National Student Survey (2022).

One of the societies I joined in first year was Philsoc, the place [where] I met some of my best friends at university. They hosted events, film screenings and they also had several impressive speakers.
Heather, BA Philosophy

Course content

Throughout your degree, you'll gain a deep understanding of what makes best governance practice when handling user data. You'll debate the ethical and business risks of minimal compliance with regulation and broaden your knowledge of regulatory framework.

Your modules will cover a range of topics, from philosophical questions raised by artificial intelligence to case studies regarding the ethics of business practice.

You'll graduate with the ability to present a clear, principled and persuasive case for data management practices which respect the fundamental right to privacy, thereby protecting corporations from the risks associated with minimal compliance.

Course structure for part-time study

Year 1: Topics in the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, Data Privacy Problem Based Learning 2: Surveillance Capitalism, and one option module.

Year 2: Research Skills and Dissemination Practice, Data Privacy Problem Based Learning 1: Health and Government Data, one option module and your dissertation.


Your 10,000 word dissertation enables you to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of your choosing. It will allow you to apply the core knowledge, skills and experience that you have gained to further your independent research skills.

You'll attend dissertation preparation seminars to enable you to write your proposal, with further support later in the year. You'll be supervised by a member of staff with expertise in the relevant area.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically review current scholarship and research on key problems, issues and debates in the Ethics and Governance of Data Privacy.
  • Apply critical perspectives to current research in their field in a technically proficient yet accessible and clear manner informed by current practice, scholarship and research.
  • Work effectively and collaboratively in applying philosophical analysis to concrete problems of the Ethics and Governance of Data Privacy.
  • Take full ownership of their own development as researchers and professionals, continually reflecting on their own practice, progress and received feedback, and seeking assistance where appropriate.
  • Give presentations of their ideas and arguments at a professional level (aligned with best practice) to varied audiences.
  • Create detailed and persuasive project proposals at a high level (continuous with best practice in professional research proposals), and initiate, develop and complete substantial independent projects.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Lecturers challenge you to achieve the best that you can. They really make you think about your ideas and give you space to do so. Philosophy is so friendly and everyone is very welcoming!

Anika, BA Philosophy

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll be taught by intensive seminars and individual or small-group tutorials, which will allow you and your tutors to systematically explore complex issues in data privacy.  You'll undertake project-based learning, collaborating with other students on group assessments.


You'll be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West.

You'll be part of a lively research community at the Humanities Research Centre which includes staff, postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars and academic visitors from across the arts and humanities. 

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be nearby on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Group projects
  • Presentations
  • Essays and reflective reports
  • Practical projects and reports

Careers and skills

After graduating, you'll be able to present a clear, principled and persuasive case for data management practices which respect the fundamental right to privacy, thereby protecting corporations from the risks associated with minimal compliance. You'll develop skills in presenting your own ideas, conference organization, and collaborative work, which will be of benefit for a wide range of career paths. 

Career opportunities

  • Human rights activism
  • Policy and business practice around data privacy
  • Technology consulting and NGO's
  • Civil service
  • Social researcher
  • Business analyst

Transferable skills

  • Collaborative working
  • Problem-solving
  • Investigative research
  • Time management and organisation
  • Technical analysis
  • Critical evaluation
  • Reflective learning
  • Constructing and defending a persuasive argument
  • Grasping complex ideas
  • Presenting your research

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2.1 or equivalent
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 7 in writing and no less than 6 in all other components
Duolingo 120, minimum 120 in production and 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 70 in Writing and no less than 65 in all other components
KITE 459-494, with 459-494 in writing and 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Merit in writing and Pass with Merit in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
TOEFL 87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Philosophy Postgraduate Admissions

Learn more

Department of Philosophy

Discover York


We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

Meet us

Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.