Universität Mannheim / Sowi / sswml / Research / International Program in Survey Practice and Data Science

Professional Studies in Survey Practice and Data Science

International Program in Survey Practice and Data Science

If you are interested in detailed information about the curriculum, admission criteria and enrollment, please check the program's website.


The goal of this project is to fill the increased demand for skilled personnel in the sector of data collection and data analysis through continuing education. Unlike many other programs in continuing education, the proposed project will resort strongly to modern technology and modern types of asynchronous learning to accommodate people in the labor force and people with family duties. The methodological questions pertain to the efficacy and effectiveness of the technological and didactical concepts used to conduct the online courses and to the exploration of sustainability options for "nicht-kapazitätswirksame" [technical term in German meaning roughly "non-relevant to capacity"] professional continuing education programs in the social sciences. The proposed project will sharpen the profile of the University of Mannheim as an "industry-oriented", internationally recognized educational institution for the social and economic sciences.


        The University of Mannheim will develop in cooperation with the University of Maryland an international online continuing education program in the area of data collection and data analysis. Development will take place in cooperation with several partners in Germany with expertise in this area: the Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (GESIS) and the Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB). GESIS has been active in the German survey arena for a long time, with research, education and consulting services. Particularly noticeable are its services as part of the German Micro Census and its coordination of the European Social Survey, as well as the administration of the PIAAC-Study for the OECD in Germany. The Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB) regularly conducts its own surveys such as the IAB-Betriebspanel or the Panel Arbeitsmarkt und Soziale Sicherung. Hosting the research data center, Forschungsdatenzentrum der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (FDZ), and within the German Record Linkage Center, the IAB is an international leader in data linkage as well as empirical questions with regard to data privacy protection. In the second phase of the project, it is planned to expand the cooperation to include the Institut für Statistik of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

        The planned continuing education project will employ internet-based learning methods that will provide continuous asynchronous access to educational material as well as enable an interactive exchange between lecturers and students. In combination with several on-site lectures and seminars, on-site activities, topical chats, online forums, and video-based material will enable participants in the program to build an international professional network.

        Within this program of continuing eductation, a master's degree can be earned within one year upon full-time attendance and within a respectively longer time period upon part-time attendance. The program will start with an introductory on-site workshop in which students and lecturers will get to know each other and in which the online infrastructure will be explained. The core of the program consists of four base modules, followed by speciality lectures and seminars. Throughout the course of the program participants must attend a total of two workshops on-site at the location of any of the participating institutions. To reduce typical barriers to professional training, childcare will be offered at all on-site activities. In so doing, the program will make use of the existing infrastructure at the Universität Mannheim. At each of the collaborating institutions there will be a program manager responsible for coordinating the sites and who will serve as the direct contact person for the students. The effectiveness of the program will be evaluated by analyzing the reactions of the participants to the material provided, learning outcomes in terms of improved qualifications, use of learned material in their respective jobs, effects upon job performance, and estimates of rate of return. A core feature of the first development phase is a series of small randomized experiments in which different online learning modules will be tested empirically. Based on the results of the first phase, in the second phase the program will be expanded geographically and thematically, and the foundation laid for a sustainable infrastructure.

        If you wish to attend a course or if you are interested in more detailed information about the study program, please contact:

        Karin Frößinger
        Phone: +49-621-181-3771
        E-mail: froessinger[at]uni-mannheim.de