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MSc Reasoning Analytics

Course Description

We offer a unique blend of practical support for real world problems, while at the same time maintaining strong theoretical foundations. Learn how to exploit emerging technologies and theories of reasoning in order to explore, analyse and navigate through complex processes of negotiation, persuasion and decision making, at the home to one of the world's premier centres for argumentation technology.

Why study MSc Reasoning Analytics at Dundee?

Flexible study:
We offer a unique combination of argumentation and business intelligence themes, organised into single coherent courses which feature lectures and input by world-class argumentation experts and business analysts. We offer a flexible delivery, based on an intensive-burst model in which students can come to Dundee for short periods of time for intensive instruction and then continue their studies remotely.

The University of Dundee is home to ARG-tech, in the School of Computing. Members of ARG-tech are interested in many aspects of argumentation, from the theoretical to the practical, and have been working in the area of computational models of argument for more than 15 years.

Currently, the group comprises three permanent staff, three postdocs and one PhD student, and regularly attracts academic visitors from around the world, and also major commercial organisations such as the BBC.

Our freely downloadable software such as Araucaria (a tool for performing argument analysis and mapping) has over 10,000 users, and we have the largest freely accessible corpus of analysed argumentation anywhere in the world in AIFdb. Araucaria is also used in several North American legal practices, and is being rolled out across the magistracy of the province of Ontario to support magistrates in developing summing-up arguments. The group also hosts the editorial office for the journal, Argument and Computation.

What's so good about MSc Reasoning Analytics at Dundee?

In addition to studying the modules offered by the ARG-tech team, you will have the opportunity to take modules on the MSc in Data Science at Dundee. This innovative degree is delivered largely by Dr. Mark Whitehorn, an internationally recognised expert who specialises in the areas of data analysis, data modelling, data warehousing and business intelligence.

Teaching & Assessment

The course will be taught by members of the ARG tech team at the University of Dundee as well as visiting scholars. Additionally, some modules will be taught by the Business Intelligence and Data Science team at the University.

ARG-Tech team at the University of Dundee:
Prof. Chris Reed
Dr. Katarzyna Budzynska
Dr. Alison Pease

Visiting scholars:
Dr. Floris Bex (Department of Information & Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands) is interested in how people reason and how this reasoning can be supported by smart technologies and new analysis methods. One of his aims is to improve complex decision-making, such as in large legal cases. Floris has over 50 publications in the areas of argumentation theory, artificial intelligence and law, and nearly ten years of experience teaching critical thinking skills to a variety of different audiences.

Dr. Stuart Cross (School of Law, University of Dundee) is Senior Lecturer in Dundee Law School. He is Head of Learning and Teaching in the Law School and an experienced commercial lawyer with a particular interest in agency concepts and legal personality. He has written and lectured on legal responsibility and intelligent software agents.

Dr. David Price (DebateGraph) co-founded DebateGraph in 2006, with the former Australian Cabinet Minister Peter Baldwin, and has led DebateGraph’s work with, amongst others, the UK Prime Minister’s Office, the European Commission, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, CNN and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. David has a Ph.D. in Organizational Learning from University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

How you will be taught

The programme will be delivered via a blend of on-site lectures and tutorials, and off-site support, using distance-learning technologies. A constructivist philosophy of learning which capitalises on students' experiences will be followed. Learning will take place both in the workplace and in an academic setting and will be supported in both arenas. Guest lecturers will enhance core material and laboratory sessions will be used to complement theoretical learning.

What you will study

The structure of the Reasoning Analytics programme consists of four compulsory modules (each worth 20 credits) provided by the School of Computing:

Persuasion, Negotiation and Decision Making
Argument Dynamics
Knowledge Cartography
Opinion Analysis and Argument Mining

Students will then select a further two optional modules from:

Legal Knowledge Engineering
BI Systems Introduction and Overview
Data Analysis and Visualisation
Advanced Statistics and Data Mining

A research thesis topic will then be decided in conjunction with the supervisor. This will typically involve one or more of the themes encountered in the course in the context of the professional practice of the student.


The field of mediation, argumentation and reasoning is continuing to emerge, with multiple career paths and opportunities. While there are firms and consultants that specialise in these areas, there are also internal opportunities within businesses, in local and central government, and in other organisations, where responsibilities and titles can vary greatly. The range of opportunities are expected to continue to expand as the field, its functions, and its benefits become more prominent.

Areas with increasing opportunities for trained professionals in these roles may include:
Corporations – change managers, mergers and acquisitions professionals
Human resources departments
Government agencies, many of which are required by law to offer alternative dispute resolution training
Politics and policy making
Health care institutions and organisations
Educational institutions
Legal practitioners
Sourcing and procurement
Conflict consulting firms

This programme is intended to enhance your employability in the following ways:
- By building on your professional experiences and developing skills in both theoretical and practical aspects of critical thinking in a legal context
- By enhancing your ability to form well-justified decisions, communicate them persuasively, defend them rigorously and modify them in light of cogent responses
- By demonstrating technology for argumentation and showing how it can be used in practical situations

Visit the MSc Reasoning Analytics page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Honours degree at 2.1 level or above in computing or a related subject (including MBA or equivalent with evidence of logical problem solving ability). If employment history is equivalent to a degree at 2.1 level (recognition of Prior Learning) then this would be acceptable. All prospective students undergo a technical interview to ensure they have the necessary background knowledge for the course. Students without a 2.1 degree will need to be interviewed by the Recognition of Prior learning committee, either in person or by telephone or internet. IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English

Course Fees

UK/EU 2016-2017 £7,200; OS 2016-2017 £14,100

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