MSc in Social Science of the Internet, University of Oxford



hello my name is Greg Taylor I'm an associate professor in senior research fellow at the Oxford internet Institute and I'm the course director for the MSC and the social science of the internet social science of the Internet is a taught postgraduate degree available here both as a one-year tour program and as a two-year part-time program social science of Internet is a really exciting opportunity to build the portfolio of skills that you need to be a leader in today's modern technology driven society where technology and the internet which is almost every aspect of our lives the course is built around three core principles the first is that we should be teaching really cutting edge research methodologies both quantitative and qualitative so that our students are as and well equipped as possible to answer these new and exciting questions that are emerging in this domain the second is a real emphasis on research led teaching so all of the people who teach on the course are research active they're world leaders in their field domain experts and because they're really passionate about the research they do they're all really interested in how they can take the insights from that research and feed it directly into their teaching the third key feature of the course is that it was designed from the ground up to help our students use social science to address real problems that arise in technology policy and practice that's really in our DNA because the department was founded by practitioners and all of the faculty who are working here are engaged in taking their research and using it to help inform the policy making practice a degree takes students from a wide range of different backgrounds first of all from many different disciplinary backgrounds so for example we take students whose first degree was in political science biochemistry economics art history pretty much any discipline that you can imagine secondly we take people from a wide range of different stages of their career so many of our students come straight out of an undergraduate degree some come from other postgraduate degrees and many come to as mid-career and look to use degree as an opportunity to do their understanding of societal and technological issues as students progress from our degree into a wide range of exciting careers many students go on to work in business in the technology sector in consulting or in many of the industries that are currently finding that technology is increasingly an important part of what they do many students go on to work in policy and government either in government departments or in international organizations like the United Nations or perhaps in third sector organizations and charitable foundations that oh I I offers two masters degrees social science of the internet and social data science the MSC in social data science is designed to prepare students for a career as a professional data scientist or to continue with further cutting-edge data science research social science of the internet on the other hand is designed to prepare students to be well-rounded leaders in the technology space so that means they need to develop a sound foundation of methodological techniques but also that they should have a good understanding of the technology and policy landscape that they should understand how people use technology as a social tool and that they have a good knowledge of the economic political legal and ethical issues that surround the use of technology in society the course is structured around three components they are a set of core courses a set of optional courses and a research thesis so the first is the core courses this is a set of courses that are organized at the beginning of the degree that all of our students take together as a group and they're designed to provide a shared foundation of knowledge in the social science of the internet and technology the four courses are firstly the social dynamics of the internet which provides a comprehensive overview of social theories of technology the second is internet technologies and regulation which provides an overview of the technological underpinnings of how the internet works and what are the main regulatory bodies and structures that play a role in governing how the internet works and the third is digital social research methods core where is an introduction to research methods which covers a set of really important issues like how do you design a successful research project how do you ensure that your research project is ethically sound and finally we have our introductory statistics course digital social research statistics core which provides a shared foundation of statistical knowledge for all of our students the second element of the degree is a set of option papers that provides an opportunity for students to tailor the degree to their interests and needs first of all we have a suite of topic focused options that allow our students to focus on the particular topics and disciplinary fields that they find most exciting so for example we have courses in economics political science philosophy law that really allow allow you to specialize in the set of skills that you think will be most useful to you secondly we have a set of methodological options that allow you to take a much deeper degree of specialization in particular methodological approaches so they include things like big data analytics or further statistical analysis or alternatively more qualitative research methods like how to code qualitative data the third and final component of the degree is a thesis which provides an opportunity for students to put into practice all of the methodological skills and subject specific knowledge that they learned throughout the degree by specifying their own research topic designing their own research question and conducting and executing an original research project culminating in the production of a thesis so I think the MSC in the social science of the internet represents a really exciting opportunity and I hope you'll consider applying there's a whole wealth of information available on our website where there's also the opportunity to sign up for updates where you'll be notified when applications open and when deadlines approach if you have any more questions feel free to get in touch or attend one of our open days you

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