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Digital Society Initiative

Curriculum, Study Path and Content

The study program with its core modules is designed to run over two semesters starting every fall. Individual modules can, however, be distributed over more semesters.

The curriculum design enables students to acquire digital skills based on their individual interests and previous learning paths and to gain an overview of the digital transformation. A core component is the application of these new competencies in a teamwork-based challenge that runs over both semesters.

All compulsory modules take place on Mondays in the DSI event room to foster a community of students, allow networking with our DSI researchers and simplify semester planning for students.

Interdisciplinarity and Digital Transformation

The compulsory module «Digital Transformation – a Scientific Overview» gives an overview of a broad range of topics and disciplines engaged in research on the digital transformation of society. The overview will be developed by reference to exemplary focus topics of current relevance.

In the compulsory module «Teamwork on Digital Transformation Challenges», students work in interdisciplinary teams on a challenge put forward by one of our DSI communities. In the process, the team integrates the domain knowledge from each member, the newly acquired ethical, legal and social knowledge, as well as digital skills. The latter will be acquired through skills modules (see below). The team’s goal for the Fall Semester (HS) is to present a well-considered and elaborated project plan, which is carried out in the Spring Semester (FS).

The elective module «Philosophie des Digitalen» (only in German; offered in HS 24) encourages students to reflect on how digital transformation affects considerations about the meaning of life.

In the elective module «Digital Transformation – an Artistic Reflection», students are encouraged to reflect on how to perceive and express the reality of digital transformation of society and are given time to create their own artistic work using mixed digital media.

At the end of the Spring Semester (FS), we celebrate the project results from the challenge module and invite our Community of Practice (CoP) to visit an exhibition of the students’ artistic works.

Programming, Machine Learning & AI

Option A: Students without relevant coding skills are recommended to start with the «Programming Bootcamp», which takes place in the two weeks before the start of the Fall Semester (HS). This is to be continued with the compulsory module «Intermediate Python Programming». In the Spring Semester (FS), we recommend continuing with the «Interdisciplinary Introduction to Machine Learning», which offers hands on exercises from a variety of applications. Further skills modules can be chosen based on individual interests, previous learning paths, and skills that would benefit a successful challenge project.

Option B: Students who can demonstrate equivalent or higher Python skills from courses already completed may substitute the compulsory module «Intermediate Python Programming» with other courses from all module groups offered within the Digital Skills minor program.

Inter-/Transdisciplinary Competencies

We encourage students to enjoy the full range of courses offered by UZH and ETH and also to look into a field that is completely foreign to them. A total of 3 ECTS can be chosen entirely freely.

UZH Course Catalogue Fall Semester 2024

The modules created specifically for den DSI Minor Digital Skills can be found in the UZH course catalogue under «School for Transdisciplinary Studies» – «Minor 30» – «Digital Skills»: UZH Course Catalogue

Further modules offered by the School for Transdisciplinary Studies (STS) are listed under Teaching Subject: UZH Course Catalogue

Further modules will be cross-listed from the UZH faculties by end of June 2024: UZH Course Catalogue